Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bad Art

This post is to remind viewers that the best stuff was posted first and is now buried in the archives so if you want to see the serious work you would be better off going to the early posts and working forward.

The posts titled Mark Toby and Recent Work represent my attempt to pick up where I left off thirty some years ago with Frosted Tree and the water reflections Neah Bay. These early works were all taken with long lenses from 200mm, 300mm, 500mm. My current camera is an ultra-zoom which gives me the same look in one package. The long lens has two major advantages. It allows you to isolate your subject and it flattens the perspective. Having sort of grown up with abstract expressionism, I found the flat look suited me. I was looking for a way to do representational work that could be read (viewed) as an abstraction. It wasn't an intellectual thing but a feeling I got from looking at these flat images and how do you explain a feeling?

In the early 70s one of my artist friends Cathy Kushe was working on her MFA at the U of W and the professor who was in charge of her thesis project was demanding that she do nonrepresentational paintings for her thesis project. She worked out a clever solution, doing representational paintings that would pass as abstractions. Later on I had one of here thesis paintings hanging in my apartment when I was in graduate school and also a very stunning work by her husband Dave, a surrealist crucifixion.

Ship Canal

The Catalog

These were taken on a sunday morning in April 2005 at the north plaza in the Pike Place district of Seattle. I don't know where these fellows are from but I would guess one somewhere in eastern Europe or the CIS. Seattle is a place where people arive in America and then stay. Like New York City a century ago. Since they arive by plane, most of them, they tend to stay close to where they touched down. Three Tree Point is five miles as the crow flies from the airport. A language acquisitions specialist for the county library told me we have 100 language groups living within five miles of the library. Yesterday in the park I talked two women from Bosnia who were collecting young nettles tops to eat. One of them spoke english but the other one had just arrived.