March 21, 2018

Together No. 15

Acrylic on birch panel, 36" x 48"

And a final piece before I head out to Arizona and the Tempe Festival of the Arts for the first time. Number 15 in my Together series, all about unselfing, grace, and sprezzatura. You can read more about the series at www.ivanostocco.com/together.php.


Mini #83: Hyperlinks Make Pathways Disappear

Oil on panel, 5" x 5"
Latest mini. Small but it had me thinking the hugest thoughts about our sense of time and space these days. Something to do with lingering over one and only one thing for a while, in relative silence, with little passing across my field of vision, dealing with an actual physical object, and then stepping out into the whipping, zipping world.

March 17, 2018

Beauty and the Beach

Oil on aluminum, 24" x 24"
Went to the beach and there were all these multicoloured palm trunks, big bad no-no's, decorated and cultural, like modern-day totem poles. Then there was the beach and the skin and mating rituals, monotone, simple, unsurprising, like a Republican's bookshelf. And so I stayed with the punk trunks.

Next weekend I'll have this and other new pieces at the Tempe Festival of the Arts, near Phoenix, Arizona. It'll be my fist time out there and my first time since October showing any of my work. Looking forward to a change of scenery and seeing whether I can still talk it up after hiding away in the studio for so long.

A great weekend to you!


March 14, 2018

Mini #82: Signal Study

"Signal Study," oil on panel, 5" x 5"

A study in the form of a mini, number 82 in the series. All of 'em are at www.ivanostocco.com/mitm.php.

Have a good one!

March 10, 2018

Highway to Heaven

"Highway to Heaven," 36" x 48", oil, acrylic, collage, stucco, and spray on birch panel

My latest. Kicked the crap out of me. At one point I put a large and prominent owl in it (for some reason) but I just couldn't get it to work.

The other half of the story was shutting up the usual existential doubts about being an artist, the panic, mood swings, you know.

It helped that I discovered a new writer, and a new book: Byung-Chul Han, Saving Beauty.

Han starts from the premise that beauty is in a state of crisis. In the heavy for-whom-the-bell-tolls way only writing in German can achieve, he argues it ain't beauty so much we see but "smoothness," a piece of goop by Jeff Koons (world's richest living artist) or the aesthetic of the iPhone. Smooth art offers no resistance, no negativity, he says. It's slick and polished, like a mirror in which to see yourself. It looks sweet, like a candy, and makes you want to suck it. It reduces pain and projects a sense of wholesome gym health. And it's direct and obvious, totally transparent and unmysterious.

Meaningful art, on the other hand, disrupts your normal way of living.
  • It's got character and crank ("Character and consumption are opposites. The ideal consumer is a person without character. Lack of character enables indiscriminate consumption.")
  • It's uncomfortable and disruptive ("Without pain and injury, the same, the familiar, the habitual continue.")
  • It could even bite ("It is impossible to see differently without exposing oneself to injury. Seeing requires vulnerability. Otherwise the same keeps on repeating itself. Sensibility is vulnerability. One might also say that injury is the moment of truth in seeing.")
  • It's erotic, not pornographic ("Concealing, distracting, delaying are spatio-temporal strategies of beauty.")
  • It's even a force for the good ("The good is realized in the brilliance of the beautiful. The ideal politics is a politics of beauty...Justice is a beautiful state of being together.")
Then, I listened to a fantastic interview with Jerry Saltz (www.instagram.com/jerrysaltz), senior art critic of New York Magazine. He sounds big but he's one of the realest and uplifting art people I follow, and he has no formal education and clawed his way into art criticism after working as a long-haul truck driver, just as it should be.

For this and other works I hope aren't smooth, check out www.ivanostocco.com.


March 2, 2018

Awash

"Awash," mixed media on panel, 24" x 24"

Continuing my interest and absorption in Southern California car culture and the luridly noir quality of the sunless nocturne, here's "Awash," based on my favourite bro washup down the road.

It's actually raining today, so it fits the mood.

For this and other art, check out www.ivanostocco.com.