Madeleine FromentUntitled from Accord/#1 DM series (201X)

I make a pretty solid effort when it comes to familiarizing myself with the work of the artists I post here.

Frequently, I find that while a particular image resonates it seemingly telegraphs to my eye that the I will end up considering the rest of the work an–at best–mixed bag.

It’s frustratingly rare to find work which truly fans the flames of my curiosity.

But when @reverdormir2 posted this drawing by Froment, I was immediately taken by it; I don’t know, I think it’s the obsessive and perhaps even a little awkward details of the hair–the way her hair obscures her face, the careful rendering of the hair on his back, arms and legs, the texture of his beard contrasting against her tightly cropped pubic hair.

I clicked over to her web site and promptly dropped into a sensual erotic K-hole for the better part of an hour.

For the record, not all of her stuff works. But unlike the majority of intellectually dishonest wannabe creatives out there, she doesn’t foist the work on her audience despite its flaws. Instead, she presents the work in a fashion that patiently bridges the gap for the audience between the impetus for the work, the details that drive and enliven it–all subsequently recontextualized in the final work.

It’s really goddamn ingenious. However, what makes it even more exceptional is the degree to which Froment understands her own aesthetic peculiarities and formulates her installations in such a way as to further compliment it, but to also enrich the complex relationship between the work and the world it inhabits.

If you think I’m being a pretentious blowhard and talking out of my ass, just browse through her website and notice how the work flows from documentary like snapshots, to more refined images which in turn provide prima materia for her spare, meticulous drawings. Note: also the holistic way each project is presented to emphasize how the work is supposed to be viewed–ethereal (representative) vs actual (representational).

This is extremely high end work. And it’s thrilling to see an artist this young and this preoccupied with the sort of topics that I think are all too often excluded from artistic discourse–much to the detriment of Capital A Art, unfortunately.

Falk GernegrossHerz, Karo, Kreuz (2013)

I am not a painter. But of the dozen or so painters with whom I am acquainted, three are die hard adherents of mischetechnik.

I don’t claim to completely get the process but my understanding is that you construct a painting in layers. There’s an initial layer of underpainting that accentuates the shading. From their color is layered onto the image in a fashion so that light refracting off the layers creates the sort of randomization of color sheen that we expect of the world around us. (In other words: even a simple red isn’t really just one color–it consists of a range of so similar as to be nearly indistinguishable reds.)

You could probably tell from the fact that a notable percentage of the painters I know use the process, it’s very hip right now. And although I typically don’t care for the stuff people are employing it to paint–especially given that one of my all-time favorite paintings used the mischetechnik and very little that’s made subsequently improves upon Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Wedding Party.

Gernegross is not especially subtle or nuanced. He’s clearly obsessed with the mixed bag of joy and anxiety that accompanies adolescent sexual experimentation. But whereas other artist’s own this preoccupation, he presents adult looking surrogates in situations that are clearly intended to convey a post-pubescent reality.

I’m not entirely sure this works as a subliminatory strategy. I mean the defined bust of the girl in the red blouse and green skirt aside, this is clearly supposed to be two twelve year-old girls who were playing cards after school while sloshing wine nipped from the family liquor supply. They drink too much and things grow lusty.

Really, it’s probably the affronting style of the rest of his work that made him decide to build in a method of escape should he face criticism for the depiction, but honestly, save for the manner in which the girl on the bottom’s thong is positioned around her feet, there’s a matter-of-factness that’s worthy of Balthus–even if Balthus would’ve almost certainly rendered something more graphic than Gernegross’ explicit implications. But then Balthus’ was more interested in the ambiguity his work instilled in his audience than in ambiguity as a safety net against critical backlash.

Source unknown – Title Unknown (201X)

One of the things I appreciate about Tumblr is that in the process of seeking out things I like I encounter a lot of stuff I would otherwise never in a million years seek out.

For example, I have less than zero interest in anime/hentai. Yet, I saw this while scrolling down my dash and I like it quite a bit.

I think what draws me to this is the way that it’s explicit but not especially graphic. In the context of the sort of anything goes excess for the sake of excess world of hentai, restraining the typical insanely graphic depictions of sexual behavior somehow–for me at least–conveys a stronger sense of intimacy.