Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Discoveries

While preparing for the NadaDada Motel show in Reno, NV (June 17-19), I made an amazing discovery: sometimes the different sides of my brain fight with each other!! I've always been a fairly balanced brain artist - working from both right and left sides, especially as a theatre director. My brain got pretty good at zapping from one side to the other depending if I was dealing with actor or set issues or scheduling issues.

When I work in visual art, I sometimes (though most often not) have a glimmer of an idea that I soon forget once I start moving images around and together and sizing and resizing. I work in a very intuitive way that is totally on the right side of my brain when I'm developing a series of work. But for the new series I'm developing for the NadaDada Motel show, I knew it was going to be about angels because I had photos from a shoot with a model last year. I've already begun the series which you can see here 

So my big brain problem started in Venice when I saw Bellini's Red Angel Madonna, which flipped me out.  Here was an artist who had studied with the Symbolist Painters of Northern Europe before coming home to Venice to paint this strange Madonna.  The "angels" or "putti" as they're also known are almost demonic looking, some with bored expressions on their faces.  Then notice the hand of that Madonna, almost as if she's trying to hold that baby Jesus back from something.  The baby Jesus has the face of an old man !?!

Then I started thinking (I'll know better the next time) about Elaine Pagels book, "The Origin of Satan", in which she posits that the whole concept of the devil comes from the Jews and Early Christians wanting to vilify the "other".  Pagels thinks we all have the spark of the Divine and Evil within us, as do I.

Then I started thinking of the Swiss psychiatrist psychiatrist Carl Jung and his concept of the Shadow self, which can be seen as the devil in us.  Well there was just too much thinking and too much reading and not enough art making without thinking.  The irony of all this is that when I direct I've forever telling actors to not think, but just do.   So now I've learned that in visual art, I need to take my own sage advice.

In other breaking news ...  one of the sites where I have my artwork available for sale (go ahead and buy something just to make me happy, OK?) is expanding in a couple of directions.  The are partnering with ABC TV to allow the set designers to troll through the art to see if there is any art that they want to license to use on one of their shows!  Brilliant idea I think, but since my work is not very representational and at times is dark, I can't see them wanting to use any of it, but one never knows so I'm leaving the door cracked on that one!

And they are also setting up separate web pages that could serve as websites for artists.  Check out mine HERE.  Not too bad for a freebie, eh?
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