The Artists "Review" Artists Project was launched on June 30, 2008. Below is a "review" of Susan Constanse's work, Untitled (Unreal Spaces series), written by Rob Hitzig. Susan provided the second jpeg, an image of Untitled (Unreal Spaces series), as well as a brief response to Rob's "review."
Susan currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA, and Rob lives in Montpelier, VT.
If you would like to participate in this project, please email me at jtkirkland [at] gmail [dot] com.
One of the most interesting aspects of art, for me, is seeing the artist through their work. In getting to know artists, I am always amazed at how perfectly the art matches the person. Their work is always a clear, direct, window into their inner being. It lets you see what is going on beneath the surface and should/does make artists feel very vulnerable as the world looks into their soul. In being given just one painting -- no history, no background -- giving a critic is a very interesting and difficult task. What does one piece in isolation say about an artist or about what they are trying to accomplish? It is like drawing a trend line with one data point. Can someone look into your eyes and see your soul? Perhaps, but I think George Bush would have had better luck if he asked Putin to paint him a picture instead.
This painting is interesting and scary. These ribbons are floating in deep space or deep in the ocean, in a very dark place. One light source projects out. Oddly, the light source is blue and it enlightens both the white and the red. Does the blue symbolize peace? Personal, political, or both? Is this an overtly political piece? Is the artist saying something about the USA, either consciously or unconsciously? I don’t know but I believe that this is both a political and a spiritual person and that they have these issues on the forefront of their mind. Is this person a light in what they perceive to be a dark place? Or, are they in a dark place, looking, searching, or hoping to find the light?
The initial feeling is that the ribbons are isolated, but closer examination reveals that there is more around the ribbons. If only more light were projected or created in the space, the ribbons would not be so alone. I believe the painter is calling for more light. I believe the artist believes it would be a much more interesting and beautiful world with more light, unfortunately, in painting the way the world exists through the artists eyes, there wasn’t enough light at the time. We should all hope for more light in the future.
The only thing that concerns me about the painting is the two brown ribbons projecting on the lower section. I feel there is a disconnect there. What does it have to do with the rest of the painting? It feels to me to be a distraction that doesn’t relate to the rest. What does it mean and why is it there? Hope reaching out? Is this person a great fan of Barack Obama? I don’t know whether this is intentionally or unintentionally a political statement but it seems forced. Regardless, I think it is interesting and I would like to see more. There is a subtle depth to the work that draws you in and calls for closer examination.
By Rob Hitzig
It has always been my opinion that it is the viewer that completes a work. This completion, as Mr. Hertzig points out, is difficult when based on one work. It is doubly so when the work is non-narrative.
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