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Old 01-09-2006, 01:21 PM
tazaharra tazaharra is offline
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"America in my mind"

MY IMAGE(S):



GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: "America in my mind"
Year Created: 2006
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 4ftx5ft
Allow digital alterations?: No, please :)

MY COMMENTS:
Aware how complex and challenging the subject is, I did my very best to put together a visual essay of how I see America today. It's quite impossible to put everything in one canvas, so this is the first of a series. The subject revolves around History, Arts and Popular culture.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
I'd appreciate your input and 'brutal' critique, so pls, have fun !!!
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Old 01-10-2006, 04:01 AM
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vargamari vargamari is offline
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Re: "America in my mind"

Mamma mia, is it all painted, or you made some photo-collage, too?
Though it seems you've painted all, but in a fantastic way...
I find the idea very good to show this country through faces, idols and symbols.
Is it intentional, that there is no focus?
Your patience and sharp eyes are amazing! I could stare this painting hours. I hear the noise and music, too...I can't wait for the next piece of the serie.

Best whishes,
vargamari
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Old 01-10-2006, 06:57 AM
tazaharra tazaharra is offline
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Re: "America in my mind"

Hi Vargamari, Thanks for clickin in ! It's all painted, done in oil with No. 0000 brush; no photo collage or pasted cut out images. Very thin underpainting to avoid pigment build up and retain smooth surface for meticulous detailing. I use oil in ways very much like tempera. The image you see now in your screen is so tiny compared to the original(4ftx5ft) thus giving an impression of cluttered mess of faces ,without focus. The merry mix of icon images, portraits and figures revolves around a central focus which is the Cape Cod lighthouse, which is another way of saying; 'Quo vadis, America?'; in the same way that lighthouses are the guides for those who have lost their way. It's about the contradictions in life, the yin and yang, summer and winter, war and peace and all that blah,blah..blah.! I could send you a jpeg. image big enough to fill up your screen, let me know if your interested. thanks again !
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:52 AM
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vargamari vargamari is offline
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Re: "America in my mind"

Wow, it would be super to get it bigger! Thanks!
And perhaps would you please answer my PM, too?
[email protected]
Thank you the explanation, it can be all seen, but I couldn't express it so well.
I'm a fan of you!

Greetings,
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Old 01-10-2006, 01:11 PM
tazaharra tazaharra is offline
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Re: "America in my mind"

artist friends who'd like to see/download a big, quality image of "America in my mind" please kindly check: http;//www.painterskeys.com/clickbacks/pride.asp click on Asterio, wait for small version and click for enlargment. Happy viewing!!
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:39 PM
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Toadie Toadie is offline
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Re: "America in my mind"

You have done a WONDERFUL job here! I just really will enjoy exsploring this for many days. I Think since I just cannot do a KUDO in this forum the only thing that hit me was the moutain with the snow.
Great work
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:54 PM
GDEscobar GDEscobar is offline
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Re: "America in my mind"

I love this. I'm stunned!

As an American history buff, I am enamored by this collage not just because it is so wonderfully rendered, but because of the rich story it tells.

Please share your thinking about the choices of the images, symbols, personalities, heroes, and how you decided to make combinations of them.

Thank you for giving us your wonderful insight of America in your mind.
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:55 AM
tazaharra tazaharra is offline
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Re: "America in my mind"

Thanks GDEscobar, When I first stood before the 4ftX5ft blank canvas, I had no clear idea how things would turn out, very much like the way my favorite abstract painter Jackson Pollock paints. The only thing nagging me then was M.C. Escher's "Night and Day"; Got this silly idea of making my owm version of it-"summer and winter". I have always been fascinated by the 'laws of opposites', yin & yang, triumph & defeat, love & hate, war & peace...the contradictions in life that serves as the engines of history. So the trees with luscious green leaves is ..well..summer; and the dried brown fallen leaves with patches of melting snow as winter. A good foreground, more or less. Lifting through the stack of photos that I took in Provincetown Ma. and Bar Harbor, Me., I came across a nice shot of a Cape Cod lighthouse, which to me is very symbolic and would make a suitable focal point. Lighthouses against the setting sun have been photograhped a zillion times -which qualifies it a 'kitschy' cliche. For a change, I used the famous iconic NASA photo of the planet earth taken by astronauts during re-entry- we often see in ads,magazines and books; and had it in placed instead of the sun. The war in Iraq was raging then and all you see on TV were stealth bombers taking off; in another channel, PBS was showing a film docu of "Pale Male"-that celebrity hawk that builds a nest atop a ledge in a condo tower along fifth avenue in NYC. Zzzzaaappp!! item: 'birds of prey'..there goes a stealth bomber and 'birds of peace'...pale male -ended up where it is now. The Jackie Kennedy wedding photo made such a good match with the young, controversial pop star Paris Hilton- a trendsetter herself like Jackie. Cindy Crawford modelling an elegant Roberto Cavalli gown gives the coumoflaged soldier holding the lastest M-249 assault rifle with night vision scope; a contrast in lifestyles. Images of conflict as that F-18 jet fighter, apache helicopter hovers around anti-war sentiments (Lennon, Dylan..etc) Of course, the picture will not be complete without the images of Superman and Meenie Mouse. Working on the american indians in sepia was a good humbling experience. Read books on the subject and anything about the early indian-american wars; learned how unjustly their tribes have been treated, ancestral land taken and almost got wiped out form the face of earth together with bisons. It was touching...all we have now are their potteries, tools, baskets and other evidences of their rich cultural heritage. These readings eventually led me to include the slave trade and of course, the civil war. The birth pains of building a great nation. I never knew I'd go that far but I did. As tribute to the fallen soldiers in Iraq, I painted the portraits of Joshua Bryer and Michele Witmer; both died from roadside bombs in 2004. A trip to Key West gave me an itch to include Hemingway. The composition was tricky as there were sections where I painted something only to be erased later to give way to a much more appropriate and powerful image. Wasteful, indeed; it was like wading blindfolded through a stream full of landmines. There was no sure fire formula, only gut feelings. I can't recommend this approach to those weak in heart: erasing an image that took almost two weeks is tough. Art is communication and artists I believe should document his own times. It was a personal adventure and exciting all along the way. Cheers! PS: in using published photos, copyrighted images- be sure to check first and write for permission and know the legal limits of the Fair Use Doctrine.
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