Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Karin Jurick: Star Gazers

Painting people who are viewing paintings is an appropriate theme for our times. If I were to use a fashionable word to describe it, I would have undoubtedly picked "postmodern." I will settle, however, for "ironic" and "multi-layered" (with meanings).

Though there is a tradition of including paintings inside paintings, this is the first time I witness an example that employs an actual museum setting, where paintings are the main attraction rather than a decoration. By capturing works of art in a specifically designated place, the artist reveals their status of a commodity and of public property. It is not accidental that most of the figures shown in these series have their backs turned towards the viewer: the painting is the model in this piece, and the people inside it are merely the observers.

Moreover, I find this representation as inherently ironic. Interestingly, it echoes the Chinese Boxes narrative methods used in literature. First, there is the celebrated masterpiece, second the people who view it, third there is us, who view the given painting, and fourth, if there's someone who watches us, and who can hold a brush... and so on. Such a layout inevitably puts everything in a perspective -- and puts a smile on my face. Nothing is final, everything is a transmutable shell.

Technically, accomplishing such a painting must be a difficult task for the crafts-person: there is a miniature copy of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" inside the piece. Naturally, one desires to be as accurate as possible. I recognized it immediately, which contributed to the overall enjoyment from this work.

I hope more artists will choose to paint the interior of modern venues: discotheques, book stores, even banks and malls. Such themes carry the freshness of relevancy and immediacy; such they are in our lives, and such they would appear in works of art.


Karin Jurick said...

Elijah - I really appreciate your insight and critiques and wish I had your ability to articulate my own work. I'll take whatever you have to say, for better or worse - it matters.
-Gratefully, Karin J

My name is Elijah and said...

Thank you for your feedback, Karin. I am very glad you've found my reviews of some value. More to come!

Katherine M Schneider said...

I'm glad Karin linked her blog to yours.
Your insights on her artwork are thought provoking and add a new dimension to my enjoyment of her unique artistic viewpoint.

"Evading mortar shells and writing art reviews.." Both pretty risky ventures. Stay safe.

Kay Schneider

ming said...

your oppening sentance is so true!

I have made 2 such paintings in a series, the painting, and the painting being viewed.

Faltiska said...

More than the scenes she chooses I love the way she is able to capture reality with the minimum possible number of brush strokes. The way she captures body postures, it is unbelivable. She has the most wonderfull capacity to abstract out a scene as if she has some kind of dithering engine in her eyes.
This is not realism and it is not impressionism. No matter what it is called, I just love it.

Elijah said...

I agree. I actually haven't paid enough attention to this important detail. But I intend to return to Karin some time in the future and discuss a painting or two -- hopefully to remedy what I've overlooked. Thanks for your comment.