Friday, August 28, 2009

72 portraits: Final

Only a 72 dpi photo. I'll have to adjust my camera. lol wait, is that where the number 72 comes from? standard camera resolution . . .
Above is the final desicion for my composition for the '72 self-portraits' project.

Friday, August 21, 2009

72 Faces: WIP

I'm thinking about going with a diagonal composition.

Or like down here, a composition roughly seperated in the center. Dark values on the left, light values on the right.

Zhao Kailin and Sargent

This image is an oil on linen painting by Zhao Kailin. I was on Youtube one day and found an painting and printmaking graduate student talking about Kailin. He'd visited an exhibition that featured a few of Kailin's oil paintings.

Zhao Kailin was born in China, raised there, and graduated the school of Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing China. He immigrated to to Los Angeles, USA in 2003.

First off, technically, he is amazing. Just amazing. Kailin's paintings and sketches broke me of the unnessicary sterotype of what Chinese artists can do. I assumed that all asian art was simple, clean, delicate, well-composed and poetic; and that 'classical' art belonged to the western world.
No so. Instead, Kailin paints these very traditonal western looking paintings. Maybe the only hint that they are by a Chinese-American artist are the subjects themselves: all beautiful eastern women. In fact, my interpretation of the painting above, 'Whisper' is the statue of the european woman whispering her secrets to the composed and thoughtful eastern/Chinese woman. A transfer of knowlege. Maybe it lends a peek into Kailin's inspiration.

My high school art history education like must public high shcools in America was brief. My first and burned-in introduction to Chinese art inculed jade bracelets and stone statues of foo lions or Chinese gaurdian lions/dogs. They are those things out side of palaces that look like a lion and dragon mixed.

(I'm almost certain that 'Food Lion' brand grocery store stole the idea for their logo from Fu Lion. Before it became 'Bloom' of course.)

Ancient Chinese art really captivated me as a kid. And old Chinese cultural tresures are very very important. In retrospect, I would've liked a less narrow view of Chinese art and a broader, more modern view of Chinese art. All up to personal research, I guess.

Kailin paints so westernly. Kailin's brushwork is percise and tight; and the skin perfectly translucent. His women remind me slightly of John Singer Sargent's paintings of women. 'Lady Agnew of Lochnaugh' is a good example for the case. She looks directly at the viewer. There is a patterned chair and upholstery. The clothing is elegant, womanly and (I think) Sargent used to purposefully demonstrate his technical skill.

Kailin's women have similarities and differances.

They are warm and inviting, usually baring a small closed-lip smile. And he uses primarily warm colors to add to the effect. His woman are also often doing something artistic like playing the flute, or cello, or very gracefully holding a fan.

Sargent's women, by contrast seem distant. The famous' Madam X', the 'advance retreat' lady. Flashing white chest, neck, and red ear. She is full of conflict. His women seem less . . . warm.

The differance is worth comtemplating.

Zhao Kailin's website: Visit him!!!

John Singer Sargent .org: