Monday, July 31, 2006

Otto Dix, another one of my favorite artists

He lived through the first World War, so you'll have to forgive the stench of death in his work. These pieces I think are all part of his series, Der Krieg(The War).

Thought I should post a couple of my favorite paintings by Albright...

I took quite a few classes at the Art Institute, had an internship in their Prints and Drawing department, and I worked at Northwestern's Block Museum. Why are these experiences important, because they allowed me to discover the great Ivan Albright. I even got to flip through some of his sketchbooks!


I try not to be sad. The whole blogging thing is fascinating to me, and as much as I love discovering all these new artists and everything, it leaves me feeling a bit bitter. I know I said I wouldn't complain earlier in my blog, I just miss working on my art more than anything else.

When I get tired, I occupy my time with the sports world...

The afternoon is usually when I'm the most tired. I generally lay back on the couch and watch a slew of sports shows. When I was younger I was into the NBA, baseball, even football. Well, I guess this illness has given me a chance to get back into that, and you know what, even though the athletes tend to be doped up babies, it's still interesting enough to keep my attention. Lebron James in the playoffs vs. the Wizards, great series, the World Cup, amazing, unfortunately my country didn't win(France), and now baseball season with football season coming up fast. PTI is a great sports show, and Around the Horn isn't half bad. And what is up with New York Yankees fans, they need to give A-Rod a break. And probably the most disappointing story of the year for me was the doping scandals that took over the Tour de France. I hate to say it, but it seems Floyd Landis was too great of a story to be true.

But if it came down to it, I'd have to take Spongebob over sports.

Time for an IV

I've decided to try the alternative medicine route, since my doctors don't have any other solution than just wait the illness out. Today I'm getting an IV, hopefully it works to a certain degree. There's something a bit frightening about having to turn to practices I'm not too sure about, but I feel the risks are negligible compared to the potential good it might do.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

OK, I love Lucian Freud, but there's one more reason...

He seems to paint dogs quite a bit, either thrown in the corner or the main subject of the piece. Bonnard also painted his dogs a lot. Hmmmm, the canine, a symbol of domesticity and tranquility, how bourgeois... Well actually, I for one think domesticity and tranquility and bourgeois values are pretty sweet. I guess I'm not as revolutionary as those cute little impressionistic painters who blew up the scene back in the latter half of the 19th century. If those painters could see how their work is seen today, well, they'd probably be busting out the machine guns and blowing this world to hell. Anyways, I enjoy paintings with dogs in them because I have a dog. He is a German Shepherd.

Things are good when...

You can find images of awesome paintings on the internet by artists like Lucian Freud. Who knew painting large, fat people could be so lucrative?

Why is Freud such an important painter? Because he's a crazy talent, he stripped figure painting to its bare bones, and most importantly in my eyes the psychological aspect of his artwork. There's nothing I enjoy more than that feeling of something being off-kilter within a painting, something dark and frightening hidden just beneath the surface. In a sense Freud is everybody's favorite painter, he's raw, he's impressionistic, but as much as he sometimes seems to be the flavor of the month, there is a substance to the work that makes it worth while to study. He was also commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to do her portrait, she was pissed with the result, how stupid could you be, Freud isn't going to make you look beautiful, especially when he doesn't have much to work with. Just look at his portrait of notorious cokester Kate Moss.

Currently Reading: La Guerra del Fin del Mundo

I'm currently reading La Guerra del Fin del Mundo by Mario Vargas Llosa. It's a historical novel about a rebellion that occurred in Brazil at the turn of the century. The story itself is fascinating. The author alternates between different characters at different times to tell the story.

The only other book I've read in Spanish is by the Chilean writer Isabel Allende, her novel La Casa de los Espiritus. It's one of my favorite novels, I love the tinge of magical realism, and also the sense of history and passage of time that allows the breadth of the story to develop. I first became interested in the idea of magical realism through painting. Ivan Albright, my favorite painter, who hails from Chicago by the way, was considered a magical realist, except his work was very dark and focused on death and decay.


Just to give an example of my art. I do various things, such as fast food still lifes, portraits, landscapes... This is a self-portrait, pencil on paper, the last piece I completed before I got sick.

CARTOONS! What's your favorite???

Cycling through various ways of keeping myself entertained, I've recently been checking out tons of old-school cartoons on Youtube. There's some cool looking stuff, like really old Mickey Mouse cartoons, Tex Avery classics, various Chuck Jones shorts, including one of my favorites, Duck Amuck. And I have to mention the greatest modern cartoon that I've discovered on the Cartoon Network, Foster's Home of Imaginary Friends. My favorite character is Bloo, a totally self-infatuated, grandiose, and hilarious blue blob. My girlfriend likes to tease me, laughing in my face as she tells me that I love Bloo so much because my personality is a mirror image of his own. God I hate her. The show has tons of pop culture references, postmodern wackiness, a crazy cast of characters, and catchy theme music. The animation is very simple but so effective. I've always loved comics, but my art(that I wish I could making at this very moment!) tends to be tight, highly detailed realism. Since making my art pieces tends to be so intense, I'm hoping that in my recovery I might be able to find enough energy and focus to start working or developing a comic.


My first 23 years of life were a fairy-tale. I had no true troubles, was and still am surrounded by a wonderful family, and I managed to get a pretty sweet education. I discovered my passion for painting and drawing and realized this was the way I would attempt to earn a living. In September of 2005, I moved back home to Phoenix from Chicago, in the hopes of establishing my career, and things were beginning to take hold. Then, a couple of months later, I came down with what seemed like the flu. Lo and behold, fast-forward 8 months I still am sick, trying to recover from the initial illness(mononucleosis we finally found out). I'm diagnosed with post viral fatigue, and have gone through such terrible fatigue, coupled with severe and long-lasting headaches in the back of my head, and crazy bouts of nausea to boot. Leaving the house is still very difficult for me. The illness has crushed my abilities, I couldn't hold a 10 hour a week job, let alone work on my art, or participate in any physical activity. The physical symptoms can be excruciating, but it's the mental part that can be the most daunting. The endlessness of illness is probably the most frightening prospect. At this point I dream of the day I can walk around and feel alright, and enjoy life to the fullest once again. The main reason I wanted to start a blog was really to just share thoughts and opinions, and hopefully find some connection with people, since this sickness has left me isolated to a degree I have never before experienced. This blog won't be about complaining, instead it'll really be about exploring new things, whether they are in music, art, film, history, philosophy, really quite open I hope.