Monday, September 24, 2012

The Muse: Sex, Procreation, And Inspiration

The Voyage, 13.5" x 60", oil on canvas, 2012.

Paint is like the skies or the seas. It is the job of the painter, like a pilot, to understand it, embrace it, and navigate through it. Paint is open, free, and limitless; it can be calm one moment or stormy the next. Paint is like mother nature, and the painter is man trying to bring some control to it.

And on a smaller scale, paint is like a woman. It is the job of the painter to lead the dance and give her the opportunity to express herself in all of her beauty and grace.

The Voyage, left detail:

In reality, of course, paint is just a medium. But the metaphor is also real and I think a reason why the muse has become like a mythical goddess inspiring artists since ancient times. The muse creates an overwhelming desire in the artist to replicate her incommunicable effect through art. Painting, like poetry or music, is the artist's way of attempting to bring some control to her storm of emotions, to make sense of the ungraspable. She is in the paint, and the painter is seeking to find her, recreate her, love her, and allow her to express herself. 

I have inquired in the past about why we make art. What's the point, right, since art doesn't appear to fulfill any physiological need. But maybe it does, on a subconscious level, for the artist at least. Artistic inspiration is often derived from a muse of some kind, even if the muse is someone who has no idea the effect she is creating. (It seems that the stereotypical muse is someone who has a personal relationship with the artist, as in a mistress, but in my experiences, I have found that many times the muse is someone who remains distant, even if our connection is fleeting -- not all of us artists are womanizers like Picasso -- and sometimes the most fleeting encounters carry the most mystery and intrigue.) So, perhaps art is a form of the innate drive to procreate. I don't mean to say that every artist desires to have kids, nor do I agree with the Freudian concept that all art is sexual in nature, as certainly art can be inspired by other things, like death, struggle, and inequality, yet the urge to procreate in its most primitive form can be enough to inspire an artistic masterpiece.

The Voyage, middle detail: 

But artistic inspiration from the muse is not limited to sexual energy. She is representative of the beautiful things we may discover in nature but cannot grasp, and her energy blooms within the artist, creating within him the desire to give his love to the world.
And because mother nature will never be conquered by man, it is a reason why painting will live on forever.

The Voyage, right detail: 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Season and New Sculpture

The Head of Something Unreal, 20" x 15", acrylic on shaped foam, canvas, and epoxy resin with steel armature and steel chain, mounted on wood panel, 2012. (Click on the image for larger view.)
It's been a while since I've created any sculptures, but sometimes it comes in waves, just like my cartoons and stop motion videos, where I may not work in that medium for months or years, then something clicks and I immerse myself in it until it runs its course, or season. Certain mediums may be more effective than others in artistic expression. The choice of medium itself provides content in a work of art.

In this piece, the content is something more metaphorical than the simple representation of skull pieces from some strange beast. The artwork is somewhat of a hybrid between representation and abstraction.

I'm not trying to be cryptic about what it is, or what it is supposed to be. And I know that nobody will really understand it or me. In that regard, it makes what I do a bit frustrating. But we as artists create art as a form of communication that cannot be expressed in language. If it could be expressed in language, then there would be no point in creating it, as we could simply resolve to writing it.

There's nothing more to write.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Doodle of the Day - The Existential Sheep

Oh, you poor sheep...

Thank you for reading about the paintings, sculptures, drawings, works in progress, reviews, Doodle of the Day, and other art by Los Angeles artist Lucas Aardvark Novak. To see older blog posts and other doodles, click HERE :)