October 30, 2018

Chicago "L"

Mixed media on birch panel, 48" x 36"
I was in Chicago for the first time this summer. It was only a few days but the downtown, and especially the roaring, steely subway, called the "L," really made an impression coming from the sea of highways known as L.A. All the pedestrians out and about in what was obviously the nicest windchill-free weather of the year, amid posters calling for Trump's ruination, had me singing, and thinking art.

I took a bunch of shots, sketched, and even grabbed some bits of this and that I could use for collage, and finally, months later, got around to making this.

It was supposed to flow out in a nice gentle breeze but every time I say that I get mired in all kinds of sweaty, unessential details and the work turns out more tentative and laboured than I want. I think it still has charm, especially when viewed in the flesh, but I've been telling myself for a while I really gotta quit the Rococo, work on my design essence, and pare it down.

For more like this, check out www.ivanostocco.com.

October 11, 2018

And freedom devolved into excess

Mixed media on canvas, 90" x 60"
I was at an art show a few weeks ago and got to watch, over the course of four days, a muralist cover a wall from start to finish. The section he worked on was probably 12' x 40' and while he had everything worked out and his approach was very graphical, it was impressive to watch the way he knocked out the piece.

I managed to sell a little work of my own and as I'm wont to do, I put some of the cash right away into new materials just as soon as I was back home. The first of the supplies was a big piece of canvas and a pile of wood to make stretcher bars of a sort I could disassemble, fold, and transport in my relatively compact Mazda5.

I've been on a bird kick I don't quite understand and here's the work I managed to produce. It's a smothering panoply of cute little symbols of freedom, flapping about in every which direction over my typical urban backdrop. It's reminiscent, I think, of Hitchcock's The Birds, supposedly based on the Greek myth of the Furies, the female deities of vengeance. I like that connection given all the Kavanaugh BS and #MeToo in the news these days.

In real life rather than shrunken down on a screen in front of you, the painting's larger scale pulls you into its world more than you might expect, a bit like a stage set. Actually, it's a little eerie to stand beside, but that's a quality that appeals to me.

Anyway, I liked working this large so much that I'd like to do more, just need to think how not just in a material sense but also a conceptual one, because up-scaling does shift how you think about what to depict and why. On that point, more to come shortly.

Hope it's a great week!

For this and work like it, visit www.ivanostocco.com.