Blurry blur

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Post from artist Joe Naujokas

[editor’s note: Joe is responding to Roberta’s post of Oct. 12, with its blurry image by Hiroshi Sugimoto.] ok what is it about blur these days that it is as popular as daffodils (or daisies?) were in the ’60s.

If F Bacon (study of the human body, shown below started the tremors with his blurry sections (usually the faces) of meaty/abstracted figures, G Richter became the earthquake with his technical prowess at blurry, brush-strokey photorealist paintings (phantom, shown).

Any one can be a photorealist, and anyone can do it with an airbrush, but letting brushstrokes show was a stroke of “i dare you to try it” bravado i have not seen too many people try.

I wonder why Roy L. never gave a shot at a parody of Richter’s strokes…but anyway this blurry thing probably goes back to a more boring origination in the photographic technique used in portraiture to romanticize a not quite romantic face.

Oh and please throw out those cheap russian cameras already, the ones with the built in blur.

I’m not really sure how often blur was used before the invention of photography (shown, a blurry piece by photographer Cate Fallon, Roberta’s sister), although one might be tempted to say Vermeeer experimented with blur, but then again he was always accused of using photographic accessories in his technique…the veneer of his paintings was possibly a camera obscura image projected onto the canvas.

Realists have long soften parts of pictures so as not to compete with the center of interest, but im not sure if that really qualifies as blurry.

…Today a blurry photo is like listening to, i dont know, Captain and Tenille, it just sucks you in and of course you are going to sing to yourself “muskrat muskrat….”

lets see, then, there’s the guy who blurs porno pictures… Photoshop of course has a dozen different ways to blur…Paschke (shown) kinda blurs….yuskavage blurred her bimbos in that romantic way just a little bit. …. this is like, ‘blurry pursuit’ or something… or ‘blur-opoly’…What if someone blurred a mondrian?

I do look forward to the artwork that takes the blurry idea to the next level, thats one of the reasons i am willing to slush through so much so-so art….just when you think art has hit a brick wall….someone surprises us…i cant wait. (image by David McShane–all images chosen by editor)

joe naujokas shows at Katharina-Rich Perlow Gallery, New York

 

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