Saturday 22 August 2020

Marjolein Landman / Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg 
oil and silkscreen ink on canvas
213,4 x 152,4 cm
The Sonnabend Collection 

Robert Rauschenberg 
oil and silkscreen ink on canvas
243,8 x 182,9 cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art 

Robert Rauschenberg has had an important influence on me as an artist. His history in abstract expressionism, which is strongly reflected in his assemblages, his image construction full of hard cuts and graphic elements, as well as his pop art mentality, are things that I feel very much related to. In addition, he has a breathtaking sense of color and his work always has the right dose of swagger and energy.

Marjolein Landman, 2020

Marjolein Landman
acrylic, spray paint and oilstick on canvas
220 x 165 cm

Marjolein Landman
acrylic, spray paint on canvas
180 x 160 cm 

Marjolein Landman (NL)
work in progress

Saturday 8 August 2020

John Robinson / Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer
Melancholia 1
24 x 18,5 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I have selected the artwork 'Melancholia 1' by Albrecht Dürer. So much has been written about the symbolism and all that stuff, loads of interpretations, loads of works satirizing it too. I think what I liked about this picture - always the keystone for me - was that it looks like a painting made on a planet orbiting a star in a galaxy far far away. I know it's an engraving, that's not the point. In my brain this image lives its own private life. There is so much to forget in the picture, the props, the positions of the objects and so forth. When I'm not looking at it, it lives on in my subconscious, offering all sorts of new images. I love this little engraving because it is a seed constantly spitting out misinterpretations. 

It's always really problematic to use language to ensnare gorgeous enigmas like this picture. So I won't even bother to interpret it with my pithy language skills. 

Like most humans living in the early 21st century my brain doesn't work well. I don't respond to stress well. I'm a terrible partner and friend. I lie to my therapist and feel alienated from an art world which feels like a luxury commodity market. I don't feel like I belong here and often don't want to be bothered while I stay in bed. Robert Burton would probably say that I'm suffering from an imbalance of the humours, a melancholy, by 17th century standards anyway. There are a few images that keep me tethered to life though, especially this one. It is the central gravitational point of the private life of the mind. That great stone with the skull subtly etched into the surface after the angel has spent the whole fucking day making it perfect, makes me feel better about screwing up yet another painting. 

Someone said it was Dürer's spiritual self portrait. I guess he is in drag then, I like that. Maybe it's Dürer's alter ego from that other galaxy, but whatever it is, it seems the closest image of depression - a very exultant life affirming misery full of comets and intensity. My work tries to do that and, like the angel and her downed tools, I manage to fuck things up royally most of the time. This is perhaps what's beautiful now - the misinterpreted life of the mind. 

John Robinson, 2020

John Robinson (UK)
I love you I'm sorry (Te Quiero Lo Siento) 
40 x 50 cm
oil on canvas