A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate at Art Battle 54. Art Battle? Was that like a visual snub-off where fellow artists paint preposterous pictures of their competitor’s mother? It was billed as a live competitive painting event where painters create the best work they can in 20 minutes. What ever the case, I was eager to find out!
Until I heard of Art Battle, I never came across the idea of competitive painting. Painting up until that point was a very private process that was usually spanned the course of days, if not weeks but to have the opportunity to unveil the illusion of art making was very attractive.
I come from an art background. My father is an art historian. His brother is a painter/sculptor. I have a cousin who is a professional painter. And as for myself, I graduated from Emily Carr University with a major in Painting. I have a lot of respect for the visual arts, and I was naturally encouraged towards this direction from a very early age.
I remember one of my earliest memories is of my grandma wholeheartedly applauding my colouring book drawings. It always felt like it was something that was special to me and which to a point defined me.
After I graduated from Emily Carr, I thought that I would keep art as something close to my chest. I was working as a cook prior to coming to VFS, and I was completely content with keeping my art personal — having group shows twice a year, where I would share my work with the rest of the community.
I was laying in bed the other day when for no reason at all, a very strange thought came to my head: If Superman was 8 ft tall, he would be hated by all.
“That’s ridiculous!” I questioned my mind . . . but my brain persisted — If Superman was 8 feet tall, he would have stuck out like a sore thumb his entire adolescence. His height couldn’t have been hid behind clothing or glasses and everyone would’ve been able to see him for the super-sized, super powerful alien that he really was. He would have faced constant discrimination, and that would’ve most likely turned him bitter and resentful of the whole human race.
Intricate simplicity. That is how I would describe the work of Andy Gilmore. For the last year I have been visiting his website, and he has been one of those artists who stays incredibly consistent, and yet who’s also constantly surprising.
The patterns that Andy Gilmore works with are mesmerizing and elegant. The colors lean against and jump off each other. The life that is captured in the fractal geometry that Gilmore’s compositions create provide amazing landscapes to map and travel over. His work is beautifully designed and hovers in the grey area between art and design — And that is the beautiful place I strive towards.
If good design is invisible, then bad design is as obvious as a sledgehammer to the face.
A few weeks ago I went out with a friend to grab a drink at a local bar. For the sake of the establishment, we will call this bar Frank’s. Now my friend was very eager to share this bar with me as they had some of the best ‘Tennessee Teas’ she’d ever had. Although I had past by Frank’s many times over the years, I had never stepped inside. My designer friend didn’t hesitate to tell me that once I got in, I would probably find something pretty funny about their menu’s logo. And sure I did.