Archive for Painting

Budget Surplus

Posted in Art Industry with tags , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Although I am ill with a runny nose I came to Harder Hall today to do some last-minute work before leaving for Albany. It occurred to me that on a small break I should look around the studios for any left over or abandoned tools or material. Did I find much? Mostly half a dozen brushes, scrap paper, two tiny tubes of paint, test  prints, failed prints, canvas, and 3 paper paintings. If there is ever a time a person needs discount art supplies you only need to do one thing…find out when schools out at the nearest art college near you. There probably could be a whole industry devoted to saving these misfit items if someone undertook it.  At the end of each semester there must be the equivalent of mountain of assorted junk and it’s still usable. Before the semester began I found free pallet knives and paper in the print shop. Are the students here rich enough they can just buy new stuff every semester or are they just too drunk to remember they left half their studio supplies behind. I’m paying so much to be here at Alfred that it’s a big bonus to receive free material and the delivery fee being my arms carrying stuff through halls and up elevators. I’m not encouraging people to steal…but take the left overs its worth hanging around another week after classes end.

Glass Paintings

Posted in Painting, Projects with tags , , , , on September 11, 2010 by michaelchernoff

I’m taking no credits in painting this year and have never taken a fully devoted painting course. But I am still painting this year on the side of my studios just to see what will come of my work. In turn my living room wall and corner have become a mini studio. Right now I’m using acrylic but soon small oil paintings too. As for the glass I found these large glass windows that were discarded by residents or landlords in Alfred due to renovations. I thought I could use these for neon at first.

Lately in my sketchbook I’ve been illustrating deformed or mutated individuals based from research pictures on the internet. Maybe the thought was drawn out by Sylvie Demers paintings and prints junior year, but I conceived the window as being a frame of reference for ill-looking people to peek into the company of the viewer. Also since the paintings can be looked at from two sides made a conceptual interest arise too.

Painting on the glass is fun since its smooth and fits my loose sense of laying down color and shape in painting. The glass allows mistakes to be taken back as well. Using a little amount of water on my finger can erase portions of the picture. But using too much water mixed with paint on the brush can change the painting against my wishes. I’m not sure how many I can make of these since I need more window frames and I’m not sure how long the images will last. I’m afraid to move them around if they shatter or the paint could get scratched. I’m contemplating possible using them in a video or photo project by erasing the painting from the windows as a performance. Until then they will continue to sit against my walls untitled.

Sandwich Eyes

Posted in Painting, Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Recently I glued a pair of googly eyes onto a small oil painting I made from an abandoned breakfast sandwich left outside my painting studio door last year. Instead of throwing the sandwich away I kept it for a still life and even after I finished the painting I kept the food in my space for 14 days until someone threw it away. I assume Hope Zaccagni was the one who tossed it for me. I was very attached to the item and even attacked some of my peers when one work night it disappeared and was told Hope came in and disposed of it. I was so mad that I started shouting her name but Nadine Titus and Emily Smith confessed to hiding…I tackled Emily and she got a little afraid. No one was hurt, but I raged for 4 minutes and then laughed.

Currently this canvas is being held hostage with my lady Chloe Tran and it was supposed to be given to my friend John Gill for an exchange of two prints. I’m not sure when or if I can get it back soon for him but I may follow a similar method of modeling and paint some additional sandwiches with the googly eyes. I’m may stop in at Terra Cotta and see how often discarded sandwiches are left sitting on plates. Or I may make sandwiches in my kitchen and paint them in bursts and keep them refrigerated. We’ll see if anything comes of it…in the end I really like googly eyes.

Art Scenery

Posted in Art Industry, Music, Politics, Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by michaelchernoff

When I googled Albany NY artwork…one of the 3rd image that came up was the one above. It pretty much sums up what the visual arts environment is in the city as dull. There is practically nothing exciting here even-though NY state is a powerhouse supporter of American and international art efforts. Buffalo and Rochester seem to have more going on there than the state capitol. Even small towns in Massachusetts like the Clarke Institute and Mass MoCA exist there and yet Albany has nothing close to a contemporary art museum. The Art History Museum in Albany has a bunch of early American imitation Romantic sculpture and painting but almost never new art except for regional competitions. A lot of the private galleries in Albany seem stuck on themselves and give exclusive shows but guess what? They are located in Albany so nobody cares that much about their prestige. In the end there is no scene here and if there are people in the city that think there is they had better high tale it somewhere else if they want a career. Troy NY has the actual scene and everyone in Albany doesn’t comprehend that they have real contemporary institutes. They have an Arts Center and but its named the Capitol Region Arts Center…I know where it belongs.

After graduation I have no intentions of looking for work in Albany because there is not a future. There is no fertile support from city government or any grand institution…just Lark Fest. Aside from a few intelligent entrepreneurial artisans the rest are a rabble of makers who can’t get over how unwanted their bad pen drawings and acrylic paintings are. Sometimes I see the same drawings up in galleries and stands for consecutive years. Usually after a years time it’s a sign to stop promoting your failing work and make something better and hide it away for the day you become a superstar and have retrospective show in 20 years. The only gallery I affiliate with is the UAG on Lark Street. They are open and nice people and its fine for a quick show. But I don’t get the sense that anyone is building a major career there even among the names of the makers I appreciate. I don’t where publicity can come from in Albany that is outside its bubble. I haven’t had a major show yet solo or group wise but there seems to be some seriousness missing in the landscape.

There are no public competitions which is sad. Another sign of poor quality thinking in the city is all the unimaginative and juvenile graffiti all over Albany. In Spain they had more great graffiti than the cities could handle. Business owners pay artists to muralise their store fronts so that they don’t get vandalized out of respect. Some sites have been eliminated by Spanish government with so much excess. A little could stand to come over here. Instead of allowing hacks to tag the walls of Albany juried graffiti and mural contests could happen. There is so much available space in Albany. Work would be encouraged and paid for and the city would get a face lift.

Even UAG slackens a little as much as I consider the best open gallery in Albany (there are only 2 in the city I haven’t visited). Last night for a second time I went to the gallery to hear live music from rock and noise bands. On the one hand its positive that the gallery lets these young musicians use the small space as a free venue. And yet…the sound system is terrible, there is no one from the gallery supervising the event, the room itself probably isn’t the best for listening, and there is no advertising. I guess that’s a good deal for a band that isn’t paid for the event. Also you cannot really mosh or dance in an area where you might knock work of the walls and shatter glass frames from Michaels. I did hear some good bands like


LOFI Kabuki

X.N.T. (Jazz Trio: They do a lot of improvising but they sounded better than the last time I heard them perform)

Unfortunately I would not encourage bands to play at the gallery. There is not much profit unless you can really attract a crowd through a posse. In the end the creative world of Albany is a bad joke. Maybe if build a new arts museum, a public school that excels in visual arts instead of theater and music, have a real gallery district with regular hours, and city art competitions; then there could be a start for something better than half-assed attempts of pretending their a cosmopolitan air in the city of Albany.

Grotesque studies

Posted in Painting, Projects with tags , , , , , on July 28, 2010 by michaelchernoff

I don’t have any drawings scanned right now but I started sketching in pen internet pictures of human facial deformities and some corpses. After taking a caricature history course the term grotesque was hammered into my mind as a form of bodily condition and setting. I’m also a big fan of David Cronenberg’s use of bodily mutation and decay so I have wanted to get into painting warped human figures. Here are some the sources I copied from today.

Miquel Barcelo, Caixa Forum, Jacques Henri Lartigue

Posted in Artist, Image Discovery!, Painting, Photography, Print, Sculpture with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Since coming to Barcelona I stumbled onto a well established mixed media Spanish artist. Along Consel de Cent I went into a gallery with an unfriendly attendant. On the gallery walls were loose monoprint and ink brush renderings of bullfights. There was a high amount of energy implanted into the bull charging and the cape swishing a red streak across the paper. Everything was black ink on white with tinges of red smearing. Blood and the illusion of the matadors veil were one. The name of creator was M. Barcelo.

I googled searched but got nothing. I couldn’t understand how respected or acknowledged Barcelo was. Incredibly in Madrid I happened for the first time to visit the Caixa Forum by accident. On display was a retrospect of MIQUEL Barcelo. His paintings took time to grow on me. The oil and watercolors were as messy as the prints. But the splotchy figures in his Dantes Divine Comedy were refreshing from an overused epic poem in image media. Small mounds of paint made slight shadows on canvases and the perception of rocky dirt ground was executed by him too. His working career has spanned before my birth.

But what immediately grabbed was the video of his sculpture in the main lobby. Along with the warped faces he made from metal casts was a huge installation he did in real time with some editing. He and accompanying sculptor had an immense wall of clay before them. They slashed and hacked at the wet clay with sticks and metal. At first their carving seemed arbitrary and unguided. At the climax however the camera shot is way back and you see a scene reminiscent of cave paintings from Neanderthals. Trees, shrubs and rock are captured by the shadows of deep lines in the clay.

Then the pair use clay pancake slabs to form masks on their faces. Blind only with their palms and fingers are grotesque noses, eyes and bone structures emulated. I immediately thought of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice when Alec Baldwin pulled his face forward when witnessing Marcelo’s first clay facial. Numerous masks were made and accompanied a finished lair of clay sculpture.

As a craftsmen Marcelo is seemingly sloppy and uneducated. But then again most modern spanish artists are. I am now a fan his work and take his name in my head easily. It’s hard to find his distinct work in english so anyone reading just surf around. Since I am on the subject vaguely, the Caixa forum is a big interest for me. I have never heard of a bank funding free open artwork for everyone. A bank supporting art seems cold and devious in America but in SPain its like a civic duty of the company. Near Placa Espanya I have seen work by Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Joseph Buys, and Jacques Herni Lartigue.

Lartique was a rich Frenchman who because he was so wealthy could spend all his time photographing as a young man. He captured the lives of wealthy French at the start of the 20th century. Early photos you could see his fingerprints, scratches, and graininess of an amateur. By the 30’s he was producing glorious action shots of car races, swimmers, skiing, and pretty mistresses. He also did a lot of stereograph work like making 3D photographs. I think I may want to invest in a stereograph camera after seeing the dynamism of his work.

Pabblo Picasso Museo

Posted in Artist, Painting with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2010 by michaelchernoff

Today I visited the Pablo Picasso Museum in Barcelona. It is home to mostly Picasso’s earlier student and developmental paintings. Above I just posted a young image of him because I had never seen a non bald and wrinkled Pablo so I googled him to see if he was just born old.

Seeing the collection reminded me of the exhibition at the Clarke Institute where I saw early drawing and painting of Monet. What struck me was that all artists have humble working beginnings and take years to reach the accumulation of work and skill that they are recognised for. I often get frustrated that I am not a better painter and that Pablo was already so much better at painting at a younger age. But schools were probably tougher and he was more rigorous through out his life time with image making. I was laxed and spent more time reading writing that drawing…now it is the opposite in my time.

My favorite part of the museum was the end where Picasso had done cubist remakes of Velazquez portrait Las Meninas.

Picasso did so many different versions and studies on the single painting that I was stunned. I did rough imitations for future reference in the grotesque paintings I have been working on lately. Earlier in my work I was very much into cubism and geometric shapes. I am thinking maybe it is time to return to those ideas in my oil paintings too.