Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Anxiety art — "1999"

Part 3 in my anxiety art series of paintings titled Irrational Exuberance 1999

anxiety art painting 1999Click here to see more picks of 1999 -- close ups on Facebook.

anxiety artwork
All three paintings shown together — 8ft x 4ft:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Artist Giclée Prints — Fine Art Paintings — 1st Time on Video!

As a fine artist that paints mostly about concepts of psychological disorders I don't usually run out and make prints of my paintings. I'm far from a commercial artist.

But I had an exciting opportunity to show my work — in a big way — in California. So the most timely and efficient way to get my paintings out to Laguna Beach was to scan the original art here in Pennsylvania, and then FTP digital versions (of the artwork) to CA to be printed.

This video shows the actual unraveling of two of the pieces after delivery, and the first time I ever saw these prints of my paintings!

FYI, the originals were scanned, via 4x5 scanner back camera, by a fantastic fellow named J. Arthur Davis @ Art Reproduction Services and then they were wonderfully printed and hand stretched by Giclée printer Studio Light Room.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Anxiety art painting by Dennis Ryan — "Exuberance"

This painting stands at 48 inches high by 32 inches wide. Its title is Exuberance.

Anxiety art painting by Dennis Ryan Exuberance

This is the 2nd painting in a 3 part series. The third painting should be wrapped up by mid-December. I will post pictures of all three together at that point.

anxiety artist

Close up 1 - click on the image to see a bigger version.

anxiety artwork

Close up 2 - click on the image to see a bigger version.

Click for more information on this conceptual painting about anxiety.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Social Media / Social Networking -- my consultant formula

I have been getting more and more requests to do consults to businesses on setting up social media plans.

I'm not advertising, but it seems many businesses are in dire need of this type of knowledge currently and word of mouth spreads quickly. 2010, if you ask me, will be the year of the Facebook business Fan Page! And Twitter, too, looks to have a promising year yet again.

Here is my formula for focal consideration points for the initial setup across the main 3 social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube):

  • Brand consistency - all three leaders have different specs for the way your companies' brand is represented (i.e. thumbnails, background images, profile images, etc.). This is important so your business looks legitimate across all vested venues.
  • Tracking - recommend tools to track the effectiveness of your efforts. For if no ROI tracking, then why do it to begin with?
  • Privacy and account setting configuration - this is a big point! Initially if these aren't set right you and your company are asking for problems and potentially huge headaches.
  • Usability - initial training on how best to utilize all three while doing as little work as possible.

Then, just before launch of these branded social media outlets, I sit down with administrators (I can set up multiple admins on most of these accounts) to demonstrate my recommended strategies and give a couple successful examples.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There's a little yellow man in my head — Destroyer

The second song in my quest to blog about all the songs about psychological disorders — and there are MANY! This one by the Kinks called Destroyer is a classic.

The Kinks - Destroyer Lyrics
Songwriter: Davies, Ray

Met a girl called Lola and I took her back to my place
feelin' guilty, feelin' scared, hidden cameras everywhere
stop! hold on. stay in control

Girl, I want, you here with me
but I'm really not as cool as I'd like to be
cause there's a red, under my bed
and there's a little yellow man in my head
and there's a true, blue, inside of me
that keeps stoppin' me, touchin' ya, watchin' ya, lovin' ya

Paranoia, need destroyer. Paranoia, they destroy ya'

Well I fell asleep, then I woke feelin' kinda' queer
Lola looked at me and said ooh you look so weird
she said man, there's really something wrong with you
one day you're gonna' self-destruct
you're up, get down, I'll come work you out
you get a good thing goin' then you blow yourself out

Silly boy ya' self-destroyer. Silly boy ya' self-destroyer

Silly boy you got so much to live for
so much to aim for, so much to try for
you blow it all with, paranoia
you're so insecure you, self-destroyer

(and it goes like this, here it goes) paranoia, they destroy ya
(here it goes again) paranoia, they destroy ya

Dr. Dr. help her please I know you'll understand
there's a time device inside of me I'm a self-destructin' man
there's a red, under my bed
and there's a little green man in my head
and said you're not goin' crazy, you're just a bit sad
'cause there's a man in ya, knawin' ya, tearin' ya, into two

Silly boy ya' self-destroyer. paranoia, they destroy ya'

Self-destroyer, wreck your health
destroy friends, destroy yourself
the time device of, self-destruction
lies, confusion, start eruption

(yea, it goes like this, here it goes) paranoia, they destroy ya
(here's to paranoia) paranoia, they destroy ya
(hey hey, here it goes) paranoia, they destroy ya
(and it goes like this)

paranoia, they destroy ya
(and it goes like this)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Anxiety art painting by Dennis Ryan — "Irrational"

This painting stands at 48 inches high by 32 inches wide. Its title is Irrational.

This painting is actually part one of a three part series. The three pieces are being created with the potential to be hung together or individually. When shown together the painting will be almost 9 feet wide!

Follow this link for more information on this painting and the anxiety art series.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brilliant imagery — slime videos — well done Nic!

I can't exactly put my finger on why, but these new station identification advertisements from Nickelodeon definitely amuse me. I find the organic shapes created by the flying slime, the timing, and the erratic adjustments in motion very successful!

And it is painless to watch them when they are inevitably shown again and again. So I have to ask why? Most ads annoy me enough to make me change the channel. Either I'm easily amused at the moment or there is some genius juxtaposition happening here that is grabbing my attention.

Maybe the overall success has something to do with the contrasting elements: the way the shiny, heavy, opaque slime slams against the clean, alert, bright faces of Nic's current TV stars.

The repetition of phonics in the audio also helps the success in entirety.

Funny thing is... the actors know the slime is coming... yet they open their mouths and smile — great additional components! The white background of the scenes echo the clean/dirty contrast too. I'm curious how many takes it took to complete the ads?

Whatever the answer, simple or not, the fact is that these are really well done advertisements for the station. Very memorable, maybe even nostalgic; back to the original days of getting slimmed on Double Dare (side-note: Marc Summers, host of Double Dare had OCD).

Well done Nickelodeon! And it looks like you all had fun creating these ads.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Costs of making Giclée prints from your Fine Art? Benefit of Giclée printing?

There are costs associated with just about everything. That is no different when it comes to making a Giclée print of your fine art?

Click here if you don't fully understand what a Giclée print is?

Where the costs come in is mostly in the upfront process of art reproduction.

The upfront process = cost to digitally capture the artwork via scanners or by professional photography. Now this scan is not done by your typical, crappy all-in-one scanner from HP. Or the photo is not taken by the digital camera you just bought at Walmart. These scanners are big, high quality, sometimes roller scanners. And the photos are taken with what are usually 4" x 5" professional grade cameras with scanner backs (essentially a large format camera that takes a scanned picture).

And then, of course, you have the costs associated with the inkjet print process, the stretching of canvas onto the stretcher bars, framing (if necessary) and shipping of the reproduction. These costs can range depending on the printer you choose and by the size of the work being reproduced. My recommendation -- shop a few printers to price compare! But use common sense, and ask for references or testimonials also. The resulting print quality from various printers can vary as much as the price.

Now if your are gonna print thousands of copies of your original artwork it will be more economically feasible to go the route of four-color offset lithography -- in a run of the 1000s.

See... Giclée allows you to have more control on a limited print run. Usually these quantities are around 1 - 15. The brilliant part is you as the artist can have your digital scan and proof stored at a friendly neighborhood printer, and then just call them up and tell them to run 1 or 2 off and ship to here or there when needed. This way you have no inventory, no overhead and no associated storage costs.

What is a typical benefit of making prints of your fine art?

A huge benefit of reproducing via this process is that you open you fine art availability to a broader audience, not only by more pieces being available, but by shear entry-level price alone. Giclée prints are typically sold for a fraction, 1/10th, of what the original fine art would cost.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

R U a Twitter Quitter?

Even for a fine artist, social media and social networking are important. With that said, I find that traditional fine artists -- the ones that still know how to hold a paint brush -- are the slowest to climb aboard a newer technology like

But why? You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! And I recommend you do, because now is the BEST time to be a fine artist. Now is the most favorable time to have your art seen by huge audiences across the world. I challenge you to find a better time in history when an artist's artwork could be seen so quickly, by so many, on a global scale! And Twitter is just one way to help it happen. For more on social media for fine artists.

With respect to Twitter, which is essentially a micro blog, it mostly comes down to fame. I find there are at least 5 types of users:
  1. The famous ones... you know the "Ashtons" of the world that want to stay in the public eye at all costs, so they now need to tweet. They tweet about huge happenings like when their famous wife bends over in a white bikini. It evidently works though -- he leads the pack with millions of followers.

  2. Of course, if you have leaders (as in famous tweeters) then you will have followers. The followers are the people that have the time in their day to actually look at tweets about a famous wife bent over in a white bikini. This type of user usually has more follows than followers.

  3. Then you have the people that want to be famous. [Mostly they are the "me" followers - explained here: Most Twitter Users Tweet Only About Themselves -- But Few Follow] They are embracing the said social media craze. They sometimes play the numbers game and just follow people in hopes of getting followers in return. They tweet about miscellaneous things like what they are eating, working too much, jokes, horoscopes and once and a while they will actually tweet about the relevant information they want to be followed or famous for.

  4. Oh, and then there are those that use as another gear in the big resyndication machine of social media. For example, it is pretty simple, yet effective, to set up an automated option to take a blog post (such as this) and automatically post a link to Twitter, Facebook, etc., on "publish".

  5. Then you have the Twitter Quitters, or should I say "Twitter Qwitters". They are the ones that may be initially in one of the categories above, but then they just quit. I know... how dare they!

  6. Read about a Nielsen study here (with nice charts and everything): Twitter Quitters Post Roadblock to Long-Term Growth: over 60% join then quit

    They quit as they realize it actually takes thought and effort to fill a field of 140 characters, time and time again. They quit as they realize it takes time to maintain a micro blog with a growing fan base. They quit because the rewards for their efforts are usually not instantaneous. They quit because their tweets seem to fall on deaf ears at times; their fans don't always reply and sometimes even unfollow -- gasp, not that!!

    But Alas, not all is lost on the Twitter Quitters' efforts... as they have the benefit of squatting on their "" -- and space in Twitter history.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fine art painting by Denny Ryan — "Breathe"

This painting weighs in at my current typical size of 3 foot wide by 4 foot high. The title is Breathe.

Fine art painting by Denny — titled Breathe

This painting is approximately 80% finished, or so, depending on what day you ask me...

A new and, I find, interesting addition to this piece is the soap bottle nipples that I have attached to the bottom left corner. Occasionally I will enter the 3rd dimension and this is no exception. Many times when I paint my fine art on wood panels I will invent new creative ways to express my thoughts and concepts.

My fine art nipples

In this case I actually put holes in the substrate at precise points on a horizontal plane and then screwed into the wood panel a few bottle tops from several dish soap containers I had saved; no, I know what you may be thinking — I wouldn't actually consider it hoarding!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Fine Art on VH1? The OCD Project?

OCD Project, OCD art, Phobia art or Anxiety art

I'm currently in talks with The OCD Project, in LA, to see if my fine art is a good fit for the backdrops and scenes of their upcoming show on VH1.

The reality show is being produced by 3Ball Productions, Redondo Beach, CA. It makes perfect sense to me for my art to be on the show. I mean for the past 10-15 years I have been sketching, drawing, printing and painting about OCD. Google OCD art, phobia art or anxiety art and you will see that I'm usually on page 1—very popular! So who better to add some color to the show?

The terms are far from final and decision is yet to be decided. But one thing is for sure... since the popularity of OCD is on the flare-up, and the interest is high, I will continue to look for these unconventional ways to show my fine art.

Oddly enough, I also recently noticed that a smaller scale OCD type project is currently going on in the Philadelphia, PA area, so I will contact them next about possibly displaying my pieces in their project's promotional materials.

For some reason, it seems like OCD and anxiety disorders are more interesting to people nowadays, and are actually becoming quite popular.

This reality show on obsessive compulsive disorder should do very well with ratings. It all depends on the severity of the disorders and the quirkiness of the contestants though. Reality shows seem to almost have a formula for who they pick to be on their shows that keeps the audience interested.

I will watch it... will you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fine art paintings to scale, not to a thumbnail

It recently occurred to me that the Internet represents artwork of all sizes as being very similar in size—as a thumbnail.

Most screen resolutions nowadays give the viewer, or potential art collector, a 3 inch x 4 inch representation of a painting. My fine art, on the other hand, measures in at a typical 3 feet wide by 4 feet high.Dennis Ryan standing next to his 3 foot wide by 4 foot high fine art painting titled Mellow YellowI was talking to a Lancaster, PA art dealer recently about my drawings, prints and paintings and he said that my art was much more impressive and substantial in person than on screen. So I had this photo taken of me (6'3" tall) standing next to one of my pieces - titled "Mellow Yellow" - to help represent my work in a more relative fashion.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm a bit enraged about ArtRage

Hey, want to experience painting with oils? Well then you can try software called ArtRage that mimics painting.

Or... could actually pick up a real tube of oils and a real horse-hair brush and really paint! Don't be lazy. Don't be afraid of getting your hands dirty! You could then really experience it. Painting with ArtRage, I'd image is like taking a shower with a rain coat on; sorry, unoriginal, couldn't resist.

Oh, and after you are done with this great mock experience of painting with oils, acrylics or even drawing with crayons, you can take it into Photoshop and apply an adjsutable width stroked frame with a mimiced wood feel and add a beautiful drop shadow - Then, I guess, we could call it digital fine art.

Why, why, why?

Trust me I'm not one of those anti-technology, old school, people that won't learn a new trick. I learn new technologies every day. I just feel that just because something can be developed doesn't mean it should be. And correct me if I'm wrong... didn't Corel do this with Paint and Draw?

This painting software may be helpful for those with disabilities. It would be a good tool for graphic designers that want to mimic the texture of paint, I suppose. And it might even be good for fine artists that can't touch oils, acrylics, art materials or paint thinners because they developed an intolerance to them over the years from exposure. But even then, until there's a pressure tool that mimics the feel of the brush in your hand and the push back from the flex in the canvas, this software's experience will be lacking.

In my view it is a blessing to be able to feel and paint with real pigments and mediums. And that is something you cannot download!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We can all learn something from Michael Jackson

I think we can all learn one thing from Michael Jackson, besides the Moonwalk, and that is: to not let our inner-demons get the best of us.

It is a bit obvious that what happened on June 25th, 2009 was the end result of a slippery slope that began many, many years ago — probably with "A, B, C".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

VH1 'OCD Project' says OCD is Pop Culture, no?

So I Googled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder today - as I sometimes do - and was pleasantly surprised at what I found on page 7 (or so). It seems that someone else out there thinks the same way about OCD becoming mainstream as I do. Vh1 is kicking around the idea of creating a reality show about suffers of this mental disorder to show the real toll the illness has on their lives.

A few months back I wrote about it on one of my Fine Art pages.

I wrote:
My focus subject matter, OCD, seems to be on a real tear in popularity nowadays. Shows like Monk are in re-syndication and teen stars on popular Disney® sitcoms are saying "...I'm OCD, I'm OCD..." and laughing about it. OCD is now mainstream! Forget about the days when Howard Hughes was looked upon as an isolated freak. We now give an admitted obsessive compulsive fanatic like Howie Mandel - not one - but two prime time shows!

So I then wonder... if OCD is becoming Pop Culture... when I paint about it in my conceptual fashion... will my Conceptual Art now be classified Pop Art?

"Jeff Olde, VH1's senior VP of programming and production, noted that OCD has become a part of pop culture, thanks to various viral Internet videos as well as entertainment projects such as USA's Monk."

Full write-up here: OCD Project coming to VH1

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Monoprints — Fine art prints about Relationships, Intimacy & Fashion

I just posted (6) six monoprints, that I did a while back, to my fine art website.

monoprint fine artThe thing I find most interesting about monoprints is that they are one of a kind prints. That explains the "mono" intro. Anyway, very fine art-like, and the uniqueness increases the value and rareness of the print.

In most printing formats you can run many copies of the same artwork; hence the name print.

The creation process of the monoprints I made was:
  1. Subtracting by wiping away sections of the color from several different colored plates. The plexiglass plates where colored with thinned oils that I rolled on with a brayer.

  2. Meanwhile, I soaked the Reeves BFK paper in a huge vat of water.

  3. Then one at a time I ran the different colored plates (laid on top of the wet paper) through the press.

  4. After the paper dried, I then went over certain areas of the fine art and accentuated aspects of it with Rembrandt soft pastel sticks.
More of the monoprints can be seen on

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Songs about psychological disorders

So, yes, I paint and draw about psychological disorders (e.g. anxiety, OCD, phobias and paranoias) but thought it would be interesting to see what other artists, maybe even musicians are doing with the theme.

I've found 6 great ones so far; in a bout 5 minutes, so I'm sure there are many more.

Below are a collection of wonderfully, clever lyrics from a group called Swollen Members. The song is called Paranoia. Hear it below the lyrics in the YouTube embed. Great tune - one of my favorites!

[Mad Child]
Sometimes I smash the wall when I'm alone in my room
I'm an abusive reclusive like Dr. Doom
Parts of darkness descend and consume me
You wont believe the gloomy thoughts that run through me
I'm proof ? if you spend the night
Leave the next day like "I don't think his heads on right"
Try to talk to myself but I don't listen
I've got split personalities and competition
And which ones Amanda? I've got issues
I could be standing in front of your face and I'm not with you
Schizophrenia, Shane's brains distorted
Sort of compulsive, obsessive, disorder
Mathematical pattern addict of depraved mind
Before I go to bed I hit the light switch seven times
Yes, um, never mind, put the knife back
Mad Child I'm outta my mind, but I'll be right back

It's all in your head, you need to unwind
Your losing your grip, the paranoia never ends
It's all in your head, what you see in your mind
There's no reason to trip, the paranoia never ends
When your mind is acting wild
And you swear your insane
Can't nothing help you out
Of this trap your in
You don't know which way to turn
And your head is in pain
Can't nothing help you out
Of this insanity

There's no one behind you, there's no one beside you
There's no one beside you, you know as well as I do
There's no voice inside you, that shadow isn't moving
You must be losing to confusion having illusions
Still you wanna prove it, paranoia
That someone might be coming for you, no ones trying to kill you stupid
There's no Norman Bates, peeking in your window
There's no Patrick Bateman trying to pick you up in limos
You pop another pill, to try and calm your nerves
But prescriptions make the descriptions a lot worse
Your seeing red bursts, and then your head hurts
You should have checked under the bed first
Crawling on all fours, locking all the doors
You must have flown over the cuckoos nest and lost your course
I thought I told ya, don't let that shit control ya
'Cause paranoia will destroy ya just a lesson for ya

[Moka Only]
Yo it's paranoia in your brain cell
You think the worlds looking at you but you can't tell
You need to find yourself a hobby or something and stop frontin'
Nobody's out to get you, nobody wants nothin'
I think you got a chemical imbalance
When theres silence, you swear you hear cops and their sirens
Maybe it's a different environment that you need
But whatever it is, your minds dying to be free
Your trying to perceive with the usual procedures
Your chests feeling tight, you think your having seizures
Maybe your just trying to hard to fit in
You need to let that shit go and get counseling my friend

I will post more songs as the mood swings right...

Friday, June 12, 2009

As if on queue...

(A few posts ago)
Adobe Strives to Crack the Smart-Phone Market
"Smart phones are where the game is now," says Kevin Lynch, Adobe's chief technology officer. "Our chips are on the table. We've made our bets."

Even fine artists have to pay attention to technology.

Until Abode catches up I have the necessary flash components on my website wrapped in JavaScript that switches to an image if the "smart" phone can't show the flash.

Don't believe me?

Check my "contact" link with your smart phone:
Then check it on a computer and you will see the difference.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fine art website redesign is complete!

And it feels good.

Major wins with the redesign:
  • Cleaner, more intuitive, user friendly design

  • From 2 pages to about 30 pages should help bring the old bounce rate down

  • Looks great on the smart phones (old one didn't even show!)

  • Much more search friendly, logical sitemap

  • Quicker page loads; less wait, less frustration

  • Easier to manage and keep up to date

  • Actually figured out with the redesign that my server form was down since I switched hosts last month, so sorry to all the folks that contacted me with no response, not usual
All in all it was time for a total redesign, so it was well worth the many hours it took. The new redesign is here:
Fine art paintings by Dennis Ryan

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fine art friendly? — hold the phone

Fine art paintings on your smart phone, sans Flash

One of the main reasons I am spending the many hours redesigning my fine art website out of a total Flash base is that I'm noticing more and more web surfers surfing via their broadband smart phones. These broadband smart phones like the Storm, iPhone and Omnia (just to name a few) don't usually show Flash. In fact the Omnia, which I have and really like, can view Flash but only older Flash that is playable via a Flashlite player. If the website is totally wrapped in a newer version of Flash, then the phone virtually locks up on the site and the user has one choice: to exit.

So until these phones catch up with current Flash players (mainstream technology for motion on the web), my site will use it minimally at best. And it will only use it where the information, fine art or content is mirrored somewhere else on the site not in Flash.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fine art website: redesign taking mucho time

Sitting here listening to WHAM "AT40 5/25/85 #01 - Wham-Everything She Wants" while restructuring/redesigning my website: Not one of my favorite Wham songs, but it did actually hit #1 in 1985. Seemingly, I can't get enough of 80s music though!

I'm redesigning the website out of flash. It will still have flash components to show the fine art paintings, but I know the flash is not as search friendly as pure HTML/CSS.

It is unbelievable how long this redesigning and restructuring of very similar content is taking! To be fair it is like a brand new website.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Anxiety Art — If a cast could heal the broken mind...

People who suffer from mental disorders, like uncontrollable anxiety, wish it was that easy. The pain IS as real as a broken arm to them, but there is no easy fix like a cast.

fine art anxiety OCDA good bit of the concepts that derive my fine art stem from stories of obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers. Fact is, many people don't even know what the acronym OCD stands for though. If they or someone they know experiences obsessive compulsive behavior they just chalk it up as being anxious about something.

There are differences between anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive ones, but they can be subtle. Anxiety and OCD show up as separate ideas in my paintings and artwork.

I actually suggest that OCD is a subset of anxiety disorders:
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    GAD can manifest itself as persistent worry about events or activities and produce physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, muscle tension and difficulty sleeping.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    OCD is usually specific obsessions and compulsions. The obsessive thoughts are uncontrollable. And the compulsion is a repetitive behavior to relieve the stress caused by the obsessions.
GAD and OCD could actually mix in the sense that the anxiety can cause heart palpitations and then the OCD would obsess into thought patterns that drive the sufferer to the emergency room several times.

Any way you slice it, anxiety is very real to its sufferers. It is a disability.

Non-suffers can't comprehend the weight of the realness that anxiety can bare. Mostly this non-suffer incomprehension leads to a few facial frowns, with raised eyebrows as they subtly shake their heads in disappointment about the actions of the anxious ones. They see the sufferers as inconveniences in their daily routines... thorns in their sides... speed bumps in their roads to fruition.

This interaction of the sufferers and non-sufferers is unfortunate. In my fine art about anxiety I try to paint this dichotomy. The concept of complexity on one side of the human race and misunderstanding on the other.

Monday, May 11, 2009

You can't outsource creativity!

"But as he points out, you can't outsource creativity." Daniel Pink author of A Whole New Mind
Full story here: Why right-brainers will rule this century

It is good to hear that I have job security.

Creativity IS a huge headache to try to outsource.

Not to mention outsourcing creativity is also far from efficient and cost effective. Don't believe me? Try it! By the time you go back and forth with "Leroy" and his team from India a few dozen times (trying to communicate your idea), and then re-do (what feels like) a few hundred design proofs/submissions, you'll find you could have completed 10 different campaigns in-house.

I've always said that there is no such thing as "job security" in today's global economy. Every job I can think of can be affected or replaced by advances in technology. So the closest thing there is to real "job security" is to stay on top of technology — AND be creative at it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fine Art — trim the fat!

Fine art has tremendous value, BUT...

"the days of the $300 million dollar sale are over"
And I say they should be! I've always believed globalization will determine true value for all things: labor, commodities, materials and even the fine art market. In a recession true value is determined very quickly.

NY art auction market in "free fall" for spring
This article suggests this fine art slow-down is because the sellers are holding their fine art, and not because there are a lack of buyers. Or maybe it is easier for the fine art investors to hold than to admit they overpaid to begin with.

...Allow me to step up on my soapbox...

$300 million at a single auction is a bit exorbitant. And remember, this is coming from the mouth of a fine artist.

Think about it – and it may sound cliché but – that amount of money COULD do so much for so many. That amount of money could change many, many lives. Yet it switches hands in exchange for a few paintings (at a cool $100 million each).

One things is for sure, in a global recession, possibly heading for a global depression, the fat gets trimmed from EVERYTHING! The true value of fine art is being realized.

Shameless self-promotion: For much more reasonably priced original fine art

Friday, April 10, 2009

Technophobia is not a phobia!

Technophobia is no psychological disorder... no phobia... just unwillingness to learn! Let's call it what it is.

It is a bit of malaise! A bit of just plain laziness! A bit of the old proverbial "towel" being thrown in and admitting that you are old!

Stevie Nicks is a self-proclaimed technophobe, but I say she has no phobia:

No doubt, learning most new technologies is hard work.

Technophobia is the strong dislike or fear of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers. This "phobia" is far from the normal class of phobias associated with psychological disorders, like a germ-a-phob. See, the germ-a-phob has not the luxury of choice, and unusually has very little control over this mentally substantiated phobia.

The term technophobia was most likely coined back in the industrial revolution, but I'd say there were so-called "technophobes" as early as the invention of the wheel.

Being a technophobic and saying you wont use new technologies because you believe it is destroying todays youth is a bit like saying that Nintendo was destroying the youth of the 80s (that would include me)with Super Mario Brothers - ha! And the evolution went on from there, as it always has, with the Atari 2600, Atari computer, ColecoVision, Commodore 64 and so on, all the way up to the iPhone today.

Face it when you refuse to pick up on the new technologies you might as well get out the old rockin chair and plop down on the old front porch with your old newspaper (while you can still get a newspaper) and just be old.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Digital Fine Art" is an OXYMORON!

Part of what makes fine art fine art lies in its creation process

First allow me to define oxymoron and fine art:

An oxymoron is basically a set of expressions with stark contradictions in the, usually two, terms. Commonly these oxymoron (paradoxes) serve a kind of rhetorical effect. Typical examples are:

  • act naturally
  • deafening silence
  • jumbo shrimp

Further definition of the word oxymoron:

Fine art's function (another oxymoron?) is mostly for aesthetics and concept, not utility.

Further definition on the words fine art:

The main problem with "digital fine art" (or "DFA"), for me, is in its creation process. Its artistic process is not real. You see, in the creation of fine art there are naturally accidents, albeit happy accidents, nonetheless things that happen that are not planned. These "not plannings" become part of the fine art itself! They are actually part of the process of what makes the art fine art. Now, within the digital realm you have tools like Ctrl-Z (or Command-Z on a Macintosh - for which most graphic designers use). This digital erase-erase kills the authenticity of the creation process, as it leaves NO trace.

So I'd suggest a new term for digital fine art. And that term would be...

...wait for it...

...graphic design!

Really, as soon as a photo or image hits the fully controlled realm of the computer it loses its fineness; it may even be a stretch to call it art, but I won't go out on that limb. Once images or objects can be moved around the page without a trace of their original existence, cloned, cut, pasted and Gaussian blurred, they become a process of design. This type of design, as in moving objects around to create an aesthetically pleasing environment, is more for utility.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lancaster, PA – Amish or Fine Art?

Could the city of Lancaster be the next Soho?

I read an article in the local newspaper this past Sunday that suggested that Fine Artists are leaving the exorbitant, high-cost-of-living areas of New York City, Boston and Philadelphia to settle in areas around Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The article suggested that artists that normally show their work in places like Soho will now show in Lancaster.

Although the article could have been mostly a sales push for the galleries, the shift could be taking place, anything is possible (in theory anyway).

Come to think of it, on warm summer evenings, on the first Friday of every month elbow to elbow crowds are not out of the ordinary. Galleries and museums extend their hours on these Friday nights mainly for the many artist receptions and exhibit openings. The main walk on Prince Street is packed.

The city has a pretty successful annual Art Walk also. So the interest is here!

But is the demand?

The supply of the artists is definitely here. This area has seemingly tons of art schools churning out artists every semester at an endless pace. Talent is abound.

Is it possible that someday Lancaster will be known more for its Fine Art than for its Amish?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nadya... did OCD make you have those babies?

Hands down, for me, this is the most interesting thought the media echoed all week. Honestly, I have never thought of OCD in this context. I know Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can make suffers do things they really don't want to, do things they really don't feel good about doing, do things they really don't think are logical, but could it make a mom have more kids?

The obsessive logic here (or lack there of) might be simply obsessiveness about being a mother. The logic might be to have more babies to fill some kind or perceptive void in the mind. I don't think it has anything to do with counting or trying to hit a certain number. But could it? She did control the number of embryos?

Both of Nayda's parents are now publicly questioning her mental-health state. Of course Nadya's current actions may not be OCD actions at all, but may be relative to the cascade of flooding brain chemicals that can be brought on after giving birth to a child, or two, or even 8! In fact, hormone imbalance with respect to the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol in women can end up causing a state of postpartum psychosis; a serious mental disorder that can require medications or even being institutionalized.

Anyway... on NBC Today Nadya Suleman's mother, Angela, actually said that " seems as if she's obsessive compulsive and she needs to keep doing this and I hope she is not. I mean is 14 enough?". This quote happens about three minutes into the embedded video below.

OCD or not, I don't think a mental evaluation for Nadya would hurt anything at this point.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do you have OCD? Take this Rorschach inkblot test:

Psychologists use this test to try to examine the personality characteristics and emotional functioning of their patients.

Note: This Rorschach is slightly modified from original.

This is the initial layout / mock-up for a series of prints I'm working on. Should turn out to be a series of 10 (or so) Rorschach-esk pieces.

What do you see?

What is a Rorschach inkblot test you ask?