Monday, July 23, 2012

Production and Presentation of an artwork

     By painting as the area of my profession I can discover a new layer of myself through it. I respect the occurrence of accidents in my paintings and let them to happen with their own logic. Acrylic colour, charcoal and drawing pencil have always been the main tools and medium of my choice as they allow possibilities of interpretation and greater working speed. Human, living situation and social condition have had a great impression in the growth of ideas and are as part of my artworks. With the abstract content of ‘city’ as the first stage of my paintings, I was interested in human living condition. City atmosphere, skyscrapers and buildings were the main themes of my work. I used photography and collage as a method of sketching before producing the main painting.

      Focusing on human subject for second stage, his/her physical movements were the main theme. I was interested in reactions and Subconscious movements in respect to his personal aspect of daily life. Model is not informed that his movements are being recorded so they would be more natural. Compare to facial expressions these physical movements can best describe the unknown aspect of human personality as they arise from the most naive moments. Thus the face part is always covered in my paintings as I prefer to let the body speak through itself. When we talk with our gestures and movements, many meanings can be generated.(C.K. Ogden, 1931). For this stage I was influenced by artists such as August Rodin, Egon Schiele who were the pioneer of using this method of approach to model. Thus instead of model being told to pose in a certain way, he would move around and the artists carefully observe them till they realize the right composition. Lucian Freud , Jenny Saville and Francis Bacon as contemporary artists were also among those who realized this way and extracted meanings and concepts from nature.

     The new stage is series of  eight paintings named as ‘Blue’. I use the same method from previous stage as a way of approach to model to produce the paintings. Subject of this Abstract- Figurative period is suspension, describing a kind of sense that one might experience in situations such as the moment of decision or dilemma, absence and presence, life and death. Many visual elements emphasize this concept of in-betweeness, thus contributing to transfer the visual sense to viewer. The dual human-animal type of nature or character, unknown state between life and death and visual composition of the figure in the centre of painting all emphasize the meaning. Moreover, the challenging situation caused by blue colour, in other words the conflict and relation between the figure and blue in each painting is another important visual element. I was influenced by contemporary artists such as Paul Thek (sculptor), Alina Szapocznikow (sculptor), Andy Warhol, Kiki Smith (Painter) and Cy Twombly (abstract painter) who followed almost the same  theme and concept in their work.
  The production of paintings was not the only matter of concentration. The idea of presenting ‘Blue’ paintings was also another aspect in order to engage public and viewer in the artwork. Based on this idea and related to the subject, I designed a joined-wall or better to say a cross shape construction. Each wall contained one painting causing viewers to move around the construction to observe all paintings. Thus they were physically and mentally engaged with the concept of them. Beside the production of artworks for artists such as Piet Mondrian and Bruce Nauman, also the presentation and engagement of the space and viewer in artworks were also important. In other words they engaged viewer and activated gallery space in relation to their works.

    Mona Khatibshahidi
    2012, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Presentation of painting on cross shape construction 

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