Monday, October 15, 2007

Off to England DERP!


Well I am off to London for a two week vacation, so I thought that I wouldn't leave my blog empty-handed. I am including an artists statement and the pictures that it applies to. Enjoy!

Imagine a comic that is trying to show that the act of killing a human is wrong. So the artist would have a madman destroy a human. It is horrendous. But what if instead of portraying murder as being wrong, perhaps we change the message to murder is subjective, even warranted at times. Then you would conventionally have the first panel as the action- then the responding panels more representative of this more un-conventional message. While the message may differ, the act of relaying information is always present.
Comics are a product of our morality- and this linear based chronological pictorial depiction is dependent upon our definitions and symbolisms of morality. Comics are symbolic of our lives and ideas - it is symbolic storytelling. Perhaps certain issues or problems or stories can be best expressed by breaking the conventional methods comics relay information. One idea is of displaying something different than what is to be expected from comics. This expectation is biased towards simplicity, mass-culture, economic viability, or any number of various factors- yet there is a convention. By changing convention I inject novelty and thereby adds to the images' level of interest.

Another level worth noting is how comics are viewed in the lens of art as artifact. I am already changing the conventional expectation of comics indirectly by presenting them in a gallery or coffee shop or framed behind glass. This escalates the value, it focuses concentration and requires a renewed methodology of viewing, as does all ‘elevated’ art. Yet in addition to paintings or drawings, comics’ rich history of inexpensive production, mass-market readership target audience, and various demographic niches they fill (political cartoons, Sunday funnies, Spiderman, Manga etc.) already modifies the viewers pre-conceived expectation of what a comic should be. This ideal comic, which tends to be quite frugal for most comics- seeing as they are so mass-consumer, is an element in itself to be dealt with. But again, there exists a convention, and comics are particularly demagogic.

Pushing conventions is in-line with Dada or pop art, but it is also a resounding theme throughout all movements. Change what is expected- and thereby give the viewer a new outlook. I am now considering extending not only the art as artifact aspect of comics, and conventional messages depicted, but even perhaps how you actually read comics. Yet again we are confronted with the comic convention of how to relay information. Linearly, chronologically, and in order.

So for example, If I have an unconventional opinion. I decide to show how religion is completely ridiculous- and that the very idea of faith as a vessel of progress or answers is ridiculous. What is the best chronological or visual method for depicting said message... Should I show the bible literally in an ad absurdum (god resting on the 7th day, or Noah actual herding all species into a boat). Perhaps I should tell a little story about a character enveloped in an every-day conundrum and try and relate my method this way.

The practicalities and realities (time constraints) of making these oversized images will undoubtedly limit my ability to depict a multitude of scenes. Inevitably the formalistic principles are important as well- I want my art to be impressive to grab the viewer- but beyond this my message is the key factor- because it is by this idea that I am choosing my themes and am finding ideas and material to utilize for producing imagery. So I need to be aware of my message and how best to depict this message formalistically and through comics. I am thinking of the properties of art as artifact- and art as being displayed (in relation to comics)- and I am also concerned with the ability to depict ideas on a 2-dimensional surface- the dilemmas all modern artists deal with.
Nowadays there are many genres of comic art, from pornography to humor to action to graphic novels to political satire- many artists are now diversifying and changing previous definitions of what a comic is- even forays into the pop-art movement have led to more questioning of what comics, imagery, and art really is. Previous artists have asked many of these questions before- Over sizing imagery is a formalistically exciting area- particularly comic imagery, previously visited by Lichtenstein among other artists. imagine a Dick Tracy scaled and removed from its accompanying pictures- what is this new image representing as separated and enlarged/ iconisized/ en-valued?

My leaning or pre-disposition to explore this art-form came primarily from comics being a vessel that drew me to art. I enjoyed comics when I was younger, and have since utilized them for inspiration. Art for fun has given rise to so many famous artists- that surely comics being a media-form for inspiration is by no means unique to me. Coupled with my interest in actually producing comics (and thereby elevating my technique to be equal with comics-artists) I have a clearly defined challenge that is missing from many artists (albeit admittedly this defined ideal can breakdown under any anti-formalistic/ anti-classicistic l argument). My skill at drawing this media form and also my interest in the human form, particularly activated and in-motion, has led to my fantastic productivity in this area (and my continued interest in art). Regardless of all of these- perhaps removing my history and predisposition- is defining comics a worthwhile endeavor to continue for art in general?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

comics continue... and I am working on a few other things too...

but for now here are the two comics pages I did last week.

as far as productivity goes the story is much the same... never enough. I am washing far too many dihes- but outside of that I should be working a bit harder on all of this stuff- so hopefully I can wrap this comic up within a couple months...

I am also working on a whole series of large-format comic-style images. I am quesitoning a lot of things as I progress with these. Lots of art questions. What are comics? What kind of effect do various alteraitons (like scale/composition/content) have on the image? Where does this genre fall in? wtc.

I will hlopefully get soem bearing on both of these as I have today and tommorow off, so i should get some solid work done.