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Image 1 Formula, 2015
Oil on Canvas
18 x 25 in.
Millett: you ready to begin?
would you like me to describe the two pieces or do you want to start?
Millett: go for it, sizes too be helpful
both oil on canvas 18 x 25 in.
the first piece (Image 1 Formula) is taking my intentions down to the cellular level, conceptually what is the core of all this talk about sustainability and autonomy
I realize it is all about our illusion of units of measure and using measurement as a form of control
the composition in both pieces is inspired by El Greco's "The Burrial of the Count of Orgaz" in which the bottom half is to scale while the top half are proportions of what would be divine existence
the first piece is sort of the prototype in which i study measurement and grid versus autonomy and network
Image 2 Love, 2015
Oil on Canvas
18 x 25 in.
Ramos: in the second piece (Image 2 Love) i apply this concept to love and how our systems of measurement also make constrains here
such as, we have these systems to measure people, that being wealth or success, good looks, whatever... and also systems imposed by religion or cultures, etc. when really it is about something immeasurable
Millett: ok, lets step back a second... do you believe one is more successful than the other as a finished piece, aesthetically?
Ramos: do you mean one piece in relation to the other, or both of these in relation to previous work?
Millett: its just a general question - relative to all your work
i mean... aesthetically these are a total curve ball
i'm not sure i can rate aesthetically, because the previous work, at least recently, I was borrowing a lot form Francis Bacon in terms of composition and even the process of manifesting the concept
and these pieces, although sort of odd looking, have more of my DNA or rather lack anybody else's
Millett: successful? yes or no
Ramos: oh it wasn't an essay question...
Ramos: ok hold on let me think
Millett: no don think
purely aesthetically - no
perhaps they are not more aesthetically successful than the past
but wasn't you who said "you gotta make ugly things"
i happen to like these ugly things
Millett: yes or no
Millett: do you think they convey your ideas while not being overtly representational?
why do you say no?
Ramos: you said purely aesthetically
i'm trying to put myself in the shoes of a 80 year old woman who's never seen a piece of art
but to answer your question - these are much more successful in conveying my ideas
these actually have ideas
within the fabric of the piece
but that's not what i think of when i think of aesthetics
i think "is it pretty"
Millett: and who says they are not 'pretty'?
Ramos: i don't know - i feel like you are tricking me here
you know "aesthetic" was a bad word in grad school
Millett: umm no tricks here
Ramos: yeah your not the type
Millett: ok, just to summarize a bit...before these pieces some of the goals of this work was to (one) remove the overtly representational aspects of the work
(two) convey your ideas
in simple, meaningful fashion
would you agree?
Millett: so, relative to these questions are these works a success?
Millett: i agree, although i believe one more then the other
Ramos: which one?
Millett: image one
Millett: the second goes off on tangent, the El Greco..the love etc.. and it begins to backtrack into semi-representational aspects of how apply the paint
the first piece stays focused, your conceptual introspection led you to re-think how you represented your ideas
personally i think it works aesthetically - and for me aesthetics in not simply about beauty
innate within beauty is a logic or reason it 'works' - sometimes its completely intuitive
i think this piece just 'works' on all levels
Ramos: the first one
Millett: image 1
Ramos: i agree on the focus
i agree with everything you are saying
but i also find it so boring
Millett: then dig deeper into the content
Image 1 is a formula
Millett: apply more variables
Millett: personally that why i like it, its systematic, things like this make me want to know more about the system itself, or the content
i think you have to believe in your process, hence the dig deeper comment.. its easy to toss it away and move on to the next
Ramos: no i don't want to toss this
i think it is a good starting point
Millett: but thats the impression i see when you make the second image..your bored hence make something new etc..
Ramos: it was supposed to be the same thing
Ramos: applying the formula to another subject
Millett: why another subject?
Ramos: to test it out and see if the formula universal
to see different forms of the formula
but i agree the second piece is sort of washed down
deflavorized as Rakatansky would say
Millett: i think your formula-system is just in its inception..every test and variable you apply needs to be calibrated, strategic and within the framework you have setup for yourself
over time, complexity will arise as you grow more comfortable and understand the system itself
few last comments
because of the scale - the 'cells' work, but they still inch closely to representation..ie they look like cells
i think its ok for now, but definitely something you should be aware of
are these intuitive choices?
Ramos: the yellow is energy/sunlight, the blue is water, and the red is skin, which can be the skin of a building or a person
they are reversed in the top and bottom half of the piece because in the measuring system we use the grid to ultimately get energy within the "cell" which can be building or body
and in the autonomous or divine system energy is abundant and we ultimately create body or skin within the cell
Millett: gotcha - i like the way you are thinking about the work conceptually, at this scale
it removes you from obsession with form
i have to stop myself from going back to form and representation while increasing the variables
Millett: its definitely your comfort zone