2012 Matches

2012 Matches:
Elyse Leyenberger (Photography '12) : Andrei Jackamets (BFA Photography '83)

Ryan Berardi (Sculpture '14) : Anthony Visco (BFA Sculpture '70)
Kaylyn Gray (Multimedia '13) & Michael Knaub (Multimedia '13) : Michele Kishita (BFA Painting '97, MFA Painting '10)
Diane Meck (Dance '13) : Geoffrey Kershner (BFA Acting '00)
Kennedy Dickerson (Photography '14) & Michael G Malloy (Photography '12) : Nancy Eichenbaum (BFA Photography '87)
Megan Beck (Illustration '13) & Lydia Guadagnoli (Illustration '14) : Veronica Cianfrano (MFA Painting '11)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Autobiographical on Material, Process, and Meaning

Professor Kishita gave me a list of questions that would help me understand my art. In response, I answered many of these questions in essay form as practice for writing a thesis. The questions also included a section on craft which I did not answer in essay form. I do not give craft the level of respect it deserves.

I justify this action in my mind by stating that craft is not as important as its ability to convey meaning, and is often a tool to make something clean, or an idea of strength and beauty that should be applied when making something to give or sell. I don't see my works as objects of trade so I do not clean them or fortify them. My ideas of craft can be seen in this poorly written essay.

It may be shameful that I worked with an english professor but I did not have her proof read it before I submit it for the world to see. I hope the meanings behind my words are understood the way I initially write them. Without further adue, A painfully long and boring essay about myself. Save me the embarrassment. Don't read it!

Autobiographical on Material, Process, and Meaning
by Michael Knaub

The first material I ever used for art was the crayon. Whither it was on paper or the wall, I can’t remember. My older brother often made drawings for our grandmother with them so they were always in crawling reach. I was told by coloring books that I should apply a certain color to certain shapes based on what they depicted, I ignored these suggestions by drawing grass orange, pants green, and dogs blue. I used more than one color in a designated space. I never stayed in the lines. My current oil paintings are created in a process similar to that of filling a coloring book. I’m told how I should not treat my work like it were a paint by number but I cannot yet separate myself from the literal narrative I achieve through drawing to aid my concepts. I create my own cartoons and fill in the pattern appropriately. 

My high school was a great environment for my artistic explorations. There, I was able to take a verity of courses in the arts and crafts. The teachers there introduced me to many mediums. Acrylic painting was my favorite next to oil pastels. Most of my high school portfolio was done in acrylic paint on canvas. I was also attracted to the easy application and blending capabilities of pastels. They were my go to for painting thumbnails, color studies, and quick cartoons. I was also introduced to photoshop in high school. It let me explore design and composition with ease. Now, I use photoshop to create thumbnails. 
As my painting matured, I switched from acrylics to oils. I was able to use all the techniques I acquired through pastels, acrylics, and drawing with greater control than I had with acrylics. It seemed that the oils wanted to do all the same things I wanted.
I grew up with the knowledge that my family was had may artists. I have always looked to pictures, music, and dance for inspiration. My Uncle, Robert Eppinger, greatly influenced my interest in painting. His paintings adorn my parents house even in my youngest memories. He paints scenes of nature, animals and portraits with romantic likeness. He inspired me to choose painting as my concentrated area of study. 

I consider material as something that has a context unique to it’s self. In the past, I thought of medium as just a building block to my art. From studying sculpture, I learned about the importance of materiality and how I can use different materials to strengthen my ideas. This is why I think working only in oil for the rest of my art career will limit my artistic expression. I use oil paints to portray subjects that are delicate, religious/spiritual, and beautiful. 

In my strife of becoming an artist, I desire to create art that is evocative to a sensational experience. In terms of flesh and desire, I have approached skin an illusion to be touched by handling it with smooth texture, fluctuated areas of warmth and coolness, and glow. In the same terms, I created created a painting in which the material symbolized these ideas. I used pure gold leaf as a ground to the painting to symbolize desire, and painted blood to represent the flesh. I wanted the combination of these two elements to be ambiguous, so the viewer may attach their own archetype to each resulting in a more personal interpretation. 

  My idea of affective color is a combination of colors that act as an object force that give an illusion to something that truly exists in the world. Only by capturing this force, can the color evoke subjective interpretation. I like to advocate the philosophy that art is a reflection upon natures manner of existence. I apply this idea to my work by portraying ideas that can be associated with social experiences and emotional feeling.

As a student, I like to think of how my art works can act as a start to a series. I like to study what I have done, try to experience it differently, and compile the themes that can be literally, and subjectively pulled from a work. From there, I brainstorm different ways I can approach these ideas. If I am inspired by this study process, then I consider these themes worth of elaboration and the work a success. 

The first time I found process inspiring was from the transformative beauty of Andy Goldsworty’s paintings and sculptures made from natural material. I remember a specific sculpture made from strips of ice. It seemed more like it was divinely forced into place than the mark of a man. The first time felt like my process was powerful occurred when transformation was part of works meaning. I made a short film around the concept of glory fading, my subject was embraced hands. One was made of wax and the other glass. By melting the wax over the glass, I hoped to evoke ideas of attachment, absence, and impression. 

When I paint, meditation is a large part of my process. I attempt to achieve a peace of mind and a sense of unity with the universe so I may separate myself from thought to paint with feeling. I believe drawing is an expression of the mind and painting is an expression of the spirt so in order to transcend from drawing to painting, this separation must take place. I don’t mean to disregard drawing completely. In my opinion, the most successful paintings in the world are in perfect harmony between drawing and painting, mind and spirt. I don’t believe my paintings have reached that harmony because I draw (poorly) more than anything. 

I learned about similes in grade school. For some reason they were the highlight of my poetry education. I was also taught metaphor but for some reason It did not stick in my mind as well as simile. A metaphor is like an unopened box where a simile is as literal as a straight answer. What I did not understand was that the answer to a metaphor was suggestive. I also did not know the deffiniton of suggestive. 

When I look at a painting I deem finished, I see it as a the answer(s) to a question(s). I do not always know the question, or even the meaning to the answer. I am satisfied as long as I peruse knowledge and understanding. I am often faced with the question, “What were you trying to achieve?” When my professors ask me this question I always find trouble. I am not trying to make a statement. I do not try to show my bias opinions. The images in my artworks usually come to me like a jolt to my senses. For a single moment, my eyes are taken over by these images like they are premonitions of the future so I recreate them because I want to understand why they inspire me. 

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