Catalogue Works #3 September 2010
Virtual Art Residence
Image: Little Shiva - Trashbaby
Contains work of Sabine Bolk | the Netherlands Little Shiva | France Vittore Baroni | Italy Rod Summers | the Netherlands Giel Louws | the Netherlands
Sabine Bolk September 15 2010
Extended my stay at Van Gogh till 29 October!
I really have to see this next year..think I‟ll make a alternative ricecarpet somewhere in Zundert in October with leaves, berries and other autumn things. Also thinking of adding more weeks to my Virtual stay… More photos of the “flower parade” here
Vittore Baroni and Rod Summers September 5 2010
Holy Cow, Carmen! In Maastricht they have an underground car-park where the Romans once buried their dead.â€&#x; In deze installatie van Rod Summers wordt een parkeervak bemeten en veranderd in een kunstwerk. www.hetparcours.nl
Little Shiva September 13 2010 First, she traveled to a beautiful island.
Next she smoked some cigarettes.
Aaah, the light is gorgeous here - I feel right at home!
Oh yum, love me some poison!
A trip to the grocery store was in order…
… then some dumpster diving.
After all that excitement, Trashbaby was tired – time for a nap.
Bye, see you tomorrow!
Trashbaby on vacation September 13, 2010 Ok, this is my week of virtual art residency here, and as promised, the theme is trash. Check back every day to find out what Trashbaby‟s been up to. Here‟s what she did today.
Little Shiva September 14 2010 Trashbaby has some spare time today so she decides to surf the net.
She discovers some pretty heavy stuff, like the toxic e-waste at Agbogbloshieâ€Ś
Trashbaby gets depressed September 14, 2010
Oooh, this looks good!
â€Ś and landfills all over the planet. She contemplates harakiri but stabs a trash bag instead.
She steps away from the computer and goes outside to stare at the sky. For hours.
She drifts into a deep sleep and dreams happy dreams of floating in green water.
Nah, I don't feel like ripping my guts out today.
Little Shiva September 15 2010 She took a walk to the local dump and that‟s when it hit her…
She figured she‟d better do some reading, so she went to her fave secondhand bookstore and got some books.
Trashbaby becomes an activist September 15, 2010 After the deep depression and the happy green dreams, Trashbaby awoke feeling better than ever.
I'm gonna be a grassroots activist!
Oooh, a social history of trash, that looks really interesting!
She went to see her friends Helga and Bambi to ask if they‟d like to form a collective. They were down.
Before making a new facebook page to organize the collective, Trashbaby checked out what was already out there.
She decided to take a look at her own trash to see what she could do better.
Bambi and Trashbaby go way back.
Eww, that page sucks!
I'm gonna need some worms...
Little Shiva September 15 2010 She went to the local dump, found some cool trash and made art.
She asked around until she found a gallery to show her work, then invited a bunch of people to the opening. A few came.
Trashbaby makes art September 16, 2010 Today Trashbaby was inspired.
Mmm, nice 'n messy! Miss Foxy was the new art teacher from San Francisco. She really liked what Trashbaby had done and invited her to speak to her class.
The students seemed interested.
Energized by all that, Trashbaby decided to make some phone calls and organize a street action to raise awareness about trash.
Hi, this is Trashbaby and I'm organizing this thing called "Art into Action"...
Miss Foxy was impressed.! After a bunch of phone calls, e-mails and pestering people on facebook, the big day arrived: Trashbaby and her crew hit the street..
Wow, this is even more fun than I thought it would be!
Giel Louws September 1 2010
Today painting was just hard work. It was one of those days that you do not have any brilliance. So there was a lot of repainting and revisiting today. I tend to try to force a breakthrough at days like this, and often it shows. Many far-fetched ideas came to me, and I even executed some of them. I probably could see it coming, I had a bad nightâ€&#x;s sleep, and my body was just restless ( and so was my brain) Woke up this night thinking our artists initiative (Kipvis) was in urgent need of some work. An old idea for a project needs to be executed, and me and some colleagues will take that up. We do not want to jeopardize our great studio building by not doing our part to satisfy the city counsel. I made some models and hung them in the building to tease the others to join the project.
It is waiting for brilliance again today. Worked on a few small paintings, made some tiny progress here and there. For example I gave this white face some pencil drawn flowers, coming out of his ears.
Giel Louws September 3 & 4 2010
I realized my recent works revolve around the pleasure of painting. Years and years my works told my inner lifeâ€&#x;s stories and troubles. Maybe a new era of my work arrived, cleaned out of complicated personal grief. Of course this insight is recent, and could change every moment again. Talking to colleagues sometimes make things clear, and being asked what my plans are for my work I had to put that in words. What became clear to me, that I want to simplify my work, make it more monumental. And constantly push my limits, to constantly raise the bar. Here some progress;
Referring to music ? I planned to paint some gruwsome paintings, but Looking up pictures on the internet made me doubt it again. Got to figure out if I have to push through the doubts, or trust them. Horrible images will contrast the beautiful ones, but they are always some ones personal horror too.
Giel Louws September 5 & 7 2010
I bought some reference material yesterday. A book on cars, a history book on war and peace, and a book on serial killers. Now it‟s time to tackle the violence issue in my work. Today I gave it a first try, and found out it is important to hold back. Not to much drama, and a lot of respect.
Hmmm, these new themes take a toll. Today was seriously challenging. Especially when I played the piano music from Philip Glass, I drifted away a bit far. Thank you P., for walking in to my studio at just the right time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqeXnVMJa4Y
keep in mind that I share these images instantly, so there‟s a chance they will be altered or repainted in a later stage.
Today I had a good day in the studio. Besides I made some painting progress, I had an idea about the whole small painting cycle. I started rearranging them, and then I saw it. In combining the works the real strength comes out. The combination of two or more works tell a story of the complexity and simultaneity of real life. So here‟s where I came up with today;
Giel Louws September 7 & 9 & 14 2010
Today I worked further on combining and rearranging the small works. From now I will focus on complementing what I already made, and build on that. Different techniques also intrigue me on the moment. Ranging from watercolor like use of the acrylic paint, to opaque. On the moment I have some thoughts about how far can you push these clashes of worlds in the combination of works, before it gets kitsch. This is a combo I made today;
Today I invited F. in my studio to have a look at the present state of my small paintings project. As allways it was good to talk to him about what I am doing. He recognized a couple of good arrangements of pictures on my large wall. Talking to him I cleared it from a lot of pictures that did not add to the total. Not that they were all bad, but they were entities on their own. I want to tell a story with a combination of pictures. From now on I can especially make pictures that add to that story.
Giel Louws September 15 & 16 & 17 & 22 2010
Last days I‟m rethinking the work of last days. It‟s hard to see what the quality is, and how it fits in my oeuvre. Serious doubts again, that affect my whole being. Funny how your work affects your whole life and well being. How vulnerable can you be ? Maybe the realistic style of the last works can be balanced out with some fantasy works, with my own symbolism. Let‟s see tomorrow.
I posed the question why people still make paintings. A nice respons I had was from a befriended gallery owner; Dag Giel, er wordt nog steeds geschilderd omdat er nog steeds geleefd wordt. We praten nog steeds ondanks alle woorden die er in het verleden al uitgesproken zijn. Jouw speken is (ondanks de simpele combinatie van 26 letters) in principe relevant. Dus kan het smeren van verf op een drager ook nog van belang zijn. De meeste mensen kletsen. andere mensen spreken. De meeste schilders vertellen wat we al lang weten, een enkeling weet ons nog te boeien, which translates roughly to; Hello Giel , people still paint because people still live. We still talk, despite all the words that are spoken in the past. Your speaking is (despite the simple combination of 26 letters) basically relevant. Thus, the applying of paint on a carrier is also relevant. Most people talk. other people speak. Most painters tell us what we already know, a few know how to captivate us. The only answer why to paint is probably more a personal question with a personal answer. So why do I still paint ? I wouldn‟t know how not to paint, it is such a part of my existence that I wouldn‟t know how to live without it. It gives meaning to my life, makes me deal with it, it is my native tongue. I‟m still working on the combining of the small works. Once I found a good combination, I can start to review the individual paintings. Some of them I replaced with a improved version. A series developped on human emotions, as shown in this picture;
Today I got some positive feedback on my new work. I really needed that, let‟s move on from here. It is getting clear that the work can get a complete different content by little changes. Arranging the works is crucial, and is a matter of centimeters. The connection to the world we live in really excites me. Maybe it solves a question of mine how painting is still relevant in today‟s society. I‟m not implying that a good work of art should have a direct link to the present. But it is nice to think about it in my own work. The whole virtualartresidence.com project revolves around the question if today‟s art practice still is functioning. Or is there a definitive break between the art world and the wider public ? The artist is becoming a specialist, almost a scientist, that nobody understands anymore except for his colleagues. Who moves towards who‟s direction, or doesn‟t anyone move towards anyone ? (?) Are the slow media like painting doomed to a roll in the margin ? Are we making works for our colleagues, and a few intellectuals? I really do not know.
Giel Louws September 23 & 24 2010
Trying to put some other pictures together that make sense. This seems to tell a story to me, but Iâ€&#x;ll let it set for a while. Played the solo piano album of Vijay Iyer, a enormous new jazz talent. The album contains a mix of all right pieces, together with works of absolute genius. Well I love that better than an artist that is mediocre.
I hung these works in a circle, so it is a more balanced total. In the centre a modern day safe haven. Yet another arrangement.
I also changed yesterdays arrangement;
This week has been about fine tuning the small paintings. I repainted quite a few of them and rearranged them too. It is still not clear to me what works, and what not. It will take time to find that out. The downside is that individual works tend to get less attention in a group. But every work should be great anyway. So far it resulted in a range of techniques and approaches.
Giel Louws September 25& 28 2010
Still working on the first series of small paintings. I‟m aware that every painting should be good on itself. So I‟m revising every one of them. The right way to hang them is also difficult to decide. Today I hung them in a straight line, so every painting gets more attention value on it‟s own. It seems hardly possible to make something that is good enough.
Today I went to Antwerp to see the latest works of the 80 years old Raoul de Keyser, Shown in the famous Zeno X gallery. The show started with an early piece, a box shaped painting in the football field series (1971). Then a wonderful large work on aluminum from 1988. Upstairs were 12 new small works from this year. Very minimal painting on pieces of wood, or canvas. The simplest of painting methods possible; an oil stick, paint straight from the tube, and water colour. He went to the bare minimum of what painting is, a few singular brushstrokes, dots and stripes. Clearly works of an old man who has seen it all. Absolutely no decorum or bows to the public. This is painting stripped to the bone. I spent quite some time with the works, and was absolutely puzzled by it. Here was my painting hero, and I didn‟t now if this was brilliance, or a painter at his last legs. A small painting on a simple piece of plywood got to me though. Just some blue transparent paint and a yellow dot and stripe. Maybe the last zen like words of a monument.
Coming back to the painting „allegory on an artist‟, it is clear to me now that it does not work. I showed the process of making the painting before on my blog. It became clear to me that it is not a good work while it stood in my studio. It seems that time is the only way to decide if a painting is good enough. So showing the work while it‟s being made feels vulnerable, and you should keep in mind that the final decision only is made when the works will be exhibited.
Giel Louws September 30 2010
I started a new series of small works and the working title is the vulnerable body. The series started with a collection of pictures from people who are the victims of violent circumstances. I began to wonder if I could paint them as vulnerable bodyâ€&#x;s with a lot of restraint. So the works would be about being your body, and how vulnerable we are as such. I made some works, but Iâ€&#x;m not sure about them yet, but I will show you this one already.
Hereby a comment from a friend; Giel, ik heb je kwetsbare mens, die je net gemaakt hebt,bekeken en ik ben verwonderd, na ons gesprek,hoe dezelfde gedachten,van 2 verschillende mensen gelijktijdig kunnen plaats vinden. Het is een ontroerend werk en ik denk dat je voorlopig op het goede been staat,voor zolang dit been nodig is om tot het uiterste te gaan. groet;M
Catalogue works #3 September 2010
Virtual Art Residence
Image: Little Shiva - Trashbaby