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Amy works entirely without a paintbrush.
October 2, 2011 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Amy works entirely without a paintbrush.

She applies the paint with squeeze bottles... and rotates the canvas to manipulate each drip. She uses gravity to control the flow of paint.

A gallery of her art
posted by Blasdelb (55 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very cool.

Also a tremendous way to go through a hell of a lot of expensive paint and medium. :P
posted by Decimask at 3:09 PM on October 2, 2011


Very very cool. (looking at gallery) I like her work a lot. Thanks for posting.
posted by Decimask at 3:11 PM on October 2, 2011


Could also be titled: Sure, but she did it without a paintbrush!
posted by found missing at 3:11 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those are a lot better than I was expecting ... which was more like those spinner art things I used to see at country fairs when I was a kid.
posted by crunchland at 3:12 PM on October 2, 2011


That was so great.
posted by rtha at 3:15 PM on October 2, 2011


From that wiki link: Beautiful revolving sphincter, oops brown painting by Damien Hirst (2003). Household gloss paint on canvas, 72" diameter.

I feel oddly inspired.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:19 PM on October 2, 2011


She paints without brushes, or a rudimentary sense of color!

This is gimmicky, and I can't get past the horrendous Leroy Neiman palette.
posted by Scoo at 3:22 PM on October 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Wow. Amazing.

Is art like this affordable for normal people?
posted by schwa at 3:23 PM on October 2, 2011


"This is gimmicky"

Isn't _everything_?
posted by schwa at 3:24 PM on October 2, 2011


"This is gimmicky"

Isn't _everything_?


Seems to be nowadays, but that's not the point. If a work of art was so amazing that it elicited questions from its admirers as to how it was made, then this kind of background insight would be fascinating, and enhance the experience.

Seems to me that in this case, we're just supposed to be awed at the premise, and appreciate the art second.
posted by war wrath of wraith at 3:29 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Graham works entirely without a paintbrush.

Half of the dynamic duo behind Stop Podcasting Yourself, Graham Clark's beard paintings will make you say, "Yeah, I can see how that was probably painted by a guy using his beard. But hey, it's for charity!"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:30 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Loved this, it's absolutely brilliant.

Just a shame there isn't more variety to her actual paintings, means it feels a bit like a stepup from those street painters you see who do paintings of night skies and planets using only spray paint. Both impressive, but kind of one dimensional.
posted by litleozy at 3:30 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why can't my artist kid be a good little earner like Amy, whacking out gimmicky decorative stuff that sells?

Why does she have to be another goddamned performance artist, straining to produce the next Interior Semiotics?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:34 PM on October 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Coincidentally, I too will be working entirely without a paintbrush this coming week. Call for directions to my cubicle.
posted by hal9k at 3:35 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just to add on: it's strange, it seems like she's moved more and more onto a fixed style. I'm assuming the gallery is chronological and if I'm right, she's decided to do just city landscapes with cars, or city landscapes invaded by nature. Pretty and nice, but can't hold a candle to this, this, or this to my mind, the more experimental stuff that I'm guessing (perhaps wrongly) is what she started out doing.

Maybe she realised that in a way what sells her paintings is what war wrath of wraith is has pointed out: the way she produces them. In which case it's better to produce a reliable and predictable product. This is pure conjecture, but I can see the logic of producing paintings that you know will sell, at least until you've established your 'brand'.
posted by litleozy at 3:37 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is apparently very, very, very hard to paint a mountain with dripping paint and have it come out looking like a mountain.

At least, I think that's a mountain...?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:40 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stuff people like sucks.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:46 PM on October 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


She paints without brushes, or a rudimentary sense of color!

Yeah, I have a problem with the color, too, but that doesn't mean it's not art... maybe that's PART of the art.

I kept picturing an ad in the back of a comic book... "Hey, Artists! Having trouble painting a straight line? Send away for our free booklet!"

All snark aside, I think it's cool, and definitely art, I just wouldn't hang it on my wall.

And this is what I do have on my wall, so my opinion probably doesn't count...

well, that and some Edward Gorey prints...

posted by Huck500 at 3:50 PM on October 2, 2011


Who said "the art of not doing what no one has not done before"?

Anyhow I like this. I'm pretty sure it is no great statement on the human condition, but it is fun, pretty and interesting.
posted by poe at 3:52 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Didn't she, like, change her mind a couple times in that video and obliterate some stuff she'd already laid down? That and the high speed made it seem even more willy-nilly than the finished piece looks on its own. It's the sound and fury of color! And I can't agree with the commenter who said that the process allows you to overlook the finished product-- I'd say the process misdirects you from the mediocrity.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 4:07 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can she do a Jimi Hendrix?

(David Garibaldi works with two brushes. Upside down.)
posted by chavenet at 4:14 PM on October 2, 2011


Huck500, I never implied it wasn't art. I implied it wasn't good art.
posted by Scoo at 4:44 PM on October 2, 2011


When painters describe how some other painter used "color right out of the tube," that is considered a cruel way of suggesting they ought to learn how to mix colors.

You don't need a brush to paint. Early Color Field painters like Morris Louis did groundbreaking work with flowed pigment. I spent many hours in art school producing copy studies from this painting by Lee Krasner, which was done with flowed paint and the thick lines applied by a bottle. And then there are works in encaustic, like this flat color painting by Brice Marden, which is basically wax poured a canvas on and then heated from underneath until it becomes smooth.

So it is a shame this girl hasn't bothered to study enough art to know there are precedents to what she's doing and they all did it a fuck of a lot better than she did. Her work reminds me of something I was told in Drawing 101, "There are no straight lines in nature." So this poor woman will constantly be using straight lines to make pictures of buildings and roads and sterile concrete landscapes. I hope someday she picks up a brush and paints a human figure.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:54 PM on October 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


At what gallery can I see your work, charlie?
posted by rocket88 at 4:59 PM on October 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Morris Louis didn't use a paint brush and his work is rather more interesting. Amy's borders on kitsch.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:17 PM on October 2, 2011


Having work in a gallery isn't a pre-requisite for art criticism. Whether you agree or not, charlie don't surf made an interesting contribution.
posted by twirlypen at 5:21 PM on October 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


charlie don't surf and Ideefixe,

I'm definitely seeing the hate-on you guys have for this but I'm not seeing anything more than a superficial similarity in the technique tying her art to the stuff you linked. Are there any other reasons why our appreciation for this effort is invalid? I'd challenge you to find precedent for the way the video describes her as putting thick enamel paint onto a horizontal canvas and mixing colors as she moves the thing to create those really cool watery effects.

Her work reminds me of something I was told in Drawing 101, "There are no straight lines in nature." So this poor woman will constantly be using straight lines to make pictures of buildings and roads and sterile concrete landscapes. I hope someday she picks up a brush and paints a human figure.

So wait art has to depict something natural for it to be art? Or is that just good art, you know, like the fundamentally unnatural you just linked.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:40 PM on October 2, 2011


"There are no straight lines in nature."

Except for sunbeams, crystals (minerals, snowflakes, etc.), all sorts of cellular fibers, any sort of line held taut by gravity or some other tension...

She paints without brushes, or a rudimentary sense of color!

I'm not sure I like it, but the wild colors are more striking and interesting than the technique.
posted by straight at 5:47 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Having work in a gallery isn't a pre-requisite for art criticism."

Telling a room full of people appreciating an artist that what they are enjoying is so beneath some objective standard of good that the artist should start again from high school art class is a lot of things. Art criticism is not one of them, but no, you're right having work in a gallery shouldn't be a pre-requisite for it.

If artists had any sense it would be the cardinal sin of art, much like a similar malfeasance is the cardinal sin of sports.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:19 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think her technique may be limiting her advancement as an artist, but even more limiting than that may be her success. The problem I find in her gallery is that I see hundreds of paintings all of a kind.

I want to see progression of style and evolution of concept as an artist matures.

It could be she's doing other stuff elsewhere and just shows this stuff in this one gallery because people are eating it up. I can't blame her for servicing a ready market, it's something most artists only dream about.

(I like some of the pieces okay as design work but they don't move me.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2011


i wonder what it sells for
posted by robbyrobs at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2011


Her choice of colors resembles an image in Photoshop with the contrast turned up: fully saturated RGB colors. It is interesting to see those colors make their way into traditional media.

I think that there might be 10-15 paintings in her gallery that would make a strong gallery show. Her main issue is quaity control.

She's been doing this series for 3 years now. If she really wants to innovate, she will take it in a new direction soon. If not, we'll know she's doing it for the red dots.
posted by scose at 7:15 PM on October 2, 2011


@scose: You're failing to account for the hyper-local angle. These works illustrate and interpret the beauty of the city of Toronto in a very rare, very real way.

She's 25 and making drop-dead gorgeous art. Isn't it a bit soon for such cynicism?
posted by tapesonthefloor at 7:22 PM on October 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't it a bit soon for such cynicism?

Hey, I wasn't saying that she's already sold out. Just that she will sell out if she keeps on making the same stuff forever. A lot of artists explore the same idea throughout their career, but the good ones reinterpret the idea continuously instead of following a template.

And you have to admit, the actual red dots on the web gallery images are pretty obnoxious.
posted by scose at 7:57 PM on October 2, 2011


If not, we'll know she's doing it for the red dots.

Isn't that okay though? To do something you enjoy and be able to be paid for it? Perhaps she works on other things on the side, or is developing new work but doesn't want to exhibit it yet, or perhaps she doesn't even care and is happy to keep painting similar things and getting paid to do it.
posted by twirlypen at 7:57 PM on October 2, 2011


Amy is a brilliant conceptual artist making a thinly-veiled critique on the commercialism of the art industry; specifically, the line between expression and salary. I am certain that she will keep creating these paintings as long as there is a market. When will the public interest die out? When did the public interest begin? When her art style changes, will it be motivated by artistic vision or monetary necessity? 3 years may seem to be a long time, but she would undoubtedly be able to sustain the same style for many more years. Will the number of 'red dots' be shown to be significant?
posted by 200burritos at 8:12 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The painting in the video is pretty bad, imo (Ketchup and Mustard isn't a great palette), but some of the other paintings are okay.

Still, I don't see how it's any different from this kind of thing. This is state fair stuff, but I'm sure she'll be able to make a career out of it.
posted by empath at 8:59 PM on October 2, 2011


Still, I don't see how it's any different from this kind of thing. --- Well, it's not certainly not Weetabix dub stepping, but I don't see what's wrong with that kind of thing, either.
posted by crunchland at 9:13 PM on October 2, 2011


Well, there's nothing wrong with either, if you like that kind of thing. But I wouldn't call it capital A Art.
posted by empath at 9:15 PM on October 2, 2011


Well, it may well be more craft than art, and I guess the results of that technique usually do belong just inside the cover of a finely bound book than hung on the wall of an art museum. But I think you may not giving that guy enough credit. I'm sure it took a long time to get the technique to make what he made look as effortless as it does. If Warhol and Duchamp did nothing else, they proved to the world that capital-A art is in the eye of the beholder.
posted by crunchland at 9:30 PM on October 2, 2011


Still, I don't see how it's any different from this kind of thing.

What? That video on "ebru" was fascinating and requires a hell of a lot more skill (we'll leave out the issue of talent) and is a traditional art form that goes back over a thousand years.

Now these dribble paintings remind me of stuff I see the walls in cheap hotels. If you want 100 identical copies of this "wonderful" painting, they'll throw in an extra five for free. F.O.B. Dafen, China.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:42 PM on October 2, 2011


Here's something that lots of people like and takes a significant amount of talent to produce. Why is that not enough? Why is it necessary to not only critique (which would be fair), but criticize in a manner that just drips (ha!) with contempt.

So it is a shame this girl hasn't bothered to study enough art to know there are precedents to what she's doing and they all did it a fuck of a lot better than she did.

How can you know this? Have you talked to her about her influences and motivations? Maybe she knows exactly on who's shoulders she's standing and is making a conscious decision to take this direction. Or maybe she doesn't give a shit and just enjoys her work. Isn't either case valid? And even an idiot like me noticed that she's making landscapes with flowing pigment, while your linked precedents aren't exactly gunning for realism.

So this poor woman will constantly be using straight lines to make pictures of buildings and roads and sterile concrete landscapes.

Are we looking at the same pictures? Virtually all of them contain (beautifully rendered, in my obviously un-cultured opinion) trees, lakes and rivers which have no straight lines at all. Why should I listen to your critiques when you're basically just making shit up?

I know fuck all about art, and I probably never will bother to learn anything because of the artier-than-thou attitude coming from people who "know". I mean, you're probably right about all your criticisms, for all I know! But you comment as if you're snickering with your fellow BFA's, and I find it really grating. I would think someone who loved art would be happy to see a young person making a different type of art that a lot of people apparently see beauty in, even if it clashed with your own aesthetic. But apparently there is right art and wrong art, and this is wrong.

I hope someday she picks up a brush and paints a human figure.

Because, you know, that's the right way to do art. Duly noted.
posted by auto-correct at 10:49 PM on October 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


Banal at best.

And the whole "if you know sth about art and criticize this then you're an elitist who makes people like me turn to Kinkade!" thing is tired and misguided. I get it: you like this woman's paintings; I don't. Go ahead and feel that way and I'll go ahead and feel this way. In the end, though, her work will be of no significance. You don't have to care about that criterion, but it's the yardstick of record and don't be surprised that others do.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:44 PM on October 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Art is when you do something in front of a room of people who stroke their goatees and say, "that's not art."
posted by bicyclefish at 12:20 AM on October 3, 2011


What if they don't have goatees? What then, huh? Huh? Bet it's not art then.

Do people still have goatees? Weren't they just the mullet of the mid-nineties?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:28 AM on October 3, 2011


Do people still have goatees?
I think fat guys frequently wear them on the theory that it creates the illusion of a single well-defined chin.

posted by pracowity at 1:44 AM on October 3, 2011


Why should I listen to your critiques when you're basically just making shit up?

You shouldn't!

You're always gonna have some bitter BFA-holdin', goatee-strokin' wannabe whining "that's not art" no matter what you do.

Paint something from your imagination, it's not art. Paint something you see in front of you, it's not art. Paint for a client it's not art. Make up your own entire technique, do cool stuff with it, make a buck or two and nope, they'll say, it's still not art.

Basically if they weren't taught your name in art school it's not art.

Yet when they copy some horrendous squares and zig-zags thirty years ago? THAT THERE is ART, son, and don't you forget it!

Well, her work may not be art as defined by some random Drawing 101 teacher three decades ago but I'll bet she has a blast doing it, and makes enough cash from it to buy pants.
posted by chronkite at 2:43 AM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Having work in a gallery isn't a pre-requisite for art criticism. Whether you agree or not, charlie don't surf made an interesting contribution.

No, it's not a prerequisite. I was just curious, since charlie don't surf has at least taken a Drawing 101 class, what his art looked like. (By the way, the "rules" they teach in 101 classes are the same ones you have to break to be a real artist)

Anyway, that "interesting contribution" wasn't art criticism. It was wild assumptions about the artist's knowledge, motivation, and vision. These paintings are hit and miss for me, too. I find about 10% of them interesting, but stick to criticizing the works themselves, Charlie, not the person who made them. I think they teach that in 201.
posted by rocket88 at 7:47 AM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mrs. txmon and I have, at various times, made our living off our artistic endeavors, supplemented our income by them and worked sporadically to furiously in private. We take our art seriously, but have no pretense to changing the arc of Art History. When we have dependent on sales for food and shelter we have always reminded each other of the axiom passed on to us by a minor mentor early in our lives. "Very few artists have gone broke underestimating the taste of the American public." I guess this applies to Canadians too. The point to me is not to conflate personal taste with artistic validity. Others have already pointed out that she has admirers and apparently a presence in the market. Good for her! She's making money at something she loves to do. People are spending some money and enjoying what she gives them for it...good for them. It is indisputably art. Some people like it. Others don't. Will she change the arc of Art History? Will she be taught in BFA curricula after she dies? Not a chance. So what? I don't personally like her work that much (a few in the gallery are pretty pleasant), but I don't understand the animosity at all.
posted by txmon at 8:07 AM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because it's hip to be churlish.
posted by crunchland at 8:15 AM on October 3, 2011


All I can say is, I'm so glad this wasn't about vomit.
posted by Mister_A at 8:19 AM on October 3, 2011


MetaFilter: Interior Semiotics.
posted by WalkingAround at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2011


ARGH THE TUBE COLORS
posted by cmoj at 10:20 AM on October 3, 2011


I'm 26 and not in student loan debt. I double majored in largely unrelated art fields and attended possibly the best known art school in the US.

Pollack was a drunk who accidentally made amazing paintings, or if you disagree, influential paintings. I've never heard anyone anywhere say Crumb is a hack. I've never heard the phrase "there's [sic] no straight lines in nature," though I do notice none of the "straight" lines in your examples are straight (This is a skill called observation. Yes, Art School taught that.).

I'm not mad at this girl for making her paintings, or at people for liking them. However, they are compositionally derivative on the level of those spray paint planet-scape things (which are sorta cool). There's no evidence that there's thought for color beyond, "Grass is green, right?"

As someone who went to school for it, does it, and thinks about a craft that goes far beyond the physical complexities of making, these are simplistic doctor's office paintings with poster paint colors. And I have to say that your rehearsed venom for this "they" seems to reveal more about you than any external reality.
posted by cmoj at 1:40 PM on October 3, 2011


I really like some of these, they look like what would happen if the city from Mirror's Edge was left to rot for a couple of hundred years.
posted by Lucien Dark at 1:52 PM on October 3, 2011


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