Art On Your Face — Gallery

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Henri Matisse The Cut-Outs — Transformations Gallery

Matisse - The Circus, 1947

Matisse – The Circus, 1947

Matisse — Jazz

It is easy to be inspired by Matisse. Seeing Henri Matisse the Cut-Outs exhibit at MOMA, the exuberance of color, the freedom of forms — you want to be able to paint like that. The later rooms with the wall-sized works, and especially the photographs of how his studio was so full of this art as he created it — you want to live in rooms like that. I walked out of the exhibit wanting to play with color, to hold it in my hand and create pure forms with it as he did. Even if you don’t like Matisse, you have to be inspired by the absolute passion he had for creating art, so undeniable that it that led him to invent a new way to make art when he could no longer paint. MatisseCat_6g-fhd4--040727_agostinoartsChapter 10 of my book is titled “Matisse’s Cat”, in reference to the inspiration I draw from these struggles of great artists to find a way to satisfy that passion, and Matisse particularly because he spoke of the struggle, and left us evidence of his explorations and battles with line and form and color. I was writing about my own struggles to develop new cat face designs, particularly one based on a statue at the Bronx Zoo of a puma coming down a cliff, and in this iteration I had simplified the puma shape so much that it reminded me of a Matisse cut-out, and that encouraged me to loosen my hold on the realistic image and pursue it’s essence instead. This is the encouragement I take from Matisse: aim for the essential.

Matisse — Blue Dancer

We paint faces mostly with pure color. You might do blending in the sponge work, but then the imagery on top is usually solid colors with minimal shading — so the Cut-Outs relate directly. In adapting the Cut-Out figures to a face you have the additional playfulness of trying to fit his forms to the shapes of the face, which becomes an exercise in the fundamental skill of placing a flat image over the curves of the face. And I do mean “exercise” — I learn more about painting faces when I try to imitate the Cut-Outs.

Matisse - The Rumanian Blouse 1940

The Rumanian Blouse 1940

Matisse_RoumanianBlouse_artface_140920_agostinoartsMatisse’s painted portraits also adapt well, as he worked often with flat areas of pure color and precise linework. Strong colors and clean linework make for effective faces.

 

 

Face Gallery (Body Paintings below) ——————————————

at FABAIC 2011

at FABAIC 2011

Matisse-Icarus 2011

Matisse-Icarus 2011

Matisse-Icarus 2011

Matisse-Icarus 2011

Matisse Remix 2008

Matisse Remix 2008

Portrait of the Artist's Wife, 1912

Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, 1912

Red Fish 1911

Red Fish 1911

Matisse Remix 2008

Matisse Remix 2008

Matisse Remix 2008

Matisse Remix 2008

Matisse Inspired bodypainting by Raphealle Fieldhouse

Matisse Inspired bodypainting by Raphealle Fieldhouse

Watanabe No Tsuna and the Ibaraki Demon in Japanese Art

Come see me at the Kryolan Professional Makeup booth at IMATS New York, April 14 to see the painted body I’ve designed based on this image research and the story of the battle between Watanabe no Tsuna and the Irabaki Demon.

I had no idea this story was such a well known legend until I did a Google Image search of “Watanabe No Tsuna” and turned up a lot of results, many of them depictions of the battle with the Irabaki Demon. Here are a few:

Depicting the demon having recovered her arm - by Kiyotada

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Waking up to a joke…a song…a story — Bruce Springsteen and Jon Stewart’s take

Sometimes when I am performing, an idea for a new story pokes at me. Sometimes it comes to me in a dream as I sleep and I have to rush to write it down in the notebook beside my bed before it fades. And sometimes the story wakes me up at 4:00 am.

I know I’m not alone in this, but it still is gratifying when the real master folk I admire talk about the same creative process I experience. In Jon Stewart‘s interview of Bruce Springsteen in Rolling Stone, March 29, 2012, Springsteen talks about how when he’s writing an album the urge is like a “visitation”: “the guitar sits at the foot of the bed, you’re up at 4 a.m., you have the book nearby, the tape recorder…” and Stewart responds: “I used to love that feeling, nothing better than waking up to a joke. You wake up and go, “Shit, it’s right there.” It’s great.”

I agree with part of that. I love the compunction, the waking up in the middle of the night with the urge to write—but I don’t usually get that “Shit, it’s right there” feeling. The middle of the night inspiration is the first step of a journey.  It’s pretty rare that the story springs forth fully formed like Athena. Continue reading

Destroying the Traditional Nuba People—George Clooney Brings Attention to the Nuba Mountains

Southeast Nuba traditional body painting

George Clooney had himself arrested to bring attention to the one-sided warfare being inflicted by the northern Sudanese government on the people of the Nuba Mountains—and he has done much more than that, he has set up the Sudan Sentinel Project to monitor the ongoing human-rights abuses. The crux of the problem is that the Nuba Mountains are located north of the newly created border with Southern Sudan, though the people there are aligned with the southern Sudanese. New Yorker online: FREEING SUDAN—AND GEORGE CLOONEY

The traditional body arts of the Nuba have been a major inspiration for my work (see related articles below). In addition to the destructive actions of years of civil war and government aggression, their traditions have long been under cultural attack. In my research for the article on the Nuba for my book in 2005, I read in a National Geographic Magazine that the body art traditions have pretty much vanished from their culture. The religiously conservative Sudanese government was against traditional nakedness and bodypainting, and were working to eradicate those traditions—a primary method they were using was to put satellite TVs into community centers, to lure younger members of the tribal groups into a fascination with modern culture and away from their traditions. Continue reading