300 Words: Sarasota Visual Art asks individuals to write about a particular discussion or evaluation of visual art. While we look to criticize art in the context of aesthetics or the theory of beauty, one of our goals is the pursuit of a rational basis for art appreciation.
Being an artist leaves a lot of time to think about all of the branches art creates. There is a branch of communication, one that does not effect the individual creating but those that witness the creation. In other words, I find myself thinking about how to better connect with the viewer of my art. There is also a branch of opportunity that shows all of the choices and paths available due to being an artist. From the schools that become specialized for me, to the food, materials, and car I can attain, art opens doors of opportunity. Finally there is a branch of self worth and purpose. This branch reflects all reasons why I am creating. It can be spiritual, therapeutic, imperative, destructive, and even for the simple reason of needing to create, and more often than not, I find it is all of these reasons at once.
The ideas of art and creativity themselves seem to often be constrained. Not as a whole, but per individual. If a man paints a beautiful painting, both aesthetically and in meaning, then is recognized for that painting, it has become second nature to label him a “painter”. When in reality the painting is proof that this man has the capability of truly displaying actual thought and process by physical means. So in turn, this man isn’t a “painter” but an artist who has painted. I believe an artist to be someone who instinctively creates, and uses materials that, through experimentation, becomes just as instinctive as their will to create. Art has so impacted my life in this way; It has given me a reason to question all branches of life and a means to feed my instinct to create.
Micah Mathewson was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and it was here his art began to first evolve. After the death of his father in 2005, Mathewson moved with his mother and brother to the rural and quiet Anna, Illinois. Experimenting with new forms of art, including photography, he trained his eyes to capture the most minute details of the tranquil world around him.
Mathewson, now living in Venice, Florida at 18 years old, has gone on to win several awards including the prestigious 2012 Omar Cooper Award for the visual arts, and the 2013 Dr. Ken & Chris Pfahler Merit Award through the Education Foundation of Sarasota’s Evening of Excellence.
So, I moved back to Sarasota a short while ago. I was originally going to write about the fluctuating art scene in Sarasota, and why the youth feel compelled to move… but I’m over that now. I’m pretty nomadic myself, so I get it. AND, the Harvey Milk Festival happened, which was great, so thank you for that!
I’ve decided that what I would like to focus on is fostering and building up the alternative art community within, and close to, Sarasota. I’ve come to terms with its “ebb and flow” and I’ve decided I’d like to embrace it, and learn from it as well. Soooo, I’d like to propose an experiment of sorts. I’ve participated in several collectives, and I’d like to get another one going here. This “collective” wouldn’t really be about making money or specifically for visual arts either – it would mainly be for a learning experience, experimentation, and fun. Kind of like the Gutai Group, but different. I ‘m interested in bringing multiple aspects of the community together to create a contemporary Think Tank of sorts – this would entail art shows, open studios, group discussions, critiques, music, poetry; you name it. I envision this as an open group that is non-discriminatory. Are you currently a student or graduate? Great! Never been to art school? That’s great too! We can all learn from each other. I’m also interested in reaching out to writers, musicians, intellectuals, and folks outside of Sarasota as well (St. Pete? Tampa?). If you’re interested in this experiment, please feel free to contact me at Kaseylou20@gmail.com. Don’t be shy. I intend to be contacted by folks from all walks of life, which could make for something extremely interesting (and hopefully ambitious). I plan to be here for awhile!
There is no doubt that Paolo Veronese‘s paintings are grandiose and magnificent visions of the spectacle of sixteenth-century Venetian life. The Italian painter is arguably most famous for his paintings The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi. However, in this particular exhibition, there is one work, which stands out amongst the rest at Ringling Museum of Art’s current exhibitionPaolo Veronese, A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice. The work is Christ and the Centurion.
This work is a fine example of the style in which Veronese is best known for – a crowed colorful composition with theatrical effects and the idea of opulence and splendor in the Renaissance of Venice. In this version (and quite possibly the best version), the account of the miracle from Matthew 7:5-13 is compressed into one dramatic scene, which is shown at its climax. A Roman centurion begged Christ to heal his servant, stating; “only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” Christ healed the servant and praised the centurion’s faith. From the left to right, Christ extends his hand to the kneeling, humbled, and tightly rendered centurion who for the sake of his servant, and simplicity of his faith begs for a miracle.
If you attend this well-hung exhibition, and you should, look for the slight varieties of colorful brushstrokes and various decorative styles in each work. Veronese ran a large prolific workshop, assisted by his brother and sons. Not only will you will notice the personalities of the many assistants Veronese had in the studio, but also their individual levels of accomplishment of the rendering of their Master’s works.
I’ve done a lot of traveling in 2012, and with that comes searching — searching for purpose, home, and my next step. This urge to travel and move was also triggered by my personal need to figure out where my art endeavors will be supported and the most successful. I’ve made many sacrifices for art and that has come with a huge amount of rejection. I’ve even gotten to the point where I proclaimed that I would stop creating and pursuing the expectations I have for myself because the “failure” is discouraging and too painful. Why not just “give in” and stop creating? Perhaps my life will become easier; perhaps letting go of my need to create will take some weight off my shoulders. What’s so wrong with living an art free life? But recently something unexpected happened and I was given a gift when I visited the Anasazi Ridge Petroglyphs, in Southern Utah. It’s not known exactly what the images mean, but they bring many questions to mind. What compelled this civilization to create images? Are they depicting stories that the Anasazie’s wanted to pass on for generations? Are they trail-markers? Are they images created for magic hunting rituals? Are they messages to their gods or aliens? Or are they “sketches” to pass the time? Whatever the reason may be, I found myself completely in awe and came to the conclusion that I can never stop creating, no matter how discouraged I may be feeling. Could you imagine if every person stopped creating because they felt discouraged? Those petroglyphs probably wouldn’t exist if that were the case. So with that thought in mind, and that weight off my shoulders, I say cheers to a new year full of new (good or bad) art!
An enthralling and captivating painting at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art concerns itself with one of art’s famous subjects in the most striking of ways.
by Daniel Miller
One of my favorite paintings in the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is painted by Francesco del Cairo. Judith, seemingly stunned by her own actions, holding on to a decapitated head of a man that did her so wrong, she ended his life in such a grueling way. A very popular theme amongst great artists and storytellers.
Her servant urges her in the background to hurry. Protecting her in the moment of shock and astonishment. Life so quick and unintentional. The dragon has been slain, and the victor relinquished from its wrath. What will now come of the murder? Will her conscious, as well as that of her helper, be able to keep such a secret?
The painter in the classic and obvious Baroque style, captures the subject within its light in such a way as nothing else matters. Consequently, the viewer is tunneled into the gaze of Judith peering into the viewer’s own soul, asking for their utmost secrecy and silence. If we [the viewer] speak too loudly, she may be discovered and sentenced accordingly.
The gaze of Judith, the haste of her accomplice, the strong light and darkness all bringing this great painting to its historical significance and beauty. I encourage you to see it yourself.