Monday, May 20, 2013

An Effect in Search of a Purpose

I shot this photo of my parents' rooftop a few years ago, and wrote the text tonight. I had no particular purpose in mind, just the notion that the sky in the background seemed empty, wanting for prose. And so I supplied some. I'm certain a real artist could put this effect to good use.

2 comments:

"Jeffification II" said...

This is not bad. I think you should try out a few more iterations along this line.

"Jeffification II (a)" said...

I've been thinking about this piece some more. I've seen a few gallery pictures that go along the same line. I'm sure you could use Internet search to find artists who use text with images, maybe Walker Evans.

What I see is the go-to standard for Earl woods: the rectilinear world. The lettering is ruled along the major lines of the piece. You've even chosen a tall rectilinear font, although somehow a little curved serif breaks through the stoic gridwall of Earl-dom.

The words don't at all match the picture. Almost as an aside, the reason a viewer wants texture is because texture defines contour. Contour is an illusion in a two-dimensional space, such as a photograph or a drawing. The artist must carefully compose the line and texture to achieve the look of three dimensional contour, but the effect is broken if you hold the picture so that you are looking at it sidelong. Decades of watching movies and television have trained us not to do that.

Your words show off a hidden texture that cannot ever be photographed or drawn, and that's the attractive thing about this piece. It's maybe a bit like taking a rubbing off an engraving (think Indiana Jones And The last Crusade) - there's a blank space, and then it's filled with mysterious words. You capture the words to look at them later in detail by performing the rubbing.

My suggestion is to find a curvilinear context for your art. Ruled lines are too restrictive, and your statement that a "real artist" could do more shows how bound by those rules you feel yourself to be (which is a very selfless thing to share with the world).

Follow the straight rules only as far as you need to go to get things done in good measure, but bend the rules to get past the forces of regulation and inhibition. That's real art, such as it is.