Thursday, 24 August 2017

Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum, New York

Now, yesterday, I posed the question of who drew three drawing.  This was the first...

And it was by....

Here's the second.

And it's by...

And lastly - and you may be detecting a theme here - this drawing... by...

Yes, Jack the Dripper himself, the man whom you wouldn't wish to invite round to your house if you had an open fireplace (ask Peggy Guggenheim), and the artist who went on to paint this, which hangs in the Met next to these drawings and is considered his masterpiece.

What I'm showing you here is that an artist does not immediately arrive at the technique or way of expressing themselves for which they are best known.  The drawings are shown in chronological order, and Pollock used them as a way of developing technique, exploring the language of art, getting to know how other artists have worked and observed natural forms, movement, the body, what it is to abstract.  

In other words, there is a huge body of work behind every artist, of learning and understanding and experimenting, of observations and coincidences, of making mistakes and building upon them.  This is work that isn't necessarily seen, but is vital to an artist in understanding themselves and their art.  Without it, they couldn't learn and grow, nor could they create what they ultimately feel best expresses themselves.

Pollock eventually arrived at his giant works of abstract expressionism through a whole host of influences, including childhood walks in the wilderness with his father, and seeing American Indian sand painters and Mexican muralists, which saw him moving away from painting with brushes and pencils on easels, to working on the floor with organic matter such as sticks, sand and even broken glass.  Which is about as far away from the Renaissance masters as you can get.  However, I guess what he took away from his earlier study of work by Michelangelo and so on, is the organic rhythm that they have within their compositions. Just take a look below at Leonardo's studies of water turbulence, for example.  Then look at the organic rhythmical lines of Pollock.

To know your own art, therefore, you need to understand the art of others.  And the most important thing my tutor at art school ever told me was 'Look'.

Read more about Jackson Pollock in this interesting Guardian article HERE.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Drawings at the Metropolitan Museum, New York - Who Drew These?

Whilst in New York recently , I took the chance to revisit the wonderful Metropolitan Museum, with its truly breathtaking collection of art and objects.

For a bit of fun, I've put together three drawings from the collection - using your skill and judgement (no googling!) see if you can guess which artists they are by.

Which Renaissance master is this by?

Which Modern master drew this?

Which Surrealist master is this by?

 Answers tomorrow!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Yestival: Yes at PNC Bank Center, Holmdel, 12 Aug 2017

Ok folks, you know the routine.  And tonight is the last gig of our three night Yestival concert series.

This is the very pretty open air amphitheater of the PNC Bank Center in sunny New Jersey.  It's all very civilised.  They have parking lots where you can have tailgate parties, and lawns where you can picnic, drink, and, er, smoke.  America knows how to do venues, and let's face it, they have the weather for it.

The weather this evening was hot.  It was so hot, that Carl Palmer's shirt stuck like a wet rag to his eternally youthful and perfectly formed torso, sweat plastered the hair of Jon to his forehead and threatened to make his glittery eyeshadow run, and the sweat ran in beads down Billy's face. All this I could see even from Row H.  It was that sweaty.

So here we go again.  Not so many photos tonight, but here's Young Person's Guide...

And there's also a rather bad video which I took of Survival.


He's blurry, He's sweaty.  He's glittery.

See also photos from Yes's Ford Amphitheater Coney Island performance on 11 August 2017 HERE.

Photos from their performance at Foxwoods, Connecticut on 10 August 2017 HERE.

Yestival: Todd Rundgren at the PNC Bank Center Holmdel, 12 August 2017

Last glimpse tonight of the unexpected rock god that is Todd Rundgren.  

Two videos for your pleasure.  "Truth" from his album 'Lies'...

and "Rise".


Yestival: Carl Palmer at PNC Bank Center, Holmdel 12 Aug 2017

It was hot in Holmdel.  Very hot.  It's the last night of our three night run of Yestivals.

And here's Carl Palmer, the man whom members of the previous evening's audience were still not convinced was actually alive even after watching him perform for half an hour.  Would he convince them tonight?

Initially though, the audience weren't impressed.  In fact, a lot of them weren't even there.

Obviously, Carl would have to up his game.  This was going to be tough. 

"Are you impressed yet, Holmdel??"
Maybe a pink shirt wasn't such a great idea for hiding the sweatiness.
In a final attempt to impress, Carl got out his big furry drum bats during Fanfare for the Common Man, and proceeded to give it laldy on the gongs.

Success!  Gongs well and truly skelped, he chucked his bats over his shoulder.

See you next time for a two hour session folks...!