Thursday, July 22, 2010

Comments and Suggestions From My First Residency

so many characters and they all feel the same.
they don’t exist anywhere.
everything is too miniature.
it feels preliminary to something.
they need context, they need life.
they are familiar and yet not knowable.
they share a sensibility.
who are they?
they are mundane snapshots.
they feel like they are posing.
I don’t think you know what to do with them.
cut out they feel like you are bringing a family together.
let them stay together for awhile.
they don’t strike me as contemporary.
get away from the framing device.
I don’t think you have that many people that you are dealing with.
I bet it comes down to a few.
I suspect there is a menace here.
so consistent.
so repeated.
what came before?
what comes after?
there is a creepiness here.
some of the characters sneak up on you.
so controlled.
I feel sympathy for them.
you are very good at editing your work.
break them out of the visual scape.
think about scale relationships.
cute isn’t always a liability.
don’t default.
give yourself some obstacles.
create tension with composition.
stop searching for images.
look around.
work on tension, opposition.
what are you trying to get?
my work is about........
in my work I seek to.....
what is driving your work?
everything seems to belong with each other.
it may bring them more into the present to have some messiness around them.
show the struggle.
use found imagery.
are they weird weird or kitschy weird?
they are teasing, playing, not getting to the point.
work with one character for awhile.
there is something compelling and engaging.
something strange.
I like that they are not overly self consciously ironic
but there is something ironic about them
something is preventing them from cuteness and preciousness.
it is like you are playing with cuteness and preciousness to undermine cuteness and preciousness.
not a lot of formal variety.
a little bland.
at this size they look like illustrations in a book.
why do they look non-human?


  1. Will you have enough years left in your life to finally return to this wonderful place where you began? This place that is entirely your own creation, without the voices expressing the "shoulds"? Perhaps the voices offering up the critiques are lacking in their own world experience. Personally, I find entire histories in your "simple" renderings. I had no idea how large they are, though. I think they would be equally engaging on a large scale, which is what galleries like. I do envy you this time of exploration and growth, and I do like your work, as it is. I find it captures the essence of a personality, a character, a family, a particular relationship viewed through a microscope. I look forward to seeing how you expand this viewpoint and your rendering of it.

  2. Oh, Aris so many voices...
    I agree with louciao.
    There is NOTHING in these reflections that is about INTUITION! Aris, Your voice is a quiet one. You know how hard it is to hear it sometimes, even for You even when it´s from inside of You. There is no way that You can speak with a loud voice when it comes to these "gentle" caracters. They will fade, and I think You know it. They HAVE a context! They have YOU! You are their context, You just need to listen to the abstract forest inside of You. I think You know their landing place, their and Your space. It´s beautiful it´s rare. Don´t go anywhere else.
    I know it´s hard, I loose myself in other peoples options.
    I close my door I close my eyes I hear my own breath, the rythm of my work. I´m the only one to do it. You´re the only one to hear Your own inner voice, You don´t need to speak that loud. And You don´t need to question it so hard?
    We hear You when You whisper.

    I think it would be cool if You whisper in a larger scale though ;)

    Take care now Aris, I´m thinking about You!

  3. Aww, Hannah! I love "abstract forest" ARIS! I agree with Hannah whole- heartedly about your gentle characters and your intuition. There are some great constructive suggestions here but there are also some contrived and myopic statements (in my opinion) that are not constructive at all.

    Obviously Interpretation is personal and individual. For me, some of
    your characters are more mysterious than others yet they are all so equally engaging/inviting. They reveal complex emotion and personality yet leave me to wonder and want for more information, I believe the tension is already there. The open-ended glimpses into the lives of your characters create it (especially in your prints that are accompanied with a sentence of text.) At least for me.

    The space seems peripheral. You have played with ambiguous, blurry photo backgrounds, backgrounds with simple line, grains of wood, simple washes of paint, backgrounds of simple landscapes and interiors and have even cut the characters out as paper dolls to fit wherever they happen to be placed ... and while each offers a certain added nuance, it still seems that it doesn't change that they appear to all have their own souls, and lungs that breathe in the air from the space around them, regardless of where they are. They are internalizing and experiencing life through your hands.
    In short, YOU are their "way" and their "truth" - This is your world. YOu make the rules. :)

    I'm not sure I understand why your work needs to feel more contemporary? Am I missing something? Is timelessness uncool? I'm confused. Maybe I need to brush up on my art lingo? Did they elaborate on this?


    I've been skimming through Robert Henri's- The Art Spirit...
    In it he says this about critical judgement:

    "All kinds of critics, professional, artist, student and lay critics are prone to bring with them their preconceived ideas. Many of them are outraged if they do not find what they expect. Such people want peace- they want no new sensations, and they want nothing that is hard to get."

    Give the school marm a hug for me? ;)

  4. WOW. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments on my last two posts. It means so much that you would take such time and that you feel so connected to my work. IT means so much I cannot tell you.
    I hope that I will never lose the qualities that speak to you, i don't think I will. I hope to retain the sincerity, the ambiguity and the unfinishedness. I do look forward to changing and growing. My residency was great even if I don't make it sound so. I focused mostly on the criticism, I tend to do that but you all have balanced that out quite nicely. Thank you,
    I so appreciate your honesty and if you feel like I am letting something go or you find it hard to connect please tell me. I welcome your comments. Art is a communication and I feel lucky to speak in images, my words are sometimes lacking.

  5. i have been peeking at your blog silently...after reading your critiques i felt like i wanted to finally write. why did i even wait?
    i have never seen anything like your is amazing. i look every time you post. i know that people can sometimes thrive out of critiques, i hope you will feel that way if you do not already. it is brave to sit through one....i have a loud one that lives inside my head :) those comments were pretty intense...i think in the end, it is about what comes flowing out of you, raw and uninhibited....only you know what that vision is....