Japanese butterfly

butterfly-d3.jpg

Japanese butterfly Chalk Pastel 50 x 65 cm http://www.kristinkrimmel.com

A positive spin on Kristin Krimmel’s work is that it very diverse, from realism right down to some goofy conceptual collages of banal household stuff sandwiched in plastic. It ranges through oils, watercolours, chalk pastels, collages and photography.

The down side is of her work is that it lacks “consistency” in the gallery definition of the word. That is, if you see one work of the artist, you should be able to recognize all of the work of that artist. It’s a principle near and dear to the hearts of gallery directors.

In my career,I was counselled by one of these directors that if they took on my work, I would have to continue producing in that vein of design on demand if I were to be taken on by the gallery. There would be no shift in style or subject if I wanted to remain in the “stable” of artists presented in the gallery.

I did not conclude an agreement to work with that gallery. I hold dear my liberty to paint what concerns me, what I think needs to be said in imagery, whether it is

  • This is beautiful and needs to be recorded (flowers, still life work, landscapes, sunlight blessing something with it’s presence)
  • This is something that often goes unnoticed (women’s work, construction, electrical and telephone wires dividing up the sky)
  • A commentary on or recording society and it’s foibles (the sandwiching of common household and office paraphernalia between archival plastic; freeze frame capturing human activity in one’s community)
  • A political commentary (cartoons)
  • An exploration of materials and some aspect of the abstract or non representational visual context that results in an abstract design.

If we, as artists, give up our right to express our feelings, our insights, our vision to a commercial demand for visual wallpaper, we become lackeys to commercial interests.

I balance that with: some of the work represented in commercial galleries is excellent work, has vision, meaning and integrity. But when an artist has spent his entire life reproducing the same imagery one of two things happens – it gets stale and meaningless, or the in-depth exploration of a single narrow vision blossoms into something richer.

It’s why I like Lucien Freud’s work. Or Edgar Degas.

What do you think, as an artist? Where are you going? What is the light that guides your path?

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2 Responses to “Japanese butterfly”

  1. suburbanlife Says:

    Kay – the delicacy and frothiness of the hydrangaea and the perfect fragility of the paused butterfly is a nice counter to the implied motion of gently dancing branches and their leaves. There is something inherently appropriate for you to select dusty pastels with which to make this composition – the ephemeral character of the subject is perfectly expressed with the tenouous permanence of pastels. Wow! G

  2. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Thanks Suburban Wife.
    I’m not sure I thought about all that when I was doing it. I was probably zoning in on the density of the patterning – hydrangea and butterfly. I know I sweated over the background with the leave and ended up far more elliptical than what was before me. Now, several years after having done it, I think, Wow! did I do that? and How in the heck did I do that?
    K

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