Archive for March, 2008

1:59 AM 2/27/2008

Two places at the same time and nowhere at all–

If Gerhardt Ricter can work in two completely separate aesthetic schemes at the same time, non-objective abstraction and fuzzy foto realism, then I can work on neo-geo and automatism-chance based non-objective paintings at the same time; or nearly the same time. I don’t have a studio large enuff to accommodate working on two separate ideas at the same time. This means that this scenario unfolds in a very linear way. These two separate making energies follow one another. The results can exist side by side but not the manufacture. If I were to create paintings in two divers aesthetics at the same time it would be too confusing I think. Of course this is just a guess on my part. I believe that I would find this kind of multi-tasking difficult to…. I am searching for a word to describe my overview of this multi-tasking event. I find it difficult to construct paintings with a single focus in play. However, I can imagine one painting being ae-automatism-chance oriented and the next being neo geo. In many of my mainstream paintings over the years I have incorporated neo-geo elements as detail or major element. The neo geo paintings of 2004-2006 grew from a position where the geometry started out as detail, then expanded to become the majority structure with ae-automatism-chance areas being reduced to detail. Ultimately in 2005 neo geo became the structure of 100% focus of the painting.

Just had a flash. If I get a NC painting grant to work on a collection of ae-automatism-chance paintings, and Ron C wants me to workup a collection of neo geo for a show in Philadelphia in September of 2009, it could prove to be an interesting year. I would be forced to paint both of these streams at the same time. Ouch, forced is a word/concept that really doesn’t apply here. I do have a choice! Can you say schizophrenia?

arguments + – reference artistic multi-tasking = reality

I found the following statement on the internet and forgot to write down the reference and location. So sorry — if anybody cares to do it, please correct or add the reference. Thanks. dpn.

“…baffled by the fact that he seems to vacillate between realism and abstraction, or even between various styles of abstraction, often at the same time. These vacillations seemed to me so extreme when I saw a retrospective of Richter’s work in Chicago in 1987, that it looked like I was seeing some kind of group show. “How can you say any style is better than another?” Warhol asked with his characteristic faux innocence in a 1963 interview. “You ought to be able to be an Abstract Expressionist next week, or a Pop artist, or a realist, without feeling that you have given up something.” For most artists in America, it is important that they be stylistically identifiable, as if their style is their brand. To change styles too often inevitably would have been read as a lack of conviction. But what the show at MoMA somehow makes clear is that there finally is a single personal signature in Richter’s work, whatever his subject, and whether the work is abstract or representational. It comes, it seems to me, from the protective cool to which I referred-a certain internal distance between the artist and his work, as well as between the work and the world, when the work itself is about reality. It is not irony. It is not exactly detachment. It expresses the spirit of an artist who has found a kind of above-the-battle tranquility that comes when one has decided that one can paint anything one wants to in any way one likes without feeling that something is given up.” Arthur Danto writing on Gerhard Richter’s show at MOMA [Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting] 2002. [Gerhard Richter: Forty Years of Painting February 14–May 21, 2002 Second and third floors. Purchase the exhibition catalogue ..”


Ranging from photography-based pictures to gestural abstraction, Richter’s diverse body of work calls into question many widely held attitudes about the inherent importance of stylistic consistency, the organic evolution of individual artistic sensibility, the spontaneous nature of creativity, and the relationship of technological means and mass media imagery to traditional studio methods and formats. However, while many contemporary post-modernists have explored these issues by circumventing or dismissing painting as a viable artistic option, Richter has challenged painting to meet the demands posed by new forms of conceptual art.”

My gestural related painting is of two minds; intellectual and emotional. Intellectual in the sense that the structures sometimes are intellectually invented as parody or appropriations of my past work and the work of other gestural oriented ae painters. Emotional in the sense that these structures are invented as purist-automatism-chance structures referencing only themselves at the moment they are made.

My work; me; them; —Seen together, these works call into question such widely held assumptions as the importance of stylistic consistency, individual artistic sensibility, and spontaneous creativity. They also explore the impact of technology and media imagery on the traditional methods and formats of painting.


“You see, Richter doesn’t fit the formula for success that many art curators and influential critics and other art powers-that-be have carefully crafted in the rarefied atmospheres of the upper echelon of the art world. In fact, Richter breaks every “rule” that is imposed on 18-year-old art students and then hammered home in reviews and lectures by many contemporary art critics and curators. Rules like “you better have your own recognizable style” or “only new is good” and the oddest rule of all: “painting is dead!”

Just had a flash: At my MA review (University of Iowa/Iowa City; Feb 1966), the faculty committee scolded me for being too divers. They felt that my work needed to be more focused. Yikes! I had forgotten this bit of criticism of my work early on. Even then, i couldn’t be pigeon holed into painting in a singular self identifying style. GREAT! OH! they also wanted me to draw and paint the human figure. They thought that this would add a sense of personalization to the work. Can you say schizophrenic? What? I just remember this event. For some reason I have completely blocked this memory from my histrionics.

9:03 AM 2/27/2008

This morning looking at googled “minimalism+sculpture”. The usual suspects show up first — Jud, Andre, and that ilk — the blocks, cubes, plates, and all things geometry in wood and metal. Then an entry came up for Frank Stella. What about looking at a 1967 minimalist Stella next to a 2006 wire-like floor or wall sculpture. Talk about diversity and possible audience confusion! Stella through his fame diverts any idea for audience confusion. There is over the top advertising out there discussing Stella’s every move. This is the stuff of celebrity. Some may also say the curse. Look at the current crop of celebrity melt-downs. Sorry to digress here. Me. I plod along in total obscurity. This is also a blessing and a curse. Can’t win they say? In the end, what is your definition of “win”? I don’t have one!


Warhol’s “Factory” a whore House? no seriously Warhol’s BEST work is the paintings he made in the first 3-5 years .The ones he painted by hand ,all those tarted up photos are just That! A little messy paint to give some color but then again if you don’t have an eye you probably think the painting that just went for 70 million or so is a masterpiece… like to hear what Old Masters we a talking about ? and if you ever wondered why you couldn’t quite understand why Rubens was such a great painter because you have seen some real dogs so many times ?did you know he had 5 price levels The highest price for the ones he painted and everything else is everything else As far as Sol Dem Witt Take a look at Ron Davis from the mid 60s or for that matter Frank Stella But its mostly about I don’t want my art to look like a object or product AND don’t you think its time for a change?AND I just wanted to cause a little trouble with the art retards And have some FUN…Peter”

Posted by: peter Reginato | Sunday, July 01, 2007 at 12:49 PM

Well, I don’t want to say Andy wasn’t a “sellout” because I think he’d prefer that he was remembered that way. But I do think the Factory years were definitely some of his best. I think the “Factory” itself was a performance piece. “Power” is a desirable level to be at in one’s professional career. “Power Transfer” is an even higher state. Look at the “stars” we have because of Warhol (Lou Reed, Nico, Taylor Mead, Basquiat, etc)The Large Mao paintings, the Disaster series, the movies. Also the critique of “tortured, solitary, impoverished, original” authorship. That is his legacy. The paradox of his embrace of the world as it is and his anemic, pallid persona.”

Posted by: chris lee | Sunday, July 01, 2007 at 08:21 PM

9:31 AM 2/27/2008

Enuff already. What is my point here? My point = authenticity. And this idea wraps around late 20th and early 21st century definitions attached to: Artist, Hand-Made, Factory, Art, Advertising, Money. This list has no end really. As a person who calls himself an artist, I define my self as a maker. I hand make all my stuff. I have no assistants. I prep and make everything; myself and by hand.

I question the authenticity of attributed works by these people who are called by experts and themselves, artists. This list grows every day. Here are a few suspects. In my mind these people are not artists but better defined as business men CEO’s in charge of an industrial complex or manufacturing enterprise where the product/s look like art. Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Dale Chihuly (others I am sure) — this first set of names are people who (most of the time) advertising of their work and shows hides the fact they didn’t participate in making the final product; they just signed it (maybe — Warhol assigned this task to assistants at times). A second tier of people — Elizabeth Murray, (plate steel sculpture guy)[I forgot name]– oh yes Richard Serra, Gerhard Ricter, Willem de Kooning late works (more I am sure, again) claim to author their work with open credit to help from assistants. I believe that any artist who is in the blue chip range has to have assistance in making the work because of the demand for it; the numbers of works needed to support the enterprise. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t????

What does this mean? In the end, who made the work? How is value attributed? When does this stuff become fraud? If I pay a million dollars for a “Stella”, “Koons”, etc, what do I get for my money? What will be its future value? How does the real world feel about attributed art, authenticity, art? Certainly old masters that don’t hold up to being made by the master him/herself are of much, much lesser money value than authenticated works. Will this happen to Stella, Koons, Warhol (all the others listed here and all those who can’t prove authorship of self)? I think the answer is yes; now and in the future. These questions are already being asked. Proof is being challenged in the courts over authenticity of works by Chihully and Warhol, even some recently found Jackson Pollock paintings; recent paint analysis proved them to be fakes because the paint on these things was developed after Pollack’s death. Just goes to prove that money counts in the art world over the art itself and the artist’s who make it.

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