Sunday, 29 December 2013

DELIBERATELY SPONTANEOUS ART - WHAT IS THIS?



People who look my artworks always try to find parallels with something or somebody they already know. It is normal. Anyone has been influenced by someones. I never took seriously such parallels or discussions about certain styles and so on. Artworks speak themselves. One day I found that I need to explain what I'm doing, why, how, and what is behind. Here I give you just brief statement. However, I'm sure it explains everything: what, why, and how...
The style of my art I titled: Deliberately Spontaneous Art. What is this? I explain below:
Usually my paintings, graphic works, small sculptures, and other art objects and performances are made spontaneously, but are always based on the surrounding reality, they all reflect anything that I find or observe every day. It is an art of nuances, emotions, feelings, hidden links, and symbols. Why so? We all live in a pretty spontaneous world, but nothing is random: things that we think appeared spontaneously are simply the results of reasons and someone’s deliberate actions when we have no knowledge of. It is always interesting to catch this process, observe and understand it... It is a permanent mind game that makes us Homo Sapiens.

To illustrate this I asked to make several snapshots of the “Wonder Unlimited” creation process. They clearly demonstrate Deliberately Spontaneous Art creation process.


I think that everything starts when I looked through Mikalojus Čiurlionis art album (exceptionally gifted Lithuanian artist and composer, classic representative of fin de siècle epoch). Then ... quiet walk in the woods after rain, listening forest, creeks, listening the sounds of waves, watching the flames, playing chess or checkers ... what’s the meaning of this? It’s time to fix all of these on canvas.



Associated fuzzy objects appeared from nowhere and started to live, and became tangible. A big snail delivers a strange dual feeling of nothing and microcosmical being of yourself and ... your wonder becomes unlimited. 





The progress.



 
Progress. Decorations (environment) in a life theater are important




 
Progress. Composition drafted.




 
Progress. Some color experiments.




 
Progress. Experiments continuing ... entropy increasing ... wonder increasing too...




 
Progress. Quite close to apotheosis.





Apotheosis of grotesque: The world created... Wonder Unlimited.



Every time when I start an artwork I don’t know what it will be. I just gather thoughts, symbols, and other elements around the core idea, which also may fluctuate ... like in the real world. I asked to make snapshots that witness the birth of another evidence of being here. Right from the white canvas, like “Creation of the World”: just from nothing, spontaneously but with deliberate purpose.

This is Deliberately Spontaneous Art.

Vladimir Kolosov

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Billion-Dollar Question: Can Contemporary Art Keep Climbing? | BLOUIN ARTINFO

 Billion-Dollar Question: Can Contemporary Art Keep Climbing? | BLOUIN ARTINFO

Good question. But the respond is - absolutely yes. Just because visual art is the witness of the progress of those who we're calling Human Being, i.e. us. It witnesses of who we are and where we came from...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Answering China’s takeover of Nexen.
Today there are many debates and opinions about recent takeover of Nexen . One opinion, published on Tuesday, January 8th in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Times (“Questioning China’s takeover of Nexen” by Gordy Robson (read it here: http://www.mrtimes.com/business/Questioning+China+takeover+Nexen/7788693/story.html ) appeals to the matter of trust to the government of China and uses, as an example of their inconsistency, the story with the aircraft carrier Varyag. I have a different opinion about that takeover and related matters. Geopolitics, fighting for influence, for their own values and interests. This is what links Nexen and a story about a Soviet aircraft carrier. I’m not sure that the argument about inconsistency of China actions regarding Varyag and the following conclusion that there is no basis for trust is correct. In general, the story about this ship is correct, however, some very important details are missing. I browsed archives (most of them in Russian and Ukrainian) to find how it happened. The real story looks like this: “Varyag” (called “Riga” before 1990) was designed in 1985. Its construction started in the same year. The ship left the dry dock in 1988 and construction was continued on water until 1992 when it was frozen. After crush of the Soviet Union in 1993 this ship was possessed by Ukraine, according to the agreement between Ukraine and Russia. An interesting fact: Sebastopol along with the biggest naval base on Black Sea remains under control of Russia. Ukrainian forces couldn’t be taken seriously and actually they didn’t need this incomplete ship. China, who planned to construct such ships, and for that purpose collected necessary information for decades, was around at that time and bought the ship body after all equipment and engines were dismounted and sold. There was no auction regarding this deal. The paid price was about three times more that normally is paid for such a quantity of scrap. Approximately at the same time China bought two other aircraft carriers. Regarding the plans about future of Varyag: they were not clear at that time. The purchase was, as we say “just in case”, however from very beginning, China considered its usage as naval training center as one of the possible alternatives. One of the other possible alternatives was entertainment purpose as was announced.
Along with the ship body, China got from Ukraine all documents and blueprints necessary for rebuilding the ship as an aircraft carrier. So, the argument about entertainment only purposes supposedly fixed in the purchasing contract is just a myth. And now we come to the scandalous part of the story. As I said, there were two other aircraft carriers purchased, but only Varyag was found in the center of the scandal. Why? It is because of China’s rising influence in the Pacific region. Whose interests in the region can be significantly disturbed by China’s influence? Let’s guess. Correct: US and Canadian. There was no possibility of the US to disturb the other two deals, but Varyag was locked in Black Sea. The US and Canada made tremendous pressure on Turkey just to ban the Varyag’s passing through the Bosphorus  Straight. Turkey has no interests in the Pacific region, but it is a NATO member. However, at the end the solution was found: China sent over 3 million tourists to Turkey to support the local economy. After 16 months of drifting in Black sea ship passed the Bosphorus Straight. The adventures of the carrier were not yet over. As I noted it was true that one of the alternatives was constructing a floating hotel and casino in Macao, but Macao, controlled by Portugal at that time, resisted to give a permit to keep this ship in the area. Also the cost of the 627 days trip increased by $10 more million. Such cost was too much for entertainment purposes and related promises were canceled. Because business industry keeps promises only until they are not in conflict with benefits. North American businesses are very knowledgeable about it. So, the multi-million piece of scrap drifted to China. The future of the ship was still unclear at that time, it became clear only after endless inspections with respect to suitability of the ship and when in 2005 China bought SU 33 aircrafts from Ukraine and designed its own Shenyang J-15 based on SU 33. So, that’s the true story of Varyag.
Now let’s talk about the present days and approval of the Nexen takeover. Actually there is no too much believing, of course. Everyone firmly stands on guard of its own national interests and values. For a clear understanding of what is going on, we need to consider several facts. So, fact #1: China, with its growing economy, is one of the biggest consumers of natural resources and oil and gas are on top of their priority list.
Fact #2: There are two major suppliers of Russian oil to China: Rosneft and Transneft. Both are state-owned. Right now Russian state corporation Rosneft is doing everything possible to increase its’ oil supply to China, and on January 14th there should be negotiations between Rosneft and CNPC regarding this point. It is not a secret that Rosneft as well as other key enterprises in key industries in Russia controlled by Putin’s clan of former KGB top officers and his close friends and relatives. Originally the idea of a pipeline to China and close co-operation between two states in this industry was developed by M. Khodorkovskij, ex-leader of YUKOS. I think it isn’t necessary for me to remind reader of what happened with the Russian oil manufacturing giant #1 and its leader and top management, and how Rosneft, an outsider, became the leader. Khodorkovskij’s idea was simple and brilliant: it gave Russia the long – term and firm economic link and opportunities to play significant roles in Pacific regional politics.
Obviously, the economic interests are the reasons of the politics in 99%. For those who doubt me, I recommend to keep an eye on John F. Kerry, who was recently nominated and who is going to be the next Secretary of State in US. Keep an eye on his position and behaviour with respect to human rights violation in Russia. In fact Kerry hampered the acceptance of Magnitsky Law which is real danger for Kremlin. Why this person? Just because of his wife, Teresa Heinz, the owner of Heinz, the biggest ketchup producer in the world. Heinz has several production facilities in Krasnodarskij region in Russia and excellent positions and opportunities on that market.
Now we are on fact #3. Here is a quote from a recent essay “A Quiet Ruin. How did our relationship with Russia become so dysfunctional”? by Mr. Christopher Westdal, former Canada’s ambassador in Russia. This essay is useful for those who are interested in history, development, and current situation of Canadian – Russian relationships. Reader can find it here: http://reviewcanada.ca/essays/2012/10/01/a-quiet-ruin/  So, I quote: “For Stephen Harper, Vladimir Putin has been persona evidently non grata from the start. I introduced the two, as it was my job to do, at the 2006 G8 summit at St. Petersburg. From that day to this, despite countless opportunities in multilateral settings, Harper has made no apparent effort to cultivate any relationship (or influence) whatever with Putin. There have been no visits—and none, as I write, is in prospect”. Very clear. I believe the political intuition of our Prime Minister, just because it is similar to mine in many points. So, now, just put together all the facts I mentioned, and the Nexen takeover picture clarifies: it simply secures the current global geopolitical balance and interests of Canada and other western countries in light of modern Russian geopolitical ambitions. Nobody will dig out Canadian oil sources with intent to transfer them to China, nobody will put the red communist flag on oil sands, the pipeline will be built just because there is a very important overseas consumer, and participating provinces will get their interest from this development.
Vladimir Kolosov
(written January 10th, 2013)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

ARTISTS OR RETOUCHERS?

Just got "Art Avenue" - November/December 2012, by FCA. The project titled "A Painting in the Life of ..." is quite interesting. It uncovers the "technology" of making contemporary art particularly in Western Canada. I specially put the industrial word "technology" because a big part of painted pieces produced today doesn't stay even close to the definition of fine art. Taught fine arts at classical European and in particular Russian traditions, traditions of live drawing, traditions that are focused at art of seeing, I've never seen such pandemic of retouching the photographs (actually redrawing from photographs - for those who didn't understand) before I moved to Canada. Shot, shot , shot, ... simply redrawing or artographing - that is a technology. As the result - very detailed, but very "cold", absolutely "dead" paintings. There is no life, no feelings, there is NOTHING in them. Every time I see such "art piece" I think about the quality of the photograph from what this piece was created. In 99.99% it is bad. Because photography is an art itself. True photographer never gives anyone his good photograph for copying and "creating" painting. "As opposed to paintings from traditional hand held photographs, I prefer to paint directly from my laptop ...". This guy is not talking about computer arts, specific and very interesting direction in visual arts. He is talking about painting traditional landscapes...I would be ashamed to say that. Here I go to the point:

What distinguishes artists from others? The art of seeing, the art of interpretation, transformation of mood, feelings, and so on, associated with what was seen into a piece of art. Styles, techniques, media and so on are just secondary. All these is just a routine and can be trained from ground zero. Art of seeing. Here is a gift, a talent. If person is not able to see, catch and understand the gist, very often momentary, feeling, atmosphere, connections, but is able just to see the object itself he/she is not able to make a good photograph too. Such photograph will be not a piece of art but just memorizing of a dead object. However, even such photograph will be better than painting made from it.

The following comparison illustrates my words: just take a look at static and even dead marine landscapes of some contemporary artists and live marinas of true master Ivan Aivazovsky (see for instance here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Aivazovsky#Gallery) who never used "laptop allowing to zoom in and out as required for better understanding of the subject..." Do you see the difference? Perhaps our contemporary "artist" needs zooming just because he is blind and is not able to see ...? Aivazovsky didn't need "better understanding the subject" he knew it and felt. I'm sure that thousands of true artists agree with me. This is just one example, I can provide with hundreds comparisons like that.

Obviously, that issue I just touched is quite critical at contemporary art landscape. Hopefully, live drawing is coming back.

Vladimir Kolosov

Friday, 2 November 2012

DISASTER?

I've just got and read article: After the Flood: How Will Hurricane Sandy Change New York's Art World? (http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/838275/after-the-flood-how-will-hurricane-sandy-change-new-yorks-art). Yes, that's very true: hurricane is disaster. But let's take a look from another side. It is a Great Artist too. So many artists tried to make such installation. So much money was spent for artificial conceptual mess in galleries around the world. So many stupid words were spoken and written as statements for such installations. But nothing can be compared with Mother Nature. What was happened is the piece of Art. Wonderful chaos. Such an installation! Conceptual and absolutely surreal. I can imagine how many artists and photographers are fixing and memorizing each moment of that wonderful work. It is not a disaster. It is chaos and new vision which follows afterwards.

Vladimir Kolosov.

Friday, 26 October 2012

WHO WOULD DOUBT,


Actually I sent this letter to Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows News, however the the Editor told me he doesn't know will be this published or not. If the editor doesn't know, who knows? So, I decided to deliver my thoughts to residents of Maple Ridge. So, ...


Re:” Public art can do a lot of good”, by Linda Nelson, The News, Oct. 19th, p.7

WHO WOULD DOUBT,
that “public art can do a lot of good”?


But only if:
 a) it clearly expresses the core idea to be delivered to the public;
 b) it is executed in a top professional manner ;
 c) it is installed in the right place.
 Nobody would doubt it then.

The debates around the new object installed in downtown of Maple Ridge started from my e-mail to our mayor and art council of Maple Ridge with respect to this installation. I had no intention to write a letter to the newspaper, but just shared my concerns with the editors. Now I feel that it is time to step out and clarify the points that remain unclear or were misunderstood.
 Obviously, it is unreasonable to argue about any piece of art, because someone could call it “an artwork” while another one could think it’s just “garbage”. Different people – different opinions. That’s why all over the world there are very simple procedures of collecting a public opinion prior to any public art installation. I will write about it below.
 We all follow some communication rules in our life. There are some basics in art, too. One of them is the art of “seeing”. I remember our live drawing, painting, and sculpture classes where we, the future artists, were taught not only the technique, but also that art of “seeing”.
 The ability to see, to go into deep understanding of “seeing”, interpretation and transformation of seeing into visual form, whatever it is, makes us artists.

Unfortunately, our readers were limited to just a description of the object discussed. The published photograph of it while assembling doesn’t give an idea of what it really looks like. So, let us take a look:

Photograph 1.

I took this picture across the street, from the other side of Lougheed, beside BMO on September 19th, just a few hours before the official opening. I give an opportunity to the readers to get their own impression of what it looks like. I found that the Balance (the core idea of the project that should be delivered to public) actually is not balanced, something is missed, and this “something” is a straw and a bottle that logically complete and balance the composition of the corner. Just like the edited model you can see on photograph 2.


Photograph 2.

I totally agree with the opinion of Linda Nelson: this martini glass has a very “modern look” (quite crude, without charm and sophistication, but it’s OK). The point is that it seems that it is installed in a wrong place. Two reasonable explanations come to my mind: credit union (I’m sure the main commissioner) has secret plans to switch the profile to pub and liquor store (99.99% of English pubs are corner standing – this is a tradition), or is it a gentle hint to everyone who opens an account there that they will be welcomed with vodka – martini “shaken, not stirred” cocktail. Otherwise, there are at least two places where this installation would be more appropriate. One of them is just about 500 meters towards west, on the other side of Lougheed, near the Liquor store. 

It was just fun. Ernie Daykin reminded me well known quote: "A day without laughter is a day wasted!" by Charlie Chaplin. So, we got fun.
Now let me discuss the idea of the project. The theme was “Balance”. I think that it will be useful for the creators of that object and others who see there “a tree” to know the simple fact that there is no balance in real nature. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any progress and development. Balance, meaning “equilibrium”, exists only in human’s mind. It is abstraction and it reflects static, not developing, a dead subject. There are harmony, stability, and chaos in real nature. A tree, like any live creature, from microscopic nothing to universe, exists and develops in harmony. During certain periods of time its development is stable. There is no static at all. Harmony, stability, and balance are different subject matters like life and death. An artist should never confuse such important things. I’m also pretty sure that the idea of visualization of the “balance” was inspired by the front entrance of ACT which really looks beautiful and, where you can find reflections of maple trees, mountains, rivers and creeks, dynamic and developing that characterized Maple Ridge as a truly wonderful place.

Now a few words about the procedures of collecting a public opinion prior to the public art installation. Indeed, we can collect and keep whatever we like ... at our homes, private galleries, or even publically (if the work is donated, like absolutely wonderful sculpture by Zurab Zereteli installed in New York in memory of 9/11 and which about 50% of NY citizens just hates). If we’re talking about taxpayer’s money, it is a totally different case. Worldwide practice is the following: the shortlisted projects (models of proposed pieces of art) are placed for the public viewing for some period of time. I’m pretty sure that it was possible to find 2 weeks in our Art Gallery’s schedule for such an exposition, widely announced in advance, instead of keeping for 2-3 months art shows with average traffic of 3.5 visitors including gallery staff. I believe that such an exposition would be very interesting, important, and better for the community. Of course, we can say that the decision was made by the steering committee which meetings are open for public, but let us be honest to ourselves: it makes no sense just because most of the people can’t make it when the committee has its meetings. A show of the projects in the gallery, with the voting box installed, would work better.
And only after getting some public opinion, should the committee on it, and make a final decision. Then afterwards nobody can say anything about selection: not only the committee but community decides what is better for it as a public artwork.

Vladimir Kolosov. Maple Ridge