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08.05.10

  05:03:00 pm, by   , 378 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

Another collage: Nana

My collages come more slowly these days, they stew as a boiled beef, slowly until the meat is well cooked. The transformation of the picture of Manet (Nana) started very quickly with the first picture glued on in, then it has been idle till the find of the legs. There I told myself that it was a bit as in a story of Grimm, where the beauty gets changed into an animal, but to look at the collage closely – what I don’t during its elaboration, I realize it at the instant when I write it – I see other motives there: at a formal level the fragment and its completion in another fragment or continuity in rupture; painting and photograph, the ancient and the modern etc. etc. But what strikes me most in this collage is the presence of the figure, its projection towards the spectator, while remaining in the surface. It is about this effect that I spoke regarding the Flemish Primitives. As for the subject: a female figure with legs of dromedary, I remain perplexed, as in front of a rebus or a mystery.




Un autre collage: Nana
Mes collages viennent plus lentement ces jours, ils mijotent comme un pot-au-feu, lentement jusqu’à ce que la viande soit bien tendre. La transformation du tableau de Manet (Nana) a été d’abord très rapide avec la première image collée dessus, puis cela a trainé jusqu’à la trouvaille des pattes. Là je me suis dit que c’était un peu comme dans un conte de Grimm, où la belle se change en bête, mais à regarder le collage de plus près – ce que je ne fais point durant son élaboration, je m’en rends compte à l’instant où j’écris cela – j’y vois d’autres motifs : au niveau formel le fragment et sa complétion dans un autre fragment ou la continuité dans la rupture ; peinture et photo, l’ancien et le moderne etc. etc. Mais ce qui me frappe le plus dans ce collage, c’est la présence du personnage, c’est son effet de projection vers le spectateur, tout en restant collé à la surface. C’est de cet effet que je parlais à propos des Primitifs flamands. Quant au sujet : un personnage féminin à pattes de dromadaire, j’en reste perplexe, comme devant un rébus ou une énigme.

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28.04.10

  03:07:00 pm, by   , 648 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

The dark side

The dark side
Some critics deplore the lack of beauty in contemporary art and regret the great paintings of the past (till the 19th c.). And I too admire a lot the beauty of a Veronesi painting for ex. But times have changed, advertisement and fashion have made their own the physical beauty, leaving to the painters the other side, the dark one, the world of deformation. But I must say that the ideal of human beauty is changing from one epoch to the other and that the ideal of the 18th c. seems to us as sophisticated or over done as our contemporary fashion photos.
To illustrate my idea, I’ll take the portrait of the Marquise de Noailles, painted by the French painter Largillière (1656-1746) which a relooked and which presents itself as a homogenous whole, with some allusion to mythology (Venus), painters (Poussin?) and social markers (wealth) etc.


The idea of joining a fashion photo isn’t very original indeed, but very efficient.

It accentuates the idea of the mirror that is present in the painting. The woman in the picture becomes more active, instead of being maintained in a traditional feminine role (hairstyle and clothes). The 2nd modification modernizes even more the picture (the hand, the step foreward).

The final version plays with the mirror reflection and the gesture of the new figure: does he wipe out the whole figure or the face only or does he want to clean it in order to make it neater or does he make a gesture of defense? There are many possibilities. Her just one: It’s the painter in front of his painting. He disposes only of half his own body (half of what painting can cover now). He tries to touch or grab beauty which escapes. Does he hold some pieces of gold in his right hand ? If yes, did he just receive them or will he offer them to the distant goddess who doesn’t need them ? I don’t know and will leave it to the onlooker.

Le côté obscur
Ce texte va traiter de la beauté et il est dédié à André M.
Certains critiques déplorent le manque de beauté dans les œuvres contemporaines, regardant d’un œil mouillé les peintures de la grande époque (jusqu’au 19e s.). Il est vrai que devant une peinture de Véronèse par ex. je reste moi-même béat d’admiration. Mais les temps ont changé, la publicité et la mode se sont emparés de la beauté physique, laissant aux artistes l’autre côté, le côté obscur de la déformation. Il est à noter cependant que l’idéal de beauté physique change avec les époques et que ce qui pouvait plaire au 18e s. nous semble aujourd’hui aussi surfait que les photos de mode.
Comme exemple, je prends la Marquise de Noailles, peinte par Largillière (1656-1846) et que je me suis mis à décaper pour la rénover qui se présente comme un tout homogène, avec des allusions mythologiques (Vénus), picturales (Poussin ?), des marqueurs sociaux (la richesse) etc.
L’idée de lui accoler une photo de mode n’est pas d’une grande originalité, mais très efficace, surtout qu’elle accentue l’idée du miroir qui est présent dans le tableau original. Le personnage féminin devient plus actif, autonome au lieu d’être cantonnée dans un rôle féminin (coiffure et chiffons). La 2e modification accentue encore ce modernisme (la main, le pas). La version finale joue sur l’effet miroir avec le geste du personnage : efface-t-il l’image, veut-il l’essuyer pour la rendre encore plus nette, se défend-il contre elle ? Beaucoup de possibles, dont voici l’une : C’est le peintre devant son tableau. Il ne lui reste que la moitié du corps (de la peinture), il tente d’attraper la beauté qui se dérobe. Tient-il des pièces d’or dans sa main droite ? Si oui, vient-il de les recevoir ou va-t-il les offrir à la déesse impassible qui n’en a point besoin ? Je ne sais pas et laisse deviner le spectateur.

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19.04.10

  09:29:00 pm, by   , 416 words  
Categories: Non catégorisé, Art, Collage

EMBRACES

This collage is an « upgrade » of a collage made in 1999 and which I found when I was making some order .

I found it quite interesting in the bottom area, but not so much above. I decided to transform it by changing the face, giving it a bigger nose. From then on, the work went on quite quickly and I am quite happy with the result (for the moment). In fact, this discarded collage from 1999 shows me 1) that I wasn’t successful with every collage at that time and that I struggled sometimes with coherence and 2) that I am able to “repair” my works and to deal with the space in a different way.

The latter comes from my bedtime looks at Flemish 14th century Primitives, where the figures are put in a very shallow space which dramatizes the picture. This is now. But when I was young, I was quite impressed by the Northern German masters and their way of showing the sufferings of the saints.

There is of course no direct link to their paintings, but the question how to figure space has always thrilled me, a picture without deepness at all doesn’t respond to my search. Maybe the deformation of the faces does echo some gothic paintings indeed.


Ce collage est un “upgrade” d’un ancien collage de 1999 que j’ai trouvé en faisant de l’ordre. Je l’ai trouvé assez intéressant quant au tiers inférieur, mais moins au-dessus. J’ai décidé de le reprendre en commençant par le nez. Une fois le gros pif collé, le travail a continué de manière assez fluide (sans doute parce que l’intervention avait un côté iconoclaste et irrémédiable) et le résultat me plaît bien (jusqu’ici). En fait ce collage me montre 1) que je pouvais me planter dans mes collages d’alors car je n’arrivais pas à la cohérence et 2) que je suis maintenant capable d’y remédier et d’aborder l’espace pictural différemment.
Cette approche de l’espace est sans doute le fruit de mes contemplations avant de m’endormir de reproductions de peintures de maîtres flamands primitifs où les personnages sont quelquefois mis dans un espace relativement peu profond, ce qui dramatise l’image. Et sans doute également le souvenir des maîtres allemands du Nord dont les scènes de la vie des saints m’ont impressionné dans ma jeunesse.
Ce n’est pas une filiation directe, mais la question de la représentation spatiale m’a toujours intéressé, les images toutes plates ne me branchent guère, je dois l’avouer. Peut-être que les déformations des figures fait écho à ces œuvres gothiques.

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08.04.10

  11:56:00 am, by   , 466 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

MAKE AN EFFORT

MAKE AN EFFORT
Well, I have been solitary in my house for 6 days now in order to “create” and I feel the urge to make a sort of checkup.
When we were leaving Geneva, I said to myself that maybe I would take up painting again in order ”to see if by chance” before handing over the unused roll of canvas to my friend C. Well, no taste for brushes and colors.
As for paper, scissors and glue, there is nothing different from my working rhythm in Geneva, a part from the joy of listening to music at higher levels and disposing of a much bigger working space. So it’s as usual: one collage per day. My actual collages are more demanding surely because they are invested with the same importance as my former paintings, whereas before they were more a sort of think tank or playground without finality.
Another point might be the huge number of collage already made so that certain themes are already well explored which makes it quite a challenge to invent something new: collages are meant to surprise me!
And, last not least, it’s springtime and when I see the sun shine, I feel the urge to go out and enjoy the day, play golf or just take a walk with my wife. And when I come home, I’d say to myself: Well now you have to make your daily collage. Make an effort!


FAIS UN EFFORT !
Cela fait 6 jours que je me retrouve seul dans notre maison « pour créer » et j’ai envie de faire un bilan.
En partant, je me suis dit que j’allais peut-être peindre un peu « pour voir si jamais » avant de léguer mon rouleau de toile inutilisé à C. Eh bien, zéro envie.
Côté papier, ciseaux, colle : rien de différent par rapport à mon rythme de travail à Genève, à part le plaisir de pouvoir écouter de la musique à des niveaux confortables et de disposer d’un espace de travail beaucoup plus vaste. Donc : un collage par jour. Car mes collages actuels me demandent plus, vu qu’ils sont investis du rôle qu’occupait la peinture auparavant et qu’auparavant ils étaient davantage un terrain d’expérimentation et de jeu sans conséquence.
Un autre facteur pourrait être le nombre énorme de collages déjà faits et que certains thèmes y sont déjà pas mal explorés de sorte que je dois me surpasser pour trouver du nouveau. Le but de mes collages étant de me surprendre moi-même…
Et puis, last not least, c’est le printemps et quand le soleil brille, j’ai envie de sortir, de goûter la douceur du jour ou de faire une partie de golf, ou de me promener avec ma femme tout simplement. Mais en rentrant, je me dis : Allons, tu n’as pas fait ton collage journalier. Fais un effort !

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25.03.10

  06:19:00 pm, by   , 127 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

BRINGING HOME THE BACON

Of course it's the artist, not the food I am talking of. His paintings impressed me a lot when I saw them for the first time. Now, I think that maybe he repeated his formula in his late years. But still the George Dyer's series are great. I always dreamed of making à face like he was able to do. With this collage I perhaps approached a little his creative power, I hope. Anyway he puts the onlooker on fire. As for my bacon, I am still not bringing much home despite my willingness to sell my works, collages and photos.
But as bacon is no good for my cholesterol level, I''ll have to go on with vegees.

Here the link to the bigger view of it.

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17.03.10

  06:37:00 pm, by   , 201 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

SELF-CONFIDENCE

After a 90`speech during a presentation of my prints on canvas to some people at Chantal Q. 's studio in St. Sulpice, I drove home and wondered about my performance. For the first time, I was absolutely convinced of the value of my works, feeling completely at ease while speaking about them.
I felt so self-confident!
But when I went back to my desk, I was paralyzed. Of course, the hurdle was too high to jump over = being so proud of my collages meant that I had to put the stakes very high or even higher from now on.
Having understood what was going on, I decided to move only bits of paper on desk and to wait for an outcome: either nothing - which would mean a vacation from art, or (hopefully) a new and satisfying /surprising collage.
Well, I made a new collage today. I don't know if it is a masterpiece but it is at least mainstream quality. In my over 2000 collages there are some very special ones that I consider as very well done, but I can't be a genius every day. It's like exercising for THE collage to come.
That's how I feel about this these days.

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10.03.10

  11:36:00 am, by   , 497 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

CRUNCHED HEAD SPAMMERS

17/03/10

07:37:00 pm, by admin , 201 words
Categories: Art, Collage
SELF-CONFIDENCE

After a 90`speech during a presentation of my prints on canvas to some people at Chantal Q. 's studio in St. Sulpice, I drove home and wondered about my performance. For the first time, I was absolutely convinced of the value of my works, feeling completely at ease while speaking about them.
I felt so self-confident!
But when I went back to my desk, I was paralyzed. Of course, the hurdle was too high to jump over = being so proud of my collages meant that I had to put the stakes very high or even higher from now on.
Having understood what was going on, I decided to move only bits of paper on desk and to wait for an outcome: either nothing - which would mean a vacation from art, or (hopefully) a new and satisfying /surprising collage.
Well, I made a new collage today. I don't know if it is a masterpiece but it is at least mainstream quality. In my over 2000 collages there are some very special ones that I consider as very well done, but I can't be a genius every day. It's like exercising for THE collage to come.
That's how I feel about this these days.

www.archives.stephanus.com/images/Collagesdeuxmilledix/big/49.jpg" alt="" title="Crunch it, collage,march 10" />

The only comments that I get here are from spammers. Thanks to them, I am actively learning a bunch of stupid sayings in English. This blog is meant for people who love art and are interested in the process of creation. But this is the world we are living in. As for me, I am still trying to squeeze out from my head some interesting pictures and as I see it, the lemon is not out of juice. Whereas some of my spammers-commentators...
As for this collage, the applause that gets the crunched head seems to me symptomatic for the “heroes” of our time. When I read about them, I always think of Robert Musil’s Man without qualities where the hero reflects on the expression “the brilliant racehorse” (das geniale Rennpferd) in a newspaper of that time. Genius seems to be reserved for scientists or musicians – there is generally no doubt permitted. In the field of art, there are many racehorses, but no geniuses as for ex. Titian, Veronesi. These days I am looking at their paintings and marvel about their art. Back to the comments to my posts: please give me at least quotations from great artists instead of those stupid sayings. In order to help you, here some examples:
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. Pablo Picasso
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso
Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. Twyla Tharp
What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. John Updike
All great art comes from a sense of outrage. Glenn Close
Hope that will help.

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02.03.10

  06:32:00 pm, by   , 183 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

I EAT HER

This collage has an interesting outcome. I started with the Van Gogh, transformed it as usual, finally sacrificing the master's portrait to the collage scissors. At the end, I was quite satisfied. But when I had it scanned and examined it on my computer screen, I found that I had to take off some words. I started wiping letters out. The word "leather" had to be changed because of its lack of meaningfulness in this context, so I worked on the L which became an I and then I saw it in a stroke: This is the title! My hidden artist is really working underground!

Ce collage a une fin intéressante. Partant du portrait de Van Gogh et le transformant comme à l'accoutumée, sacrifiant sur l'autel du collage le portrait du maître, le résultat me sembla OK. Mais en le voyant affiché à mon écran, je trouvai qu'il fallait enlever des textes publicitaires peu intéressants. Le mot "leather" devait être changé. Et lorsque le L devint un I je le vis immédiatement: C'est mon titre! Mon artiste caché a été encore bien malin!

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23.02.10

  07:07:00 pm, by   , 265 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

SWELL

Another collage « in progress ». It started from a Cranach painting on venal love. I progressively hid the main scene, took off more and more elements and finished with a collage that has but a far relationship with the original painting. And I am asking myself if this isn’t a logical process of appropriation of the picture. During the making of the collage, I imprint my manner on alien fragments that I barely chose. It’s about finding a coherence in incoherence, to assemble the pieces like dominoes. The collision of the fragments produces associations and meanings. Seen like this, the fragmentary nature of collage is only faint. It suggests a whole while showing the void that underlies it, an absence of images or the possibility of others to come.

Un nouveau collage « in progress ». Parti d’une peinture de Cranach représentant l’amour vénal, j’ai progressivement recouvert la scène, enlevé de plus en plus d’éléments pour me retrouver avec un collage qui n’a avec la peinture initiale qu’un lointain rapport thématique. Et je me demande si ce n’est pas un processus d’appropriation logique de l’image. Au fur et à mesure du travail, j’imprime ma manière à des fragments qui me sont étrangers et que je ne fais que choisir. L’enjeu est sans doute de trouver une cohérence dans l’incohérence, d’assembler les morceaux comme un jeu de dominos. Le choc des fragments produit des associations d’idées et du sens. Vu ainsi, le côté fragmentaire du collage n’est que feint. Il suggère une totalité tout en montrant un vide sous-jacent, une absence d’image ou la possibilité d’autres images en devenir.

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14.02.10

  04:59:00 pm, by   , 457 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

I AM PUZZLED (NO MORE)

Because I have too many choices and I am unable to decide. Maybe the problem is that I want to preserve the main figure (right) instead of changing the whole picture. Here is where I am for the moment. It’s a war scene, from an old etching. I am torn between Bosch and Goya, but I know that my picture is “second hand”, it is laid back into the past. These variations may behave as a suite, but for the moment I don’t see any logical bind between these different states. Maybe one of those will stand out from the lot, unless I change the picture thoroughly. For the moment, I just want to get rid of the problem and free my mind. So I post them here in my blog. You can tell me which one you prefer.

Add. feb 15th:
Finally I decided to change the whole picture. The focus has shifted to the victim of a bomb, explosion or earthquake. And, quite naturally, I came to link it to crucifixions and to my reading of R.Arnheim's The power of the center.

Is this the final word? Anyway, it's the experience that counts. To me it means that I must be able to shuffle the cards again, that I mustn't give up early, let my imagination do its work and focus on the process, not on the outcome.

Le 14 fév.
Je suis perplexe, car j’ai trop de possibilités et je me sens incapable de choisir.Peut-être que je veux préserver la figure principale (à droite) au lieu de tout chambouler. Voilà où j’en suis pour l’instant. C’est une scène de guerre d’après une gravure ancienne. Je me trouve pris entre Bosch et Goya, mais je sais que mon collage et de “seconde main”, il se situe dans le passé. Ces variations pourraient se combiner en une suite, mais pour le moment je ne vois aucun lien entre les différents stades. Il se peut que l’une des étapes émergera enfin, à moins que je ne change tout. Aujourd’hui, je veux juste me débarrasser du problème pour libérer mon esprit. Voilà pourquoi je mets tout sur ce blog. Vous pouvez faire votre choix à ma place.

Le 15 fév.
J’ai décidé de tout changer, l’accent s’est mis sur la victime d’un bombardement, d’une explosion ou d’un tremblement de terre. Et assez naturellement j’ai pensé à des crucifixions et ma lecture de Rudolf Arnheim où il analyse la notion de centre.
Est-ce le mot de la fin ? De toute façon, seule l’expérience compte. Cela veut dire pour moi que je dois être capable de tout remettre en question, ne pas abandonner trop vite et laisser faire mon imagination et surtout me concentrer sur le processus créatif, pas sur le résultat.

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Blog on art, centered on collage. It is meant as a sort of logbook of my creative work.

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