Friday, May 16, 2008

Stripper and Porn Star

Over the years I’ve occasionally tried to do a painting based on a photo from a Men’s magazine. They have never come out satisfactorily. Besides poor execution stemming from the many inherent handicaps of working from photos, the images always came off as embarrassingly pandering. And why wouldn’t they? The photos’ are designed for men to masturbate too.
I made another stab at the process with “ Porn star” a month ago. This one the first one where at least the technique was acceptable, but the same cutie- pie glamour element is there making it still in the woman as a sex object first and foremost category along the line of artists who do pin-ups.



Oil on Wood 12x16

After trying another that I won’t even post that was again to pin- up cute, I decided to go against my libido, the goal to find something deeper than surface sex. I picked a photo of a well past her prime stripper who was never a beauty, but obviously had “assets” she could exploit and be exploited by. I worked over an old painting by priming it with modeling paste with the deliberate notion that I wanted the surface to be as rough as her life had probably been. I don’t recommend modeling paste as a surface, it was like trying to paint on cement, but I think it helped me avoid making it sweet and pretty with the brushwork as I usually do. Shaved down my brushes too.



Oil on linen/ modeling paste 12x16

22 Comments:

Blogger Urban Barbarian said...

I think you're a bit too hard on yourself but that's probably why you also continue to constantly grow artistically.

I like them both quite a bit for different reasons.

I love the second one but I notice that her arm proportion ( or perhaps it's the angle ) is a bit like a dwarf. Especially in relation to her head size, etc. I don't know the woman and it's quite possible that she has very short arms! ;)

I wish you would do more of these! You have a unique approach to mood/shapes and brush strokes that is rare in the fine art world. I find it quite beautiful [ in a dirty beauty sort of way! ].

12:54 PM  
Blogger Michael Lynn Adams said...

Reminds me of a cross between Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's prostitutes and Neil Boyle's "soiled doves." That's a good thing !

I agree that there is something a little awkward with the arm, and maybe the face (perspective problem?) in the second painting. But even with that, there is a strong sense that these are real and available women.

Bravo

1:41 PM  
Blogger Ambera said...

They also remind me a bit of Lautrec, and I think it's impossible not to allow the painting a bit of your own subjectivity. I don't find them inherently sexual or offensive, maybe it's the photos you chose, maybe it's you. I like them though. And I agree, working from photos is a drag, especially when painting people.

7:01 PM  
Blogger David Lobenberg said...

William: In your platinum blondie, is that some running paint that went down her frock on her right side? There are times when I dig running paint and it looks good here if that's what it is.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Brothergrimm said...

I'm alittle biased, I like pin-up chicks, and would still love to see the one you don't wanna post. They both look pretty good to me, the porn star pose actually does look like she's posing for painting rather than for masturbatory aid, and that was a cool idea for the stripper. The rough texture also seems to give off some nostalgia, perhaps for those days when she may have received bigger tips and a little more attention from men than she does nowadays.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Gotta be Seka on top....her usual position as I recall. Forgot about her, thanks for the memories! (and you can thank me later for resisting the obvious pun)

2:56 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Oh, check out the work of David Kofton (link on my website) - he rules on this stuff.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Chloe Cumming said...

You described the thought process I go through when I think about painting pinup type women. There seems to be a lot of diverse and fun material, but it too easily just feels obvious and cheap when you try and paint it. But you've done some thinking to find solutions and it all makes sense.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Thorsten Hasenkamm said...

Nice ones!

7:03 PM  
Blogger VanDerHoekArt said...

I like your second choice of "model" a bit better. Although the blonde is executed well (I agree about the arm though). The second figure just fits in with your other rough subject matter. The way you executed her hand and the yellow feathers next to it and at her hip...MAGIC pure magic.

Personally, I remember the figures that aren't pretty and perfect in a painting more than the ones that are. Which is probably why several people have referenced Lautrec's work.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Alicja Fenigsen said...

stop the excuses! the second one is good, human & tender, if a bit in the 1890-french-postcards-style - so what!

1:40 AM  
Blogger Clive said...

Great idea, and the second one is very provacative, in a human way. As usual got to comment on the many posts you've made over the last month or so; fantastic work. The dead birds are particularly gripping and beautiful. Always a great pleasure to visit.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Clive said...

Hey, Neil Boyle...no surprise, I guess, you Californians would know him; I guess you know he passed away within the last couple of years, sadly. He and his lovely wife Betty have lived up here in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, on retiring, I guess. Neil was originally from Canada. He got a lot of respect and love during the short time he lived here. I never knew him well, (Ron Morrison knew him and Betty much better) but greatly admired the work that he showed in local galleries and art fairs, classic painterly style, as well as by visiting his site. His wife Betty has a really nice touch, getting an amazing feel to the paint, in her newer work. I just heard a rumour Neil worked in animation bg painting years ago for disney; will have to ask Betty next time I see her; and I will mention that it was a treat to see his name hearkened to on a blog with such fine painting.

11:24 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Dan , yeah I copied a bit of the fish eye distortion, I'll flesh her out a bit. i guess I need to get some real models.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Urban Barbarian said...

Nah! I like it. The breasts look even larger because of it. Those were her money makers in a very real sense. Regardless, you captured a person not an object. No matter what she was selling.

Something tells me she would love that portrait. You gave her a sense of dignity.

9:46 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

MLA-- thanks for introducing me to Neil Boyle, he was great. A wonderfull complement...

11:05 AM  
Blogger Michael Lynn Adams said...

WW - glad to introduce you to Neil.

Clive - I had not heard that Neil had died. How very sad. My wife knew him well when he taught in Los Angeles years ago. She remembers how he would say that all he painted was "cowboys and whores." He did much more than that, and taught and influenced many many fine painters when realist art was considered out of style.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Simon S. Andrews said...

ni-ice chest on that second one... it seems i see your stuff everywhere nowadays...you're seriously rocking

6:07 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Ambera, i don't miond photos, but people are better.

8:29 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Yes Davide running paint, not drool.

8:29 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks BG. I like a pin up too but don't think it's my strengh along with it's to surface of a goal.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Chloe Cumming said...

Yes, working from photos can be an arse like that, it's nice to have two eyes. I'd model for you if I lived round the corner.

10:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home