Presenting two videos conveying two versions of a sunset experienced at Baie des Anges in Nice. The names are PEBBLES and SEA VIEW (each 1’ 14s). While making these, I was asking myself what “reality” is and what different mediums may mean to the artist and the viewer.
A few quick notes on Painting and Video…
These two videos were created to respond to each other as two views of the same experience. The videos attempt to speak about different overlaying realities, reality as seen by the human eye, reality through the means of painting, reality as seen by a digital recording device (iPhone) or a software program, and the reality of a person’s emotions and thoughts. These are all taking place simultaneously.
The SEA VIEW is also a video about painting; I believe that the
practice of painting (and other handmade art forms) is very important
right now because of the experience it provides the painter him/herself.
For the painter, a painting can hold many different realities
simultaneously. Below, find a few thoughts on painting that came to my
mind as I was making these videos.
- As a painting is made, it provides an instant trace of the human hand and serves as a tactile proof of existence in real-time and space. Every painting carries a personal story and memory to the person who made it. It is a form of a recording of a person’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences conveyed through gesture, line, and color by means of very simple tools and materials. Therefore, a very open, affordable, and egalitarian medium accessible to most people.
- While viewers often tend to compare paintings with photographs, for the painter, it is rather an experience that unfolds through time. So, in that sense, it might be appropriate to compare painting to video, a medium that also may hold memories unfolding over time.
- In contemporary life, Painting (and other “handmade” art forms) can act as a counterbalance to the virtual world. It may serve as the dialectic opposite to the virtual and digitized reality.
- For viewers who are not painters or familiar with the painterly process, video medium can be very alluring and may convey stories and different realities in a more convincing and direct way than a painting itself. However, the production of a digital video requires a camera, a computer, knowledge of software, etc. The artist is dependent on technology, and the artist’s voice is mediated through technology. Video is a medium made through technology to be viewed through the means of a technical device; a screen or a projector. It is a medium that indirectly perpetuates and accentuates our civilisation’s dependence on technology.
- When a painter looks at a painting, he/she looks at the structure, composition, brush strokes, the materials, the reflections, the color compositions, etc. He/she also thinks of the process of making it. This is a world of its own that is less accessible to the general public unless explained by other means such as language, film, or immersive environments.
- A painting can only be appreciated fully in person and through time. No technical device is necessary to experience it. To view a painting is an intimate experience and ought to be valued as such. Because of this, paintings should not be treated as objects of “mass consumption.” In my opinion, it isn’t possible to fully experience a painting in a group or in a crowded environment. Also, a photograph of a painting cannot, by any means, replace the experience of the painting itself.
- On the web, paintings are presented, but the images are digital photographs of paintings, not the paintings themselves. The web is, therefore, a celebration of photography above and beyond any other medium. The photographs act as substitutes of the real objects, and only part of the story is therefore conveyed. Many times, the wrong story is conveyed. Paintings and art that don’t translate easily into photography will suffer from this.
- A painting is an object that remains rather unchanged through time. The painting can carry a monetary exchange value; therefore, the cultural value of a painting is often confused with its monetary value. The market and the art world participants (artists, galleries, curators) benefit from upholding this vision. In my opinion, the cultural value of a painting, as noted above, is not related to the monetary value.
- If an artist strives to create immersive experiences as a means to engage a wider public in art, a good gesture would be to make viewers paint their own paintings. In this way, the viewer will be personally engaged in the process of making art, and as a result, will acquire a different understanding and appreciation for the painting medium and art in general.