Archive for the ‘Nude’ Category
queen of flowers
nude with spheres
I am proud to be invited to participate in a group show at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington. The show is titled, “Woman: Lady. Girl. Female. Chick. Dame. Broad. Lassie. Wench. Maiden. An Artist’s Interpretation.” I am exhibiting four pieces in the show, two shown here. The show opens on International Woman’s Day, March 8, and runs thru April 19. www.confluencegallery.com
Queen of Flowers. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper on panel, beeswaxed. 20″ x 20″.
Nude with Spheres. Carbon Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 8″ x 11-1/2″.
images copyright © Ken Smith 2014 all rights reserved.
Nude with Vase
I was fortunate to work with my beautiful friend again, this time in color. An inspiring location, in luminous light.
photo by yuko ishii
The opening reception for my new show was yesterday. It was well attended and there was good food and some discussion. I expected a bit of controversy about the nudes, but other than a few giggles from a couple 20 year old girls, the work was responded to seriously. There was talk about photographic technique from some of the other photographers, which is normally the case. I was surprised there was little talk about the philosophy behind the work, which is of great interest to me. The thing that makes it art is the most elusive and enchanting.
From the viewers, I heard which pieces were favorite, some were considered for purchase, and there were sales. About half of my handmade books sold. The Studio owners – Salyna and Jennifer – were beautiful, charming hosts. Thank you!
I will be having a gallery talk and discussion later in the month, and we will spend some time on the artist statement, the artist and the model. How I entice art from myself and my subject matter, whether it is still life, landscape, or working with a woman.
‘the female gesture’ is the title of my nude show opening February 6 at The Studio, in Twisp, WA. As is usual when putting together a one-person show, the artist needs to write an artist statement, which is something said on one page about the show’s content, what is behind the work, and maybe a bit about the artist. It is always difficult to write in words what is essentially the task of the work on the walls to portray visually.
In a short paragraph I can summarize the artist statement I wrote: Working with the nude model is a special adventure, but at the same time is no more sacred than working with the still life or the landscape. The difference is it is a human being. But the work is not about the artist and the model as they live their everyday lives among society, so much as it about the two participants and what they have brought to the moment of collaboration together. It is about the individual and universal feelings expressed in the visual image that comes from that collaboration. I hope I did not dance around the issue of sexuality in the statement about the work. What I attempted to say was, although many photographers describe their work with the nude as about shape, form, and light….and that it isn’t about sex….that is impossible. For we are all sexual beings along with all the other aspects of our ‘beingness.’ I described that complete self as a fabric woven of all the threads that make us up. We cannot select one thread or another, shut off one part of ourselves, as though we are made of boxes, some open, some left unopened. The model and the artist have put it all into the work. So the work contains all the feelings it should if the work is successful, and that is what makes it beautiful, and felt strongly by the viewer.
I have been working on wood panels for some time now. For the upcoming nude show I will have 20 images mounted on panels of various sizes from 8×8″ to 9×12″, with squares and rectangles in between. Although in the past I have applied beeswax over the attached print, on these panels I am using acrylic varnish.
Above is one of the panels, with the print Curly Willow, 10×10″.
Preparations for the nude show which is titled, the female gesture, is soon coming to a close. I will be hanging the show on February 1. As mentioned I will have 20 panels, four pieces framed 16×20, and six framed pieces 22×28. As I chose images, looking through older work, I have seen the quality I had forgotten existed. Now that the show has come together I have become more and more inspired to work with the nude again.
I feel my skills as a photographer have improved since most of the images in the new show were made. But much more important than that, I have learned what is necessary for me to imbue my work with feeling. I may not always be successful, but I know the requisite path.
The two owners had seen my still life work, but when they visited my website, they were both excited by the nudes. February, the week before Valentines Day, they thought would be the perfect time to warm up the space. So I have been going thru my files, reacquainting myself with the work, much of it done 10 or more years ago. It is haunting to open negative envelopes and peer into the past thru the lupe. It is also a gift, for many negatives were never printed for one reason or another, but now they can be revealed. Since I now scan my negatives and print by wide-format printer, I can remove the scratches and imperfections that once denied the originals.
Some of the prints will be framed behind glass, but many of them will be printed small and mounted on wood panels, and acrylic varnished. I have just begun presenting my work on the panels, and I love the directness of not being behind glass.
Nude with Tree Shadows is one of the gems I found, that had previously been unprinted.