I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are
Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.
The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.
This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross
Grey Cross Studios/Immortal Artist Operations
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
As an artist and photographer I've had the opportunity to see a great many faces, but most are caught in a moments time and for me. That's the face that person will always wear because that is the image I captured. But occasionally the rare opportunity comes along to see past that one face and into a persons soul and identity.
I got thinking about this recently and wanted to understand it better.
One of my models I've worked with for over 15 years. During that time I've gotten the opportunity to capture many sides to who they were. As a performer, an artist, a human, they have worn many faces and I have had the chance to observe them. Over successive years and many thousands of images, I've been graced with this persons friendship and an intimate look at who they are, who they were and who they might become.
The following series of images, some edited, some not, are a compilation of these faces. They are not by far all the images I have, but represent the diversity that one human being can be.
In looking at the images in this way its given me a chance to examine the human identity better and try to grasp what it is to be human and what it is to be an artist and a photographer who tries to capture a taste of that humanity. There is one last idea that is examined in their compilation. Do these images make us immortal in a way? There is an essential part of us that we leave behind in these faces we show the world? Or is it merely illusion? Of this I cannot answer.
There are all sorts of creative venues trying out new ideas to attract art lovers and help artists get notice. Artists cannot rely on Galleries anymore to get seen. This is no offense against the gallery system. It has its place in the future of the art world. But artists are now taking their careers into their own hands and trying out new and innovative ideas to get their work seen.
Monday, November 26, 2018
Evolutionary Art is exactly what it is called. It is art that evolves. It is a piece of art that changes and evolves over time.
Art is typically considered to be static. For example, the Mona Lisa looks much the same today as it did when DaVinci first painted it. Yes there has been a lot of preservation applied to keep it looking like it does, but its basic has not changed.
In fact, art that has changed is usually defective. A great example is Jackson Pollock. When Pollock was creating his drip paintings, he used gloss enamel house paint for a lot of his work. This was a new product at the time which emerged in the 1930's. It was perfect for Pollock's uses, but as was found out later, it lost its color over time. This is why a house traditionally needs to be repainted every so often. The result is that some of Pollock's paintings are now beginning to devalue because they are loosing their color.
With this in mind, art that changes over time is usually frowned upon.
Monday, November 5, 2018
Working with dead wood which has been laying around for 30 or 40 years, is that you occasionally encounter some problems. As a sculpting base its fantastic but sometimes there are some rather unusual problems. With the piece above, I was working on the restoration and cleaning of the piece when I found it had a decidedly large termite family living within it. In most cases once I've cleaned the wood, the local denizens all die. Not in this case. Its now been treated several times with an insecticide that permeates the cracks, but they still continue to wriggle out. I am hoping a third treatment will do the trick. But in the offhand chance it doesn't, the rest will be caught in their own tomb when I use an epoxy sealant on the wood as the final step of the restoration process.
Do other sculptors have these odd problems????
Yeah it will look great when its finished!
Friday, November 2, 2018
The Scottish author George MacDonald once wrote "How strange this fear of death is! We are never frightened at a sunset".
How we look at death is as important as how we look at life. Death teaches us strength and compassion and lets us know that inevitably all things change over time even if we cannot always sense its passage.
When I walk in the Cities of the Dead it is a reminder to me not of death, but of time. I look upon these solid stone tombs and I see the tiny cracks in the marble and then I look upon my artists hands and see the tiny wrinkles on my flesh and I understand that flesh or stone, nothing is ever permanent.
So why be afraid? Like George said, its only the sunset. What happens when the sun rises again?
To view the complete City of the Dead collection, click here: Walking in the City of the Dead
Monday, October 29, 2018
We are "Art Professionals". Anything less is demeaning and casts our art down to the level of a hobby.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Saturday, October 20, 2018
I was working on a very large sculpture (12 feet high by 5 feet wide). But the width was only a few inches deep. Before the piece was even finished it was requested to be in an upcoming show. To that point I had spent all of my time working on the aesthetics and messaging of the piece. For artists this is the most important part of any piece of art. Its why the art is made in the first place.
But once it was decided that it would be in a show, a whole new set of problems arose. Thus far the pieces to the sculpture (4 in total) had merely been leaning up against one wall of the studio. There had not been a reason to consider logistics. Up until that point I figured it would just screw into a wall that it rested on. Now this simple plan was trashed. How could I be so stupid as to not consider this vital aspect of the art?
Thursday, October 18, 2018
From time to time I get obsessed with a particular genre of images. This often results in an artistic exploration of that genre. The more knowledge we have as artists, the better our ability to explore more and more complex themes in our art.
A recent obsession with urban decay led me to an exploration of war photos that show the bleak realities of battle. I took a particular interest in photos showing bombed out cities on the verge of collapse. I think there is a stark beauty in these images. There is no doubt that they carry with them a emotional depth that effects us when we see them.
The image above was taken of Leningrad during World War II. Its one of many that fascinates me. I was looking at it the other night and I thought to myself, what if the image were raised up from stark reality to surrealism? What if the image took on an almost dreamlike state. How would it change perceptions of the image?
And right there I recognized a conceptual idea that needed to be explored. War and surrealism. So I reworked the image above to transform it into something new.
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Think of it this way. The story "Jack and Jill went up the hill" is just a story. Its easy to tell and probably wouldn't create a very good piece of art. There is no emotion. But if the story was "Jack and Jill started up the hill until Jack said its to high, I'm going home and went back down the hill without Jill." creates a simple emotional component to the story. The story is now more interesting because there is emotion within it. Jill is now alone on the hill. Jack is a bit of a pussy because he can't handle the walk. Emotion. Tell the story with you art, but tell the emotions also. In the piece below, the emotion is all in the title. Miss Rosa Marie the boat now takes on the human emotions of death and a final resting place. The piece is no longer just about a boat, but about a majestic old lady. Emotion.
But as I said, its fun to show the beginning and the end so that the viewer can get an idea of what goes into the process. Here is Miss Rosa Marie.
People getting started in the arts face a conundrum: You need a portfolio to get work and money to create a portfolio. But if you get a job to fund your portfolio development, you may not have the time to create. Whether you’re a visual artist, a landscape designer, or working in another creative field, what you need is paying work that offers a high level of flexibility so you can earn income while still leaving time for artistic endeavors.
If you’re thinking that’s impossible, think again. Gigs can provide the stable income that artists and creators need to pay their bills while pursuing opportunities in the arts. While these four gigs may not be solutions for long-term employment, they’re ideal for making it work when you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a consistent stream of paying projects.
Monday, October 1, 2018
Good models, whether you are photographing them, sketching them or posing them for a sculpture are an invaluable resource.
Occasionally I am asked why I have such good luck with finding and working with models. Over the years I've been fortunate to have had many fantastic models grace my art. They were not always easy to find. I am very demanding of my models. They must be ready to listen, contort, focus, block out distractions and expose themselves.
A new model not only has to sit through an orientation, but they receive a printed list of instructions a mile long. They must be ready to have lights glaring in their eyes, costumes placed on their bodies and probably ripped off later and paint slathered upon their skin.
Above all they must be patient.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Monday, September 24, 2018
I admit my work (especially sculpture) is unusual. A lot of what I do is surrealist in nature. So when I create something that seems bizarre even to my standards, then its saying a lot.
The original intent of this piece was to use the film projector to create something akin to an archaeological dig. Building up the clay work around the projector to give the impression it had been dug out of the ground.
But as I proceeded with the piece something just wasn't sitting right. Other artists will understand this nagging feeling that persists when a piece of art is not going the direction its meant to go.
I let the project lag for a few weeks, just hoping I'd come to some kind of resolution on it. In fact I was so discouraged over it that I took down a tutorial I'd been posting as the piece was developed. None of it felt right.
Then one night just before sleep, I thought I might have a clue as to what was bothering me about it. It was the concept itself. The idea of taking modern electronics and recasting them to look like ancient archaeological objects was the problem. The concept had already been explored. While I could not pinpoint the artist or artists who had explored a similar idea, I suddenly knew with a certainty that it had been done before.
Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with re-exploring art ideas. But in this case I was not contributing anything new to the concept. I was just rehashing ideas already explored. As an experimental artist, this is anathema to me. I contribute to an idea if I can through exploration add something new to the idea.
In subsequent days I found numerous examples of the base concept to confirm my suspicions.
Then a small kitten stepped into the equation.
Sunday, September 23, 2018
I had a dream. Looking back from old age, I saw that Hurricane Katrina was not the storm of the century. She was not the worst we would face. She is not even as devastating as those of us who lived through her would see in future maelstroms. She was simply the first of the great storms that were to come and wreak havoc around the world. She was the earths way of saying "You didn't listen".
Since her time, we've faced Sandy, Harvey, Maria and Florence and a whole host of others. There are worse to come. We sit idly by and watch it happen and shrug. We say "its nature". We say "Its god". We say "Its not my fault".
As an artist, I try not to preach. I try to allow my art to speak for itself. But in this case I offer up a simple prayer of grief also. Because its going to get worse. Much worse. And we are too stupid to see it.