John baldwin aka crackedpainter
Last updated 06/03/22
Devon. England. United Kingdom.
Windows in fine art.
Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881 -1973) This picture of him was taken by photographer Robert Doisneau: Picasso's hands are a testament to his creative skills pressed against the panes of glass they become emphasised through a window.
There are many instances of windows being used in art, often seen is, a model poised next to A window. Light illuminating from one side, a fine tool for an artist to show their skills be it as a compositional tool or part of a narrative.
Seen and unnoticed we look through the window. Rarely at it. Paintings and photographs are often described, "as a window into the life and times".....".its a window into the soul......" descriptions of work were, “woman in front of window by.......".
Indeed, they have been used to create perspective even drama. Like a bellowing curtain in a Hitchcock movie..
Throughout all forms of art the Window has been a tool of storytelling and folklore.
Clear windows in dreams signifies bright hopes and open possibilities.
Consider the location of the window and where you are looking in or out, the weather outside the window, your emotions at the time, and finally the people and objects that you see through the window. All these connotations directly influence interpretation.
The window has also been used as a model for communication theory.
Based on disclosure, self-disclosure and feedback, the Johari Window can also be used to improve a group's relationship with other groups.
Galye Gifford wrote in 2016 that....” The Johari Window is used to improve interpersonal communications and teamwork. It was developed by and named after psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955 (Joe + Harry =Johari).
One idea behind the Johari Window is that we all have blind spots about ourselves that we want to diminish. Reducing these blind spots requires seeking out feedback from others.
We also have information about ourselves that we hold back from others or that they are not aware of just by interacting with us.
The Johari Window provides an opportunity for self-awareness and trust building by asking us to be more forthcoming and transparent as well as soliciting feedback through a process of self-discovery.”
The grid or window is broken up as follows.
Unknown Area: what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others
Hidden Area: what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know
Blind Area: what is unknown by the person about him/herself, but which others know. This can normally include things like anxiety, fear, incompetence, unworthiness and so on, whereby it is difficult for people to face up to, but others can easily see them clearly in you.
The Open area: what is known by the person about him/herself and is also known by others. This normally includes your behaviour, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and ‘general knowledge’ history.
(above.) Appledore church windows at sunrise.
Silverleaf on Plywood board taken from a wardrobe dismantled.Dyed with Walnut ink and black acrylic.
The window was offset at an angle to experiment with the shadow and appears to open from its mount.
St. Ives. 2020
St. Ives. 2020
Created from that which you have looked at but never seen. (I'm not telling)
KEEP IN. 2021
another window of two sides.
Two masked figures stand in front of the viewer looking back.
Created using copper and gold leaf on a enamel background and spray paint on mdf board.
This window was inspired by reading about graffiti art and the work of King Rob and Banksy.
"If climate change continues unchecked then wearing masks are the least of our worries.."
A new narrative.
The cement grout was an endeavour to remove however did help to identify the possible age.
The corners of the window were rebuilt sympathetically.
Stained glass window research
The chevron represents the roof of a house, derived from the French word "chevron" meaning rafter. It signifies protection. The chevron was granted to those who had participated in some notable enterprise, had built churches or fortresses, or had accomplished some work requiring faithful service.
The chevron is also said to represent the rises and falls that we encounter in life. How a chevron ring is worn can affect its meaning: a chevron pointing downward is associated with Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. When pointed upward, it is associated with Mars and all the gods of war.
This window is approximately 100 years old, maybe an artist had looked through this old widow. Painted now with Black acrylic With real gold leaf one side and a alloy gold leave on the other. Only glass panes cracked but not broken are covered with gold.
It is only in part a window now.
It hangs in space, above a black painted box with an abundance of gold leaves.
On top of a mat of money, two hundred pounds.
Supplied with two optional installation instructions. not returned.
A new narrative.
what's the narrative ?
That's for you to make your mind up, the curators did........
and I already know !
Would love your thoughts.
Landscape of disbelief.unfinished.
A consideration to what Duchamp may of made using the idea of a window today in the now.
What he might have made today, looking at the hundred anniversary of his creation then.
Could Fresh Widow be a consideration to the Spanish flu by Marcel Duchamp.
he often joked about the title.
The readymade element is the canvass……there is an opposition, a defying that the very thing Duchamp might appreciate, it is in landscape but not a landscape.
Art does not need to be beautiful. Should I make it beautiful?
Would it really matter?
I want a positivity.
Is it the cerebral state of mind that gives the idea of beauty? beauty is subjective just as art is, In the eye of the beholder and all that.
The landscape of disbelief unfinished is partly ready made. Components of its existence are reclaimed and manipulated. The brush and paint can, the elements of bare wood demonstrate that it is Quite literally unfinished. elements that contradict its self.
A comment made during its exhibition was, that it was a shame the internal beads were not painted”. I despair.... But to rebuff , better to be done than perfect. However, the unfinished is also part of the story. An element of the work itself.
(a special Thanks to Sarah that, better done than perfect quote, I said I would appropriate that one. (unfortunately my children have also tried to pinch that one too.when it comes to a tidy room.)
“The readymade” defied the notion that art must be beautiful. Duchamp claimed to have chosen everyday objects, yet the Fresh widow was a commissioned piece by duchamp himself, made by a carpenter and influenced by the artist using leather and left with instruction that it be polished every day.
Hence considering its beauty.
This I think has a direct relationship with how he was to demonstrate that cerebral. The idea of action was the cerebral. A duality if you will.
Duchamp combines the black leather so one might argue that his work is a contradiction in regard to the influence and purpose.
The visual indifference that is between the two sides of the piece. The brain changes its response between each visual.
Duchamp said that ….“based on a reaction of visual indifference, with and at the same time it should have a total absence of good or bad taste….”
The work was literally a contradiction of its own existence.
I'll let the audience decide if this works on that level.
Landscape of disbelief unfinished. 2021. On show at Kind Gallery and studio. Braunton, Devon.
A landscape of disbelief (unfinished) is on both sides completely different in presentation. the importance of action and thought,
An instruction that the polishing of the empty can that sits next to an inch brush left on the sill on one side, and that this must be carried out daily.
A frame that is a window frame and an artistic frame. Each side has a conflicting and shared narrative.
A consideration of Vermeer and interior and exterior. light and colour.
The gold frame on one side the importance, finished in gold leaf the image created from lace with connotations to class and the elements of space the blue window frame, a link to the NHS staff clapped for from open widows.
The delivery of paint through aerosol and a similar of the shared image in a historical context.
The u.v lights. instead of shadow are;
Reference to -how u.v lights were and are being used as treatment in the early stages of Covid lock down by eastern countries.
As a delivery method to share between the two sides this was lost in the gallery, this was supposed to bleed around the edges of the window side and was washed out by a large spotlight. it will change between galleries.
And viewed in the dark under U.V light it transforms to a flower impressionistic in nature yet dark in delivery.
And of course, the handles, made from 4 pawns, a nod to Duchamp.
spatial advantage. it’s a chess thing which makes it an art thing, You can google me.
“Fresh widow” was made in the 1920s. The title amused him as he exclaimed, " it is what an English man might sound like if pronouncing French window with a cold".
In conclusion one might say that the “Landscape of disbelief (unfinished)” is not firstly a conceptual piece of work as the “Fresh widow” was. It might be a social documentary on the cultural happening that has been 2020.
It could be a link to the material process and association? I leave this for the viewer to decide.
It was however the first in a series of windows that I have been working on during these strange times. Exploring past and present mixing the anthologies of artists that never met or are meeting for the first time in this way.
“The work has been displayed. However not with the permission of the artist. Left with the instruction that it needed to be displayed no less than 70cm from the ground and if should this not be possible then it would be collected and submitted at a later date. The gallery went ahead and displayed it without this consideration and hung it anyway, and after the exhibition comments and in regards to its showing height it became something relevant to the wheelchair user, the eye line of the artist. That's not this piece of work.
"It wasn't about that !"
It was about the interior and exterior , the internal and external, juxtaposition and space it was a contemplation of then and now
It wasn't a social out cry to spatial qualities and inequalities, not this one.
Whilst angry and feeling disregarded I decided to let it stay in the exhibition. It may have brought a new element to the work it brought a new element to me! It led me to understand its ok and some don't get it. That's ok too!
Not everything is about disability in my Art just because I use a wheelchair.
"The elements of a window in space is a topic that gave the piece a hint of the surreal and because of the method of display in the gallery it seemed grounded and lost a considered quality but gained another......."
To demonstrate the surreal . A photo.
In the Gallery the piece would of given the impression of the window having legs, I think this image demonstrates the loss of a considered element.
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