New work; an artist's profile; can I have a pony?

New work

Over the weekend I found the time to photograph some new(ish) works on silk. This first piece is a further iteration on a Uniqlo portrait study, poppies, and the neighborhood pool.

Ring Light - 40ʺ ✕ 58ʺ - Reactive dye on silk wool

In this next piece I played with just graphical, geometric elements and snapshots of flowers from walks in the St. Johns neighborhood.

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Captain Sunshine - 40ʺ ✕ 58ʺ - Reactive dye on silk wool

I love the luminous quality of images on silk. The fabric transmits light so you get some of the same quality of a glowing computer screen, but softer and approachable. Also these are big so they fill a space, but they’re also barely there as the fabric is thin and weighs nothing. They float on the breeze.

Each silk has a rod-pocket at the top and bottom for hanging. These are fun to put over a window on a curtain rod. But they can also be tossed over the back of a couch or worn like a scarf.

My friends at Red Canary Studio in Greensboro did the printing and sewing. I have done 5 of these now. I’d like to 7 more and fill a gallery with them.

A brief profile of Harland Miller

Look at his little cigarette.

My friend Sterling sent me a link to a profile of the artist Harland Miller

Read more

I have seen Miller’s Penguin Book cover paintings lurking around the Instagrams but I never put a name to the work. This is ironic given that he includes his name as the author’s name in giant letters on the front of the canvas.

I appreciate the bravado of that move.

I think I like his book-jacket paintings the best. Using the simple graphical layout of a Penguin book cover as a sort of furniture to apply paint on is clever. It’s a way to play with the lush indulgence of pure abstraction while still having an idea to hang onto. The layered, rich paint does double duty at once being a rich color field to lose yourself in and also simulating an aging paper book cover.

The profile article links to / advertises a new monograph about Miller from Phaidon Books.

Also, a pony

The monograph looks lovely with big color photos of paintings and shots of gallery installation. Phaidon makes beautiful books. The $100 price tag is fair. The book is a work of art itself.

I was curious if there was a digital version of this book. I searched Amazon and the Apple Book store and found nothing. Phaidon seems to have a developer account, as they show up in the App Store with no apps.

I’m always surprised how little from the world of art and art history has crossed over into the digital world. Maybe I shouldn’t be. Perhaps the Venn diagram of art lovers and deliberate luddites overlaps completely. Copyright in the world of fine art is typically pretty complicated, and that may make it difficult to publish anything much less publish something electronically. So maybe it’s just impractical to share art electronically.

I would happily pay $100 a year to Phaidon for an app full of art, similarly I’d pay full retail price for an electronic version of any of their books. But no one will sell to me. Maybe I’m the weirdo. Maybe most art-book buyers want a trophy case full of big books.

This feels like a hole in the marketplace, an opportunity. There is lots of art on Instagram (some even good) but Instagram is not your friend. It only wants to manipulate your emotions so that you doom-scroll forever. Artsy exists, and it is a nice platform for browsing and discovering new (and old) art. Artsy is intended for collectors and actively pushes for sales. It’s not a leisurely stroll through a gallery, it’s a pushy salesman. Glass is a relatively new service centered on sharing photography. I enjoy scrolling through once or twice a day to see something inspiring or beautiful. As it’s a paid service, there’s no crud. I wonder if there’s an appetite for something similar for sharing art.

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