Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Posters, people

Direct your attention to an interesting story on anartist's progress. Mark Grotjahn had already started on his art career when he, in essence, went back and became an apprentice sign painter.
Painters often go through a phase of not painting in order to make their way back to it. Grotjahn's way back to painting began in a conceptual discourse on the function of painting itself, how it communicates, where, to whom, and possible processes open to it. Donald Judd memorably wrote that the chief challenge for any artist is to find “the concatenation that will grow.” Meaning, a chain of abstract ideas that can produce things the artist cannot predict, and that can sustain an artist for a lifetime and grow. That's what this exhibition shows us: a fabulous lesson for young artists looking to buck rigid artistic structures and find their own art.
I'm not, I must confess, real familiar with Grotjahn as a painter, only having seen a few works. So I don't really have a verdict on the worth of his work. But it is kind of cool that he's showing his roots, putting the broadsheets that inspired him out front there.


susan said...

A long time ago I was offered an apprenticeship with a man who painted signs. You wouldn't believe how complicated it is to paint realistic hamburgers.. or broccoli.

Ben said...

The only really realistic pictures I've seen of fast food like hamburgers and such has been done by photorealist painters like this one, and they tend to do a lot of tracing. As for broccoli, I'm not sure anyone's ever bothered.