Sunday, March 24, 2013
it's been a long time since i've come across something so beautiful that it makes me feel restless. i recently discovered autochrome photography thanks to "edwardian opulence," the current exhibition at the yale center for british art, and since then i've been poring over various online collections, still finding it strange to accept that like ours, life one hundred years ago was lived in color. my favorite photographs, like the two above, are by belgian photographer alfonse van besten (1865-1926). his subjects are just like the dream-muses of j.w. waterhouse, with flushed cheeks and flowers that seem more real and fragrant than real flowers. ever looking to possess at least some aspect of the kind of beauty that causes me unrest, i'm thinking about how just something of the essence of these photographs can be translated into my watercolors. (images from here)
Monday, March 11, 2013
someone recently described my work as dark and spooky, even nightmarish, although it seems to evoke warmth and comfort for most others. both aspects are essential to the way i perceive the world, and i always wrestle with myself: which side should i show? but if two people can see such different things in one image, perhaps quiet domesticity and peaceful repose are perfectly compatible with magical, unsettling darkness. i don't mind, anyway.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
i wandered the streets of philadelphia in search of art deco, and among the well-preserved, prominent examples - such as the two above - i found magnificent architectural details everywhere, many inconspicuously gracing the façades of dilapidated buildings; ghosts of former opulence above dusty storefronts with cheesy signage, existing in strange accord. i've never seen beauty and decay harmonize quite so well as they do in philly. the weather dashed my plans to see the city's major neighborhoods on foot, but that just means i have a reason to come back at a warmer, drier time.
many thanks to eleanor grosch for being the perfect host and to the students who participated in my workshop at university of the arts - i really enjoyed getting to know you and your work!