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New art

Post #861 • August 28, 2006, 5:21 PM • 14 Comments

My camera and I are having misunderstandings still, but this will do.

Franklin Einspruch: Japanese Restaurant, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

Comment

1.

Danny Kelly

August 28, 2006, 7:39 PM

Hmm. Painterly observation in the relationships proposed in the characters' faces/gestures. Quite simple. Obviously very Matisse, except the forms are purely decorational - no meaning at all to be found in the objects on hand, ie espresso cup. The colours seem tasteful enough, though once again chosen for decorational purposes only, the painting is emotionally barren.
The point seems to be the slight mystery conveyed by the unpalpable conversation or social climate half shown, half hidden by the fact that one of the character's back is turned and a background character seems to be listening. There is a slight suspense here I suppose. Is there something shadowy in the darker woman's complexion and hair colour?

A rather uninteresting painterly resonse to a contemporary urban and social scene.

2.

Franklin

August 28, 2006, 9:56 PM

Is there something shadowy in the darker woman's complexion and hair colour?

Yes. Glare. It's pissing me off, too, because that's straight Golden mars black, no medium, and it's still reflecting once I got the texture where I wanted it. Assuming ivory black is even more transparent, is there another option anyone knows about?

3.

RL

August 28, 2006, 11:32 PM

Franklin

There is a nice narrative content with this work.
I could spend hours thinking about what the to ladies talking about.
and I am convinced the man in the background knows one of them because he looking right at them

I have set up several scenarios to explain this picture.

Oh dear Is she drinking sake?

4.

Franklin

August 28, 2006, 11:48 PM

Thanks, RL. Yeah, she's drinking sake.

5.

Jay

August 29, 2006, 5:37 AM

I lost (let go) of a 8000 sq. ft. Zionist church in the Berkshires for 100k because of a real estate man named Dick Shoestock, who had informed my wife and I that hitler had his ski team practice on Mount Greylock.
I had an idealist (socialist) agenda that I began to re-evaluate...
Why should others have such affect/influence, negatively or positively ?

Figurative painting is hard and thus the most worthwhile practice in the Arts.
The 'physical' always beats the 'virtual' - as long as we still use our fingers and tongues...

6.

Danny Kelly

August 29, 2006, 6:16 AM

Ah... sake. Well that does make this scene more mysterious than coffee would. The content of their conversation and the possibilities for it carry more bite now because we understand it may be heavy, as she's on the booze. It's in keeping with the portentous night of the woman's face and hair. There seems a very deep shadow there now.
Somehting I missed last night (Irish time) is the perkiness in the blonde woman's posture. Also her 'happy-go-lucky' green top and pink hair thing. She is also not drinking. This makes her a very particular kind of friend, someone a more destructive buddy might confide in. There seems more truth and insight in the depiction now. Is this gouache or acrylic? That's what I'm guessing.

"Figurative painting is hard and thus the most worthwhile practice in the Arts.
The 'physical' always beats the 'virtual' - as long as we still use our fingers and tongues..."

Jay, this is going to need more arguing I'm afraid. Figurative painting is hard? Any sort of quality is hard to chieve in painting. I am of the opinion, as a dutiful descendant of the abstract expressionists, that since we are reading between the lines the font as such is meaningless.
I do not think that means carrt any importance at all. We are all just trying to be profound and it is only the coherence and freshness of the equation that is important.

7.

Danny Kelly

August 29, 2006, 6:19 AM

Excuse me. What I meant to type was:
I do not think that the means carry any importance at all.

8.

XYguy

August 29, 2006, 6:52 AM

As I recall, your previous paintings were the bold gestures of painting knife. Sometimes it workedt, sometimes it didn't (visually chaotic). The above posted painting, as I understand, it is attempt to explore new possibilities in this medium. As I look at the relationships of the colors, it works. There is certain color energy in the painting which keeps my eye interested when I follow a color game. I think the light-yellow hair are bit too strong and I'd go rather with darkened orange instead, although I'd be wrong. But then, after I have stopped thinking about the colors I loose the interest in painting. The depiction of the situation in cafe with the faceless figures "Matisse like form" (from the above post) looses its visual punch. You try to depict human event with not humans faces but solid mass of dolls/manekins-like identities. That's why I lost my interest...
I understand this is experiment. Focusing on colors now, may lead you to even more interesting results in the future and more individual artistic language.
What I am looking for in the paintings are the layers of all possible visual complexities which human eye can register in the painting, not only complexities of colors. But I will give you thumb up for this painting. Being myself a painter I know how hard it is to break down the own barrier of comfort and move to the next step, to uncomfortable zone.
I enjoy visits here in Artblog from time to time, so that's why I wanted to give you truthful and non fake response. I don't know if my post was helpful but this my 2 cents.
Regards

9.

Franklin

August 29, 2006, 9:20 AM

Jay, I'm going to have to look around the Berkshires. I could use 8000sq ft... Let's see how I do with my first real winter in 15 years. I'd be okay with the Nazis having used it. I'd ski around myself, saying, see who's got your resort now, mofos? Figurative painting is definitely hard. I don't know if it's the most worthwhile of the arts (one has to decide those things for oneself), but I do sympathize with something Paul Cadmus said, "I believe that art is not only more true but also more living and vital if it derives its immediate inspiration and its outward form from contemporary life. The actual contact with human beings who are living and dying, working and playing, exercising all their functions and passions, demonstrating the heights and depths of man's nature, gives results of far greater significance than those gained by isolation, introspection or subjective contemplation of inanimate objects." It's not true, I still love Morandi and Pieter Claesz and a couple dozen abstractionists, but I sympathize anyway.

Danny, just in case you haven't seen it, sake is warmed, served in one of those little tall bottles like the blue one there on the table, and poured into diminuitive cups with no handles. It's really quite nice and worth trying if you haven't yet. I searched to see if there are Japanese restaurants in Ireland - you have a few in Dublin and one in Cork. The painting is acrylic.

XYguy, thank you for your candor. One of the ideas that came out of the earlier work was to treat all the features of the painting with the same handling, be it face, foot, or wall. In the heavily textured work that caused some of the faces to drop out completely, which was a tough decision, but I thought it was the right one, and there was some precedent for it in the work of Monet. I did some thick paintings up here in the new studio, but after a couple of them I had to admit that my heart wasn't in it anymore. I wanted to depict things that weren't in the studio, chill down the paint usage, make up some of the colors, and generally craft the objects more. So I did bad paintings for a month and half and finally came up with the current series. Before, with the heavy paint, the faceless figures had some implied motion, so you got the sense that they were there, but were blurred. Here, you're right, they're coming off a bit doll-like. People have found both instances disturbing; one of my galleries nearly lost a sale because of a lack of a face in an older work. But the idea is the same in both of them - to transfer what we think of as expression out of the face and into the rest of the body, the posture, and even the clothing, so that every part of the painting can get the same formal feel. If you have the chance, come to Dorsch in October. I think they make more sense in each others' presence.

10.

Marc Country

August 30, 2006, 10:41 AM

Someone told me that it's bad luck to pour your own sake, so I figured the woman was offering the cup to her blonde friend.

The little rectangle in the top left corner hangs down too far for my eye (just a li'l too close to the dude's head). And, maybe the woman's pony tail could be a slightly different blonde than the rest of the head...

11.

jordan

August 30, 2006, 4:44 PM

What seems most interesting Franklin is the point of view in which the viewer/ observer is situated in. I'm forced to look around the shoulder of the one girl while the guy in the background is watching me shoot the scene. The girl facing me (the viewer) cocks her head to the side to make eye contact - eyes are not needed for this picture.

12.

ahab

August 30, 2006, 10:37 PM

For some time as I looked at this image I thought maybe I was being distracted from full enjoyment of it by the broad navy swoosh and half football along the top. As I've studied it though I've come to think that the problem, if there is one, might be the rear-most upper third. The pastels of the background street contribute to an articulation of the pictoral space, and make some sense as far distant hues, but seem to simultaneously unsettle the mid- and foreground shapes; maybe because the space is exaggerated out of proportion with the remainder of the setting's visual information.

I may not be expressing this very well, but I think the teal, pink and grey (implied) rectangles should be significantly darkened. Currently, by virtue of their close and unique tonal value, the swoop looks more like the woman's antlers than the midground logo-on-a-window that I presume it to be. I can think of half a dozen ways to solve this, but I've probably typed more than enough.

13.

Franklin

August 31, 2006, 10:48 AM

Darkening the background would absorb the figure in the middle ground. I wanted the contrast and the sense of backlighting.

This is one of those pieces with problems that one tries to fix in a subsequent painting.

14.

ahab

August 31, 2006, 11:15 AM

Fair. I'll own up to liking these last couple of paintings, and am intrigued enough to want to look at them in person some day.

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