Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Normally I wouldn't write such a scathing review, but in this instance I'll make an exception.

Last night I finished reading Deborah Solomon’s American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, an extensively researched, astoundingly unethical new biography of the iconic artist and illustrator, which Solomon seems to have written without the burden of journalistic integrity, right at the burning edge of libel. It was in many ways… well, tragic. But maybe not how you might think. Actually, exactly how you might think, but maybe not only. As far as biographies go, this one is utterly disgraceful for its consistently absurd, unfounded speculation, which appears to have been the goal rather than a discovery, and for the many grammatical errors (which, one might imagine, were overlooked in a rush to publish in time to catch the wave of publicity from the recent auction of "Saying Grace"). However, in terms of art criticism, sadly, a work like this is pretty much standard. And Solomon unfortunately represents the quintessential modern art critic, who, while learning her trade, read just enough second-source, Freudian theory (now largely discredited by the field of psychology, but not, for some reason, by the art world?) to lead her to think she has some sort of ability and right to make claims about the subconscious intentions of an artist. Funny that she does this while blithely missing the notion of 'projection' - a Freudian concept that is still valid beyond art circles. I suppose this sort of work may be fair play in the art world (though it shouldn’t be), but for a biography… really? To only barely reference her offensive if not bigoted understanding of queer theory, Solomon's book and her insulting, extraordinarily obtuse, politically backwards interpretations of Rockwell's life, and her "readings" of his artwork are either a perfect example of the type of art critic she seems to be: namely the kind that should bring to mind someone waving one hand over a glass ball while riffling through your wallet with the other (note the word "reading" is not inappropriate in this context); or, her biography is a shamelessly salacious attempt to capitalize on controversy. Tragically, I have the feeling that it's probably both. But regardless, American Mirror is a glaring example of unscrupulously journalism, and if James Frey felt the wrath of Oprah for his memoir, I hate to think what Deborah Solomon deserves for this work of un-non-fiction. The biggest problem with all of this is that scandal tends to be rewarded in our culture. Whether or not Solomon and her publisher were banking on that to be the case…? See how easy insinuation is!!! Now you too can be an art critic!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A quick sketch

Trying to get into the habit of doing a quick oil sketch at least a couple times a week... hoping to loosen up the brush work a bit. This one was about 35-45 min.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preview of What's Afloat...

This is only a tease of a collaboration I've done with my friend Craig Stockwell. There is much to say about this piece, and the companion to it, but I will hold off from the details, and just say that we are finishing the project up, and that it will most likely be showing in the spring of the new year! I'll have details as soon as possible.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Final

This is how it came out in the end...

The Color Sketch...

Not the best photo, but you get the idea...