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karen kruse
About this artwork
La Ventana
oil on canvas
h.81cm w.100cm d.2cm
Feb 2005

karen's Description: to do.

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2007-01-07 12:23

Having an interior as a background automatically tells it’s own story interferring with that one the body tells. So for me, looking at your paintings from 2005, all the bodies are embedded in that lazy after sex atmosphere. So the question is what the story is about. Is it about the body, it’s forms and how it looks when being distorted or bended this or that way, or is it about relationship or solitude or that „post coitum omne animal triste“?
With the exeption of studies and sketches it always has been prohibited to show the naked body for the sake of the naked body and still is in many cultures. So there always was the need of embedding it into a story. More often than not into a mythological one. This need for a story gave us all those clichés of how to paint the nude. So the first thing I did for to free the body from all this hypocrisy was to eliminate the interior and any other kind of distraction. The second thing was to alter the poses into ones that did not occur in those stories. And having purified the body from all known meanings (at least I tried to do so) there suddenly emerged a human being, stronger and more moving than in all that „reclining nude“ kind of stuff.

Looking at your paintings I have the feeling that you are just in that process as well. In 2006 you have eliminated the interior and now you try to alter the poses. So the only thing I can say is: keep on going.

2007-01-09 00:34

I am not as good as you are commenting paintings, but I´ll try to express my point of view the best I can. I think that the art of our times, today’s art follows a general trend of muteness. It is better accepted if it is cold, distant, it represents the figure
(in this case ) as if it were beeing photographed for a police file. Better if the person being painted says nothing to us: anonymus , silenced figures, whom we look from the outside of a tinted glass. No my first paintings are not about after sex moments, I didnt paint them to express that, in fact when I look at them now I´m sure they are more about my own voluptous pleasure watching a body under the Spanish summer light, trying to capture something of its nature. I believe there is not only one ,defined reason to paint something, we are influenced by everything, so if I consider the moment they were painted, I can also say that they all talk about the unknown world of incommunication in which I thought men lived. I was wrong.
Why shouldnt we paint a feeling? Not a story, a state of mind? A mood? Yes I am trying to eliminate the backgrounds now, and my intentions are to hold the face I´m painting in front of me and let it say as much as possible, with my intervention being as less intrusive as possible. But I believe something is always said, with or whithout a background ....

2007-01-09 01:09

I like your work very much. I think this one is amongst the best in your portfolio. I love the light and the ambiguity of the nude male figure seated in the wicker chair. A powerful composition and very texturally interesting. That it could be a scene of post sex, post bath or post heroin fix only makes it more interesting for me.

2007-01-09 14:16

What I am talking about is that it doesn’t really matter what the artist says. For that’s only about intention. Important is what the artwork says. One cannot stand near to it all the time explaining: „With this I wanted to show ...“
We do not know what Michelangelo had in mind when painting the Sixtina but I bet that it was not exactly about Doomsday.

An artwork, a play as well as a painting, should funktion without a manual. Looking for explanations, comments, critics opinions etc. only shows a mistrust in the language of art. It’s a problem of contemporary art that there is to much interpretation by art clerics and that words dominate. It’s all about themes for that is the thing those clerics can talk about. But painting for example is mainly about painting. Monet’s Nympheas are not about waterlilys. They are about painting and nothing else and that’s why they are so overwhelmingly important.

Of course every painting is telling a story that evokes a feeling or it is evoking a feeling that leads to a story whatever. The story the viewer sees in your painting isn’t necessarily the same you see in it. More often than not it’s a quite different one. And the main thing is that these stories have the tendency of being stereotypes. Just put a man and a woman in one and the same picture and automatically you have all this gender debate in your painting. That’s what Eric Fischl does. But that’s only feeding the clerics. If you want to tell another story you have to be very precise and eager to give no occasion for stereotypes to take over.

2007-01-09 18:48

I agree with you, the artwork speaks by itself, much better than we do. I’d rather let it be read and not talk about it , as you said depends on who sees it, its a story or another. I guess I need more time, I haven't been painting that long.


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