6 Painting Techniques That Don’t Involve a Paintbrush
MEGUMI is a limited edition portfolio of 50 examples featuring signed and numbered ink jet prints commissioned in 2013 with an introduction by Laurie Anderson.
All images are printed 20 x 24 inches on a fine rag substrate to the highest archival standards by Caleb Cain Marcus Editions. Published by Armitage Gone! Dance.
Thumbnail Images (Left-Right) 1) Cover Image; 2) Chuck Close;
3) Patrick Demarchelier; 4) Eric Fischl; 5) Bruce High Quality Foundation; 6) Ralph Gibson; 7) Nate Lowman; 8) Mary Ellen Mark; 9) Enoc Perez; 10) David Salle; and 11) William Wegman
Artsy Portfolio Price: $10,000.
(Market Value of Individual Works: $26,800.)
Chuck Close reinvented painting with his monumental portraits, rendered with exquisite, exacting realism from photographic sources. Playing with ideas of scale, color, and form, Close has become famous for his rigorous, gridded application of individual color squares, which, although abstract up close, form unified, highly realistic images from afar. “I think most paintings are a record of the decisions that the artist made,” he said. “I just perhaps make them a little clearer than some people have.” Close’s artificially restrictive painting techniques stem in part from physical limitations—he suffers from an inability to recognize faces, and had a spinal injury in 1988 that left him largely paralyzed. Close is particularly known for his portraits of artists, having depicted Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, and Richard Serra, among countless others. His work links him not only with Photorealists like Richard Estes and Audrey Flack, but also to Conceptual Art.
American, b. 1940, Monroe, Washington, based in New York, New York
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“I have that one second, the moment she forgets about the camera, when I can make someone relax and become her real self. That is the moment I want to capture,” states Patrick Demarchelier, internationally renowned fashion and portrait photographer known for his ability to represent the true personalities of his subjects. He discovered his passion at 17, experimenting with his first camera. By 1975, he had moved to New York and was working for Vogue, beginning to build a portfolio that now includes innumerable celebrities and supermodels. Princess Diana admired his work and, in 1989, commissioned him to photograph her and Princes William and Harry, leading to his role as the first non-British official photographer for the Royal family. Demarchelier is particularly drawn to female subjects, the result, he cheekily claims, of “always being surrounded by men” growing up.
French-American, b. 1943
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Neo-expressionist painter Eric Fischl achieved recognition in the 1980s for his figurative paintings exploring suburban adolescent sexuality, as in Sleepwalker (1979), which depicts a boy hunched over in a plastic pool, masturbating. His work commonly exposes the dark, disturbing undercurrents of American life; his unconventional 9/11 memorial sculpture, Tumbling Woman (2001), was removed from public view amid controversy. Fischl is also the founder of the “America: Now and Here” project, a mobile museum and performance space that will tour the U.S. for two years.
American, b. 1948, New York, New York, based in Sag Harbor, New York
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With a beguiling blend of reality and fiction, seriousness and humor, the anonymous artists behind The Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF) have been challenging the social, economic, and institutional structures of the art world since 2001. The group has created events, performances, installations, sculptures, videos, mixed-media projects, and even an art school, founded as an alternative to the university system. Centered upon the fictional deceased sculptor, “Bruce High Quality,” the Foundation aims “to invest the experience of public space with wonder, to resurrect art history from the bowels of despair, and to impregnate the institutions of art with the joy of man’s desiring.” They have accomplished this through such puckish activities as holding their “Brucennial” the same year their multimedia assessment of America, We Like America and America Likes Us (2010), was included in the Whitney Biennial, the very exhibition they were critiquing.
American, Founded 2001, based in New York, New York
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Capturing a wide range of subjects in portraits and landscapes, prolific photographer Ralph Gibson is acclaimed for his bold imagery and technical prowess. Gibson manipulates the camera’s focus to hone in on certain areas of his compositions, as in Wheat Field, Burgundy (1993), where shallow depth of field directs the viewer’s gaze onto striking red flowers and delicate stalks of wheat in the near ground. In Gibson’s high contrast black and white works, shadows often play a dynamic and even focal role.
American, b. 1939, Los Angeles, California
Nate Lowman appropriates, paints, and photographs existing imagery, mining the detritus of pop culture in mixed-media works that critique celebrity culture, consumerism, and the saturation of sex and violence in mass media. Known for his blown-up images of fake cartoon bullet holes and ironic bumper stickers turned into linguistic assaults, in recent years Lowman has developed a painted smiley face—banal, and sometimes sinister—as his signature. The idea came when the artist saw the smiley face that O. J. Simpson integrated into his signature in a letter written to fans after he was charged with the murder of his wife. Lowman also produces silkscreens, which he composes by painting over a projected image, including a series in which he created iterations of de Kooning’s 1954 Marilyn Monroe. He is associated with a group of New York artists that includes Dan Colen, Leo Fitzpatrick, Ryan McGinley, and the late Dash Snow.
American, b. 1979
Enoc Perez's vibrantly colored paintings of nudes, still lifes, and modernist architectural icons, including the Seagram building and Lever House, embrace art's potential for pure beauty and pleasure, as well as its ability to tap into nostalgia. Inspired by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, and Roy Lichtenstein's exploration of alternative techniques of mark-making, Perez mimics the process of color printing by making preparatory drawings for each color in a composition and using sheets to transfer oil paint to the canvas. However, he has since returned to the paintbrush.
Puerto Rican, b. 1967, San Juan, Puerto Rico, based in New York, New York
Neo-expressionist painter David Salle gained prominence in the 1980s as a leader in the return to figuration, along with contemporaries Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He is well known for his large-scale canvases featuring a sparse, seemingly disjunctive arrangement of elements, often including provocatively posed women and nudes and the use of grisaille. Pairing Pop art's common imagery with Surrealism's private associations, Salle's collage-like paintings often gather widely different moods, styles, and sources within one work.
American, b. 1952, Norman, Oklahoma, based in Brooklyn, New York
Though originally trained in painting, William Wegman is known for his photographic images featuring dogs—primarily his own Weimaraners—in various costumes and poses, and with an array of props. Wegman embarked on a 12-year collaboration with his first dog, Man Ray, who appeared in numerous photographs and videos. In 1986 Wegman acquired a new dog, Fay Ray, beginning a second collaboration in which the artist began using a 20-by-24-inch Polaroid; Wegman’s cast would grow after Fay Ray gave birth to a litter. In Entabled (1988), a Weimaraner is depicted perched demurely on its back atop an antique wooden table, while in Evergreen (2003), Wegman captures his dog’s profile against a stark black background and with a sprig of upside-down foliage balanced on its head. He has also produced artist books in which his dogs feature as the lead characters, as in his much-loved dog version of Cinderella.
American, b. 1943, Holyoke, Massachusetts