Posts Tagged ‘Drawing’

Early Enigromatics: Collage Drawing

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Here’s something I did for an article that Bill Wyman wrote about David Bowie for Entertainment Weekly, some time ago.

I was experimenting a lot with collage ideas then (I still do, mostly in sketchbook format).  Bowie’s image, his whole “chameleon” persona seems connected with Enigromatics somehow.  Like Bob Dylan, Bowie’s musical persona is always changing; there’s an ambiguity in how the artist relates to the persona, the music & voice— projections are always shifting around, continually in flux; it’s often unclear just who a particular lyric might be addressed to, or which “persona” is doing the talking.

Again there’s that Mercurial spirit-genie thing that I find very interesting:  Bowie’s second Tin Machine album had just come out, and people were trying to get a handle on what he was up to.  Bill Wyman’s article, and I guess by extension, my drawing, were probably in some small way a part of the dialogue that was going on about the latest Bowie-manifestation at that time.

David Bowie Tin Machine

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After the Rain

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Here’s two pictures of my home-made rain gauge, which overflowed on my fire escape this last week; the first picture was taken about 3 or 4 weeks ago, the second one on Wednesday of this week:

Rain Gauge 2bRain Gauge b

The rain that New York has been experiencing for the past several weeks finally let up; I went out for a bicycle ride.  I made these 2 sketches while resting near the north end of the reservoir in Central Park:

Central Park Plants

Trees Central Park

Whenever I work on an ink drawing like this, especially directly from nature, I often think about artists like Robert Crumb who are so brilliant at using cross-hatching to create a sense of form, space and light.  I also think of Brian Kay, an artist who introduced me to etching and intaglio printing, when I was a student at the Yale Summer School of Art.  Brian had this masterful way of rendering trees that I really admired, and he talked a lot about Rembrandt in class.  Rembrandt is one of those towering figures of art who was able to attain such mastery of expression in more than one medium.  There’s such a psychological depth and complexity in both the etchings and paintings:  Rembrandt is someone else that I think about often when I draw.  Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to get a handle on cross-hatching.

It was so refreshing to be bicycling on the first sunny day we’ve had in weeks that I decided to ride all the way back home to Brooklyn instead of taking the subway.  On my way across the Brooklyn Bridge I noticed this young man holding a hand-lettered placard and wearing an unusual hat, standing perfectly still with a pleasant smile on his face.  His hat with it’s strange antenna-like plume, the urgent message written in several languages, and the little genie’s-bottle money-jar in front of him all struck such a mercurial image in my mind that I had to stop, and ended up making a quick pencil sketch of him, which I later inked in.  We spoke for a few minutes, and Aiden explained to me that he was giving a text-based art performance and invited me to check out his blog.  Take a look:

Aiden World Melody Project

From the Bridge one could also get a clear view of the Statue of Liberty:

Ellis Island

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Africa and Egypt in Brooklyn

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

My friend Amala and I went over to the Brooklyn Museum last week and spent some time in the African Galleries on the first floor.  This mask is one of the first things you see on display when you walk into the exhibition space.  There’s a video playing next to it that shows some of the dances where these masks were worn.  Amala and I had a discussion about the Dogon Star People:  a civilization in Africa with a special understanding of astronomy, who believe they are from the constellation Pleiades.  I seem to remember reading about them in Robert Farris Thompson’s book, Flash of the Spirit.  I remember Thompson’s work was being discussed a lot when I was studying painting and drawing at the Yale Summer School of Art, back in 1985.

The Brooklyn Museum has an enormous Egyptian collection; I think I read somewhere that it rivals or even surpasses the Metropolitan Museum in the sheer number of objects that they have on display.  The Brooklyn Museum strives to be “user friendly” in that they post a lot of information about the objects that you’re looking at.  There were several timelines showing the entire span of Egyptian civilization and where the various objects fit onto the timeline.  This little statue of Horus is about a foot tall; I think it was from the Middle Kingdom:

African Headdress


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The Leaning Tower of Bond Street

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

3rd Street & Bond

A local resident passing by saw me drawing this building and without breaking his stride, said, “Oh, you’re drawing the leaning tower of Bond Street!”

You can see by the angle of the chimney that this 3-story apartment house has a serious foundation problem.

The siding was added sometime after the shift occurred; it runs over to cover the gap between the two buildings, and there’s a wide strip of roofing materials that covers the gap on top as well.  I wonder what the floors must be like inside.

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