Archives for posts with tag: reflections

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Deutsch Fraulein started reading the same night and she couldn’t put the artist’s diary down until she was finished. Top Dog had given her the one written when the artist travelled to New Zealand for the first time. It wasn’t an outstanding work in the sense of literature, but Deutsch Fraulein found it very insightful and loved the honesty. Something she misses when she is reading posts on her mobile phone.

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The next day Deutsch Fraulein had to seek advice from her friend Socialite. “I don’t know what to do” she said. “I read one of the Artist’s diaries and Top Dog asked me to tell him some juicy bits. I don’t want to disclose secrets, but you know, I can’t say NO to a Dede.”

Socialite might not have been the right Dede to ask for advice. She was as curious about the content as Top Dog. “Don’t worry” she appeased Deutsch Fraulein “for us Dedes the artist is a person of public interest, so she doesn’t have the same privacy rights as a normal person!” she explained.

“Really?” Deutsch Fraulein wasn’t convinced and decided to get a second opinion.

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Next she asked Foxy Lady: “You are a girl, what would you do?”

“Give ’em the sanitised version, like people do on social networks nowadays. Leave out the bad bits, pretend doubting never happened” the vixen advised.

“But I found the problems were the interesting part. It was so comforting to read about the ups and downs. That made her so human and made me realise I am not a nutcase with all my doubts.”

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Then Alien, who always seems to be on a different planet, entered the discussion. “Why all the drama?” he asked Foxy Lady. “Everyone knows you have to travel on your own to find yourself. And to make sense of your impressions its best to write an honest diary on the way. I do it too. If you want, you can publish my diaries!”

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Esta Blished said they should talk to the followers of Top Dog. Luckily Alien is a friendly chap and curious by nature, so he went straight to work and made a list of Dedes he has to talk to. First up was Mr Vague. He looks a little bit like a bear and Alien thought he might find some more clues from him. He ask outright, “why are you following Top Dog?”

Mr Vague hung his head and admitted “I find life very confusing and I am intimidated by all this information that is thrown at me. I have to make decisions here, there and everywhere, when all I want is to be left in peace. It is simply too much. Someone who knows better has to tell me what’s good or bad.”

Alien just listened and took notes, but reserved judgement.

The next one on the list was Bossman. But gee did he get a different reception here.

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Bossman is struggling to keep his business afloat.

“Expletive, I expletive don’t expletive talk expletive to expletive aliens” he screamed. Alien didn’t understand what he said as there were too many filler words, but he got the message. He turned round quickly, and with a big smile and shaking knees he said: “you don’t expect me to take you seriously, do you?”

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Monkey, who is very worried because he belongs to a minority everyone laughs about, went to see Court Jester. He was upset and asked “Why didn’t you say outright they shouldn’t vote for that idiot?” 

“It is against the Jesters’ code of honour. Jesters don’t tell anyone what to do, instead they try to open your eyes.”

“But you know exactly where we are heading if this idiot comes to power.”

“There is only one thing I know exactly” said Court Jester now, “if you call someone an idiot, he is no longer prepared to listen. Believe you me, my profession has hundreds of years of experience. Being confrontational doesn’t get us anywhere. We have to remove the heat and approach the situation with a cooler head.”

Then he gave Monkey a big hug and said: “Trust me.”

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Court Jester went to discuss the result of yesterday’s questionnaire with the benevolent King. Turns out only three Dedes considered themselves weird. Strangely enough Top Dog wasn’t one of them. But fifty Dedes thought the others were weird. That was exactly the point Court Jester wanted to make: the weird ones are always the others! And herein lies the problem according to the jester.
Unfortunately, this morning the Dedes were also told that the majority of readers reckoned they were indeed weird. Though in the sense of wonderfully different and excitingly strange. They valued their weirdness as a positive attribute.  You should have seen the upheaval that revelation caused. Now they all wanted to do the questionnaire again. And this time, all of them ticked yes for the first question. Weird, indeed!

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“You are so right,” said Nosy Neighbour to Mr Vague, who was totally taken aback by Mouses response yesterday. Mr Vague is very intimidated by Rob who is simply hanging around. “We don’t want to be confronted with these jobless ones. You and I are good citizens. You sit on the fence and I watch from behind the curtain. We don’t harm anyone!”

Mr Vague felt understood and said, “yeah, when Top Dog is in power all these do-no-good Dedes have to go. Then we won’t have to look at them anymore.”

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“Actually,” said Ms Sm, who lives opposite Nosy Neighbour, “I feel very intimidated because you watch my every move from behind your curtains.” She thought she could be open because – remember – only recently Nosy Neighbour had been prepared to pose with her for the “Embrace Diversity” project.

Now he had a different tack. “In the privacy of my home I have the right to do whatever I want,” he said.

“So do I,” replied Ms Sm.

“But I have to watch you so you don’t do any evil” Nosy Neighbour said now.

“For all I know, you could be evil,” countered Ms Sm.

“Don’t be absurd!”

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“Admit it,” said Sunny to Mouse (who is a workaholic) “you have all laughed at me because I want to be an artist.” He just assumed that Mouse and the others all thought artists are slackers.

“We have not laughed at you, Sunny, we laughed about your approach,” Mouse explained and pointed to the billboard she just had installed. Then she reminded Sunny, that he spent years trying to find a patron without having any work to show. Worse, while he was trying, he ate all the other Dede’s pizzas. Everyone can recall the last sure thing he followed up. The time, when he tried to get the money from his deceased great-uncle in Nigeria. He is still waiting. The reminder, though true, made  Sunny very uncomfortable and he quickly headed for the exit.

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Then Rob D Light passed by the billboard, looked at it and shook his head. “Lucky them who still can afford dreams,” he thought, “I simply need a job for survival.”

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I was lying in my last post! It wasn’t all hard work. Before we dived into the hot phase of the last preparations for the exhibition, L’Artiste wanted to have a little time out. To get away from the others he suggested a road trip up North. As he can’t drive, (he is too short to reach the pedals)  L’Artiste usually keeps himself busy with an ongoing project he calls “Driveby shooting.” It is pretty easy in New Zealand. You just have to hold the camera out the window, press the button and presto, you have an amazing photograph. No, honestly, there is a message in his project. :) This time he used the mobile phone for the first time to take the pictures and he found out it is much more diffcult than with his trusted SLR. Anyway, here are the images from from the last trip. They were taken around Broadwood in the Far North.

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This is the very last composite I did in Photoshop and it is a very personal and painful one. I think I did this one in late 2014 or early 2015. (I haven’t even dated it, as I am not sure whether it is finished). It is a reflection of my mother who was an enigma to me all her life. I think you have to be German and of a certain age to understand.

That is enough about my art and from tomorrow I will write about the puppets again :)

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This is more stuff I made over the weekend. I came across an interesting tutorial on the internet about burning glue to create a textured surface. In the video the result looked amazing, so I had to have a go. I used some air dry clay I found in my art cupboard as the foundation to apply the glue to. I wasn’t too sure about burning PVA glue but it didn’t smell bad. Actually, it didn’t smell at all though this doesn’t mean it isn’t toxic. (Okay, I found a site on the internet that said it wasn’t). While I like the look of the beads, I don’t like touching them. It irritates me that they feel warm, not cold like stone. It’s a fail in my book :) It made me realise, I don’t think much about the temperature of objects, but I certainly have a subconscious expectation.

 

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My interest is in the process of painting, rather than the end result. Therefore I am by no means a fast painter. I am not a prolific painter either, partly because I have no idea what to do with all the finished canvasses. They collect dust under the bed. Every so often I create an image I am very happy with and this might get hung on the wall. Others may be overpainted at a later stage. I scratch and scrape away paint as much as I add it and with time the canvas gets covered with a thick layer of acrylic paint. A unique texture evolves. For the viewer it might look as if the paint is just slapped on but I think about each step. I am also led by the emerging features .

Today’s image is from 2010 when I explored the meaning of x. X is a very ambigious symbol. In English, signing a letter with two or three x’s means kisses. X also means the ‘unknown’ as in Mr X or ‘forbidden’ (don’t go there). Ambiguity is my other big subject. If you follow the Dedes you might have realised nothing is what it seems to be. One puppet says one thing and the other says the opposite. We all have our own realities. Once again, our own brain fills in the gaps and often tricks us into believing things that are non-existent. But I am digressing.

I can’t remember how long it took me to finish this very simple painting and a photograph certainly doesn’t do it justice. This one does hang on the wall and even after six years I still enjoy looking at the paint that is breaking open like a wound and the fraying edges of the x. So this painting is definitely safe from being worked on again.

x detail

 

Modern Man

Tony, who is not only a puppet maker but also an x-ray artist (visit his blog: xraygraphics), commented on my post yesterday that the artwork I put up is very tactile. He put his finger right on the core of my art. To explain where it comes from I have to dive down into my personal history. In a nutshell: back in the day I took to Photoshop like a duck to water and have been teaching digital imaging for 20 years. In the beginning I really enjoyed working with blend modes and masks to create amazing textures. But along the way, I realised how much our brain tricks us into perceiving surface properties. When you touch a print it is always flat. The appearance of texture is created by our brain interpreting what we expect to be there. So we see texture that really isn’t there.  Over the years my yearning for honest textures grew stronger and stronger.

I created the picture I’ve put up today in 2007. This is one of my favourites from my Photoshop era. In this triptych I used 4 different background photographs (a wooden door with flaky paint, a stone wall with a window, an iron watch tower in a forest, and a 200-year-old lace curtain) and combined them in different ways to bring different properties to the fore. My work is generally about relationships. This one describes that in a good relationship you should be allowed to be strong or weak at times.