View Full Version : for PJL et all "A Difficult Year"
07-04-2001, 04:19 AM
In response to a comment that PJL made in Helens "Male torso", I am reposting this piece for discussion. It was first posted over a year ago, so many of you may not have seen it. PJL said...
"This is great..We should now have a bunch of male figure drawings/paintings.... Terrific.
Brings up the discussion of the way males depict males Vs. The way females depict males "
So at the risk of boring Milt and Mike and Scott...
whadda ya think?
Hello Mark -- it's good to see you back here. I've missed seeing your wonderful work. You are so good at using the pose to express emotion and make the viewer think about what you're trying to say.
Best wishes on your continuing schooling! Come back here and show us what you're doing from time to time.
07-04-2001, 09:37 AM
Once again, when I look at this painting of a male..by a male artist, the impression I get is that the artist has a love of the human form, both male and female. And, your work Mark.....is consistant in making that statement.
When I see a painting like this.....it makes me disbelieve that this wonderful *machine* can break-down, grow old...and die.
It makes me wonder how our thoughts could be anything less than noble.
Your work has strength...and I KNOW (Aida and I having met you personally), that the basis of this strength rests in you..the artist.
07-04-2001, 05:15 PM
Thanks for re-posting as many of us would have missed seeing this ever. An incredible rendering of the male body coupled with a very interesting narrative in the negative space (at least those shapes are suggesting things to me). A very expressive piece done masterfully. Whoa. Inspires me to get some guys to pose for me. By the way I know there's lots of debate about the vs. thing. I see humans depicting humans here.
07-04-2001, 06:00 PM
"By the way I know there's lots of debate about the vs. thing. I see humans depicting humans here."
Yep, that's exactly how I see it! Everything else is baggage, though we all like rummaging from time to time...
The background has some specific maening for me, but it is a general ambient kind of thing. What do you see, ZOTMA?
I spend nearly all my time here in the "Figure" forum... I have a great love for the human form. Along with the thouroughbred horse, and some of the large cats, I think we are masterfull creations...
My goal as an artist (I would have said wanna be artist, but I have been severely chastized by Deeva :) ), is to master the human figure in all its aspects.. male, female, old, young, tall, short, slim and not so thin... I love them all. I have some drawings of male bodies that I think I will post next...
I have visited your web site, and I am in awe of your work.. Not only the figure work, which is what I aspire to, but also the way you have portrayed the figures in your paintings.. You give the figures extra meaning... I keep going back to your web site over and over again.
Thank you Mark for posting this for us... And I would like to add my best wishes for your continuing journey in this fantastic world of art.. good luck with your masters
07-04-2001, 07:01 PM
The background area is divided at the figure. To the right is light, there is a strong vertical shape something like a building or at least expressing strength (maybe ego) to me. On the left side are the shadows, darkness coming from the figure. The gesture is repeated in a diagonal shape reaching for another shadow. It seems to convey some kind of desired connection (be it intellectual/physical/emotional ?) also suggested by the expression of the pose. Those shadows also are reminiscent of a procession of shadows, many such desires. Their angular nature charges the piece in contrast to the softer lines of the flesh but in continuity with the strength of the figure.
Just what I get.
...and yes, good luck with the masters (I'm green with envy).
07-05-2001, 02:40 AM
I would like to add a few things to Zotma's interpretation, what this painting makes me think (or wonder at?). Would be very interested to know the story behind it, if you were interested to share it though?
What I find very stimulating, is the contrast, on all levels; this is mainly what makes me come back to it; the contrast creates a tension, something uncomfortable to the eye that stimulates thinking (IMHO of course);
In addition to what Zotma mentioned about the contrast between light and shadows, softness of the flesh and strength of the figure, the contrast I find very interesting too is the pose vs. the expression;
The position of the opened arms is, in a lot of cultures, a position of "receipt"; you are opening your body, hence yourself, to a stronger will, to receive energy, etc etc. It very often goes together with an attitude of humility;
Your model is indeed opening his body to this something stronger... but he doesn't seem to accept it. I see more resignation than humbleness in his expression, a kind of "lost the battle but not the war"; therefore a lot of ambiguity in his human status, vs. anything stronger/beyond humans... this question seems to divide him, and the painting reflects that as I see it; his body is almost as perfect as a Greek statue (an image of divinity?) but it is made of pink flesh...
I hope I haven't rambled too much...
07-05-2001, 09:08 AM
ZOTMA and youmna, you are both very perceptive. The real story of the piece is that it is a meditation, if you will, on mortality, done in response to the death of my father from cancer. Pain, defiance, helplessness, eventually acceptance...and the encroaching darkness that smothers the light of a life, leaving the dim and etheral afterglow of memory.
In many cases I feel much more ambiguous about the message of a painting, and thus about my responsibilities to communicate a specific message. I think this is a universal message, however, we all know this event at a cellular level. So it was effortless and cathartic to slam the paint into this configuration, all these verbal explanations were after the fact. Michael's earlier comments harken back to the original discussion.
When thoughtful people spend the time to interpret, and hit this close to the mark, I have to count the painting a success. Thank you!
07-06-2001, 10:07 PM
Before I read any responses, I noticed a very dominat phallic symbol in the background and I thought wow, this really ties in with the figure.
I like this work very much.
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