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Hanjo Schmidt
About this artwork
Rosemary and Thyme
oil on canvas
h.100cm w.130cm d.0cm
Apr 2008

Hanjo's Description: Oil on canvas

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2008-01-12 20:24

It seems like you are getting ready to allow some narration into your work. Am I right?
After having seen Paula Rego narration is not a demon for me any more. All the contrary.

2008-01-13 03:40

Well Maria, with narration it’s a bit as Hillel described it for seeing figures in every pattern. We have a tendency to see a narration in every combination of figures. Put a woman and a man together in a picture and there is a story immediately. This for example is what Eric Fischl does. What I do not like in this method is that those stories emerging from such a combination are mostly stereotypes. And I am not interested in stereotypes. So of course there is some kind of story in this painting as well but the story depends on the viewer. Such kind of story you can even find in a portrait or a stillife. What Paula does is quite another thing. And of course it’s not forbidden to tell a story in a painting. Don’t worry about that.
I would have liked to show another oil painting which might have looked much more narrative to you. Unfortunately John-Paul took away the delete function and I will not upload any new work if I do not have the possibility to delete something. For I have no interest in creating a mass grave of artworks on this site.

2008-01-13 17:39

As I see it you have painted here two REAL women, and as you have done before, taking reality and cutting a piece of it for us, you seem to tell us; stop and look at real life ! , the way I look at it, with curiosity, and respect and trying to grasp every bit of it ! the result is impressive . The bigger woman being so powerful that she alone could make the painting work. Her robust and magnificent body, absolutely exposed but not helpless, her gaze, her attitude, makes the other woman light and superficial. The marks in her abdomen, as that of a pregnant woman, seem to say, I carry the weight of life , you can lean on me like she does, I´m the earth. Worked in subtle differences of whites, your normal brilliant and contrasting colours pushed into the background this time, not to interfere with their world, it IS a change, not that I want you to forget your colours, but it IS different. I think the story is not in the painting, but in the way you look at things. It reminds me of Annie and Alice, (Lucien Freud) but here the relation between them is not evident, and I would quote Robert Hughes when writing about Freud : "the strangeness of his paintings comes in large part from the circumstances of their makings: they bypass decorum while fiercely preserving respect".

2008-01-13 19:21

You are absolutely right, it is true that the story narrated by painting when there aren’t any precise symbols used, depends very much on the viewer. Stereotype interpretations cannot be avoided though, even one likes it or not. For example, people may see a pregnant woman depicted as mother earth or, as well, one imprisoned by pregnancy in contrast to a thin carefree girl while others may see a social comment on homosexual couples having children, while, at the same time, others might open discussions about the image of female body as it is seen and manipulated by contemporary visual culture or plastic surgery in a men’s world and so on and so forth to the end of time. Endless numbers of pages have been written providing controversial interpretations on figurative works of art while the artist’s intention was much more evident than this. It is extremely easy when analyzing a visual text in terms of meaning, to end up with evidence of exactly the meaning one expects to find or is likely to accept regardless the artist’s intentions.

2008-01-15 18:32

Hanjo, narrative or not it's a good solid work and I certainly concur with your reasoning for not uploading any new work without the right to delete them. That's the same reason I will not allow The Prado, The British Museum, MoMA, The Tate, et al, to acquire any of my work, although they're all clamoring for a piece, all I ask is for them to give it back when I'm tired of it being there.

sasha mikael
2008-12-15 06:48

crazy techniq & beauty.full

2010-02-27 20:35

Sometime we all might be tired of this site. But taking one’s time and reading the comments one has to admit that there is no website about art with such rich harvest of meaning and truth.


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