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Some Paintings
December 17, 2008 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Alex Kanevsky paints waves, portraits. Of further interest, the progression of some of his paintings, and some amazing prints. Be aware, some of his paintings are nudes.

His studio-mate Hollis Heichemer does more abstract expressionist work, but I find his paintings on photographs more interesting.
posted by klangklangston (20 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like the progressions. Not so keen on the Heichemer, bit I appreiciated the Kanevsky. I don't know why, but some of the portraiture reminded me of Lucian Freud.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:53 PM on December 17, 2008


Beautiful, but bleak.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:11 PM on December 17, 2008


Yeah, the Heichemer (which I mentally pronounce as Herkimer) stuff isn't as strong, but I thought there were a couple of interesting pieces. It reminded me a lot of William Hundley.

A lot of the portraiture uses the same pallet as Freud, and the chunky brush strokes are really similar. I found the guy through a link to some of those prints, which I'd love to see up close…
posted by klangklangston at 1:21 PM on December 17, 2008


nudes... yeah but OF PEOPLE?! Hello!? A little notice would have been nice! What the hell do you think this is, SpaceFrance of the Future? We have cultural standards around here! My boss at the culturacorp just fired me and burned me at the stake in the town square for laying eyes on the vulgarities of the devil, you ASSHOLE!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:46 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


then feel free to take me to MeTa ;)
posted by klangklangston at 2:08 PM on December 17, 2008


Otherwise, nudes of what? Mink? Pudding?
posted by beelzbubba at 2:27 PM on December 17, 2008


Look, this is the thing. This is the thing about paintings and pictures of them. Pictures of them in magazines or on the internet, same thing, they almost never have anything to do with the real live work.

Take a look at this. It looks pretty stupid. The thing is, if you were in front of it, live, there's a universe of information you just aren't going to get in a picture, and that universe of information is a big, fat nine tenths of the painting. Without that information you don't really have any idea if it's a good painting or not. You might think it's a good image or a bad image, but you can not know if it is a good painting.

These look like they could be good paintings. I like the progressions. I'd go out of my way to see them in person, to see if they do bear any relation to Freud, but I promise I'll be pissed if they suck. 'Cause that's the thing about pictures of paintings - they never get all the facts.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:40 PM on December 17, 2008


I don't know why, but some of the portraiture reminded me of Lucian Freud.

Perhaps because they're painted from life? I seldom enjoy "life" paintings that are obviously of photographs. The waves are from life, according to the description. If the portraits aren't, they are at least from someone who has looked very closely at and painted from life.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:55 PM on December 17, 2008


"Take a look at this. It looks pretty stupid."

Actually, I thought it looked pretty cool.
posted by klangklangston at 3:01 PM on December 17, 2008


This is the thing about paintings and pictures of them. Pictures of them in magazines or on the internet, same thing, they almost never have anything to do with the real live work.

Hey, sorry about the death of modernism, buddy, but now that there's an attempt to democratize access to art, we can all pretend along even if we can't get to a collection. I like to try a level of removal from art. I like to see what goes missing with temporality and tactility. It barely impacts critical analysis,which I would say defines and is not entirely to the detriment of critical analysis.

I find your complaint about pictures of paintings not being the REAL THING akin to people complaining that trailers "aren't really like the movie." Well, of course not. It's not everyone who feels they've been there, done that, about art they've only seen pictures of. Medium specificity and transgression can be fun to fuck around in, though.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:20 PM on December 17, 2008


From the images, Kanevsky looks pretty bog standard to me (possibly because I saw some bloody amazing seascapes the other week), but Heichemer's paintings on photographs seem really intriguing - they remind me of Victorian spirit photography.

'Cause that's the thing about pictures of paintings - they never get all the facts.

Absolutely. Give it time, though. Technology seems to rip along at a pretty absurd pace; give it a decade or two and looking at art on the web might get vaguely close to doing so in the flesh. (I have a horrible feeling this might be an 'old-fashioned' view, though - eg., here the principal of The Ruskin quotes a student saying that "he'd never seen an artwork that looked better in the flesh than it did the first time he'd seen it on the web." If I ran an art school, that'd be grounds for immediate dismissal!)
posted by jack_mo at 3:33 PM on December 17, 2008


Not so much Lucien Freud as Adele Lack.
posted by xod at 4:08 PM on December 17, 2008


"It barely impacts critical analysis,which I would say defines and is not entirely to the detriment of critical analysis."

I do disagree with this. It doesn't really impact composition to see "photos of" rather than "the work," but critical analysis should stem fully from the senses first. I'd also argue that "what's missing" can only be appreciated and understood after seeing the work in person and comparing that to pictures (which can be interesting). Otherwise, I think you're setting yourself up for charges of facile and shallow analysis, something that we already have quite enough of, thanks, and that pomo criticism should be especially sensitive toward, because it has those glib surface tendencies. The only art that isn't affected negatively by reproduction is work that is reproduction-native (e.g. web art).

However, I don't really post things to MeFi expecting an in-depth critical analysis.

"From the images, Kanevsky looks pretty bog standard to me (possibly because I saw some bloody amazing seascapes the other week), but Heichemer's paintings on photographs seem really intriguing - they remind me of Victorian spirit photography.

What I liked about Kanevsky's seascapes was the sense of multiple exposure and motion in them. I like Forster's seascapes OK, but I've seen a lot of similar photorealistic graphite work (there was just a big show of it up at the Hammer Museum a couple months ago), and it's not so much my bag aside from the admiration of crazy technical skills.
posted by klangklangston at 4:20 PM on December 17, 2008


the admiration of crazy technical skills

Yeah, I got a bit carried away by that, but they absolutely have a 'sense of multiple exposure and motion in them' too (they're drawings of photographs), but... it just doesn't show up in the jpegs on the gallery site.
posted by jack_mo at 5:27 PM on December 17, 2008


critical analysis should stem fully from the senses first

Which senses am I not using? The gallery-sniffing sense? I think this is a valid question.

The only art that isn't affected negatively by reproduction is work that is reproduction-native (e.g. web art).

Reproduction-native? What, digtal? Oh, I knoooow. But, there's certainly no definitive qualitative loss for reproduction of analog works, I assure you. I mean we're not playing Benjaminian armageddon here. Medium transference bears loss but there's gain, too. Don't lose hope.

I dont' know what the fuck you mean when you say postmodern and I'm ignoring it.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:49 AM on December 18, 2008


Hey, sorry about the death of modernism, buddy,

Sweetie, I can call you "sweetie", can't I? I kid, I kid Buddy, my penny-ante whining does not have much of anything to do with modernism. I read my Benjamin, I drank the Kool-Aid, "I Drink it Up!". I did spit a bunch out. My gripe is with the inadequacy of photography to convey all the information the actual object
contains - information which is often every bit as pertinent in conveying meaning as the 'image' itself. And even if it is not an issue the artist is overtly addressing (this is my point with Jensen's paintings, they are as much about putting paint on as the resulting image, but you'd never ever know that from a photo) it is one they considered and dealt with, and the result of that is worth knowing. In my experience it is as big a component of the experience as what the painting is 'of'. You never get that in photographs and I don't think Mr.Kanevsky wants his paintings to be exclusively images, or he would not bother using paint...

Medium specificity and transgression can be fun to fuck around in, though. Absolutely and Mr.Kanevesky's 'progression' series' takes advantage of this (or addresses this, or maybe addresses some frustration of his with the inadequacy of the internet to convey what he's worked at so hard in his paintings) and it's the thing I got from the site.

I wouldn't have a horse in this race except for the fact that I've seen paintings in the flesh that in photographs were resoundingly "meh" (alternatively, I've seen paintings that were way less compelling than their photographs, yeah I'm looking at you Mr. Wiley.), and I always feel bad for the artist because a lot of people will think "meh" and never know that there is something there.

And look, sweet-cheeks I can call you "sweet-cheeks," can't I? Pall-'o-mine, this internet thing is absofuckinglutely no way to bring "art" that the artist made to hang on a wall to the masses - never has been, never will be. It's a thing with big, fat limitations artists do to promote themselves.

Excuse me, I have to go polish... something or other...


posted by From Bklyn at 1:41 AM on December 18, 2008


*On preview*

But, there's certainly no definitive qualitative loss for reproduction of analog works, I assure you

Yeah. No. There is loss. Yeah, there is gain, but it stops being the same thing. I'm lamenting that I can't be in the presence of that thing represented. And bitching about that distance between the thing in the flesh and the thing represented.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:46 AM on December 18, 2008


Watching Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, I was struck by the paintings of Caden Cotard's estranged wife, Adele Lack. Nice paintings, I thought. I liked the idea of these expressionist portraits. The look of them conveyed a large-scale painting - broad, gestural strokes contained by anatomical precision.

I liked how Cotard's world, his play, was becoming full scale, stage as building cross-section, stage as city, while Adele's world grew smaller. Initially, she's painting at a relatively conventional scale but moves to a scale impossible for the indexically dripped, gestural, paintings shown. Beautiful.

I wondered whose work it was. Thanks for the post.
posted by xod at 9:10 AM on December 18, 2008


Ignore the last link. Sorry. This one.
posted by xod at 9:14 AM on December 18, 2008


"Which senses am I not using? The gallery-sniffing sense? I think this is a valid question.

The remove from the object necessarily impacts the sense of sight. Texture is important, and it barely comes through. That's why, excepting flash rotational galleries, most representations of sculpture are useless in terms of actually experiencing the work.

"Reproduction-native? What, digtal? Oh, I knoooow."

No, I said "reproduction-native" for a reason. Art intended for mass production is also reproduction-native, in that the object as individual has diminished importance. Other art in that sense would include video, television and movies—my copy of National Lampoon's Increasingly Pathetic College Hijinx Movie is just as valid as yours, and can be enjoyed simultaneously at the same level of critical engagement. That's not true with singular objects, or objects that are not reproduction-native. And it's not a function purely of the media, it's one of contextual intent.

"But, there's certainly no definitive qualitative loss for reproduction of analog works, I assure you."

Assure me all you want, it's still bullshit. That there can be gain does not mitigate that there is loss, just as that music can be mastered for mp3 or FM does not mean that those are not lossy formats. That's what I mean by facile pomo assertions—assuming that because things can be interpreted differently through a different medium that this means there's no qualitative loss isn't true. Denying that means willful blindness to the choices made by artists. And I'm not talking about Benjamin, who, essay title aside, seems rather off-point here. These paintings are artifacts. Their reproductions are separate artifacts that can only honestly be engaged as what they are—reproductions of the paintings. There are choices that occur in their creating and selection that simply render them secondary to the creation of the paintings themselves. Does that mean that no criticism can be made of them? No, obviously not. If direct observation was necessary to comment on an artifact, we'd have to shut down every art history program in the world. Is it qualitatively different to see a painting by Rothko or a slide of a painting by Rothko? I don't know anyone who's had that experience who would argue otherwise—the works are simply not reproduction native. And, though I haven't seen the paintings of this FPP, I'll guess that they're not either, whereas the "progress" works definitely are, because they can't be presented in any other form (unless you want to argue an oblique Benjamin cultist aspect).
posted by klangklangston at 11:32 AM on December 18, 2008


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