I was recently researching the Guggenheim Museum and I stumbled upon James Turrell. He is the most fabulous New Media artist I have found to date, and his idea of painting with light dates back to the old masters such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Rubens, but with a technological twist.
Omar K. Bone (New Jersey, 1930) is a painter and silversmith currently residing in Savannah, GA, and was born in Mahwah, New Jersey. His work requires a second glance to perceive the erotic content it embodies. His oil paintings are vibrant in color and the figures are abstracted, and his silver works breathe sex and vitality
I first met Omar K Bone when I first came to Savannah, and he embraces SCAD students with welcome arms. He adopts us “surrogate” kids as if we were his own and takes us under his artistic wings. Throughout my journey at SCAD, he has given my friends and myself valuable knowledge about the art world, school, and life in general.
Once you get to know him, his home is always open. It’s furnished with antique furniture from his travels, paintings from his friends, and the delicious smell of something cooking in the kitchen. He has always been generous without apprehension, and can be cunning and wise in the same moment. Omar lives and creates like he always has done, like in Europe, as he would say. His studio is filled with paintings of Picasso-like women sensually touching themselves, soldering tools, and the signature smell of turpentine.
Omar first started painting in Paris in 1967, when he was 41 years old. His artist friend Vincent Haddelsey invited him to draw a park square that a wealthy woman overlooked from her apartment. Vincent saw that he could draw so he gave Omar all of his old oil paints and canvas.
“I am like a farmer because I farming life.” – Omar K Bone
Omar also liked to discuss what is happening currently, such as how life for the “young kids”, is becoming harder and harder. He touches on how life with an education is becoming more difficult as more people are being accepting into colleges in the United States. He also elaborates on how politicians are ripping off people, and how corrupt the current system is. His observations of society today are what most of us perceive the world to be, yet are too scared to admit.
“Money talks, bullshit walks.” – Omar K Bone
Omar K Bone’s first exhibition was in London, for his silver jewelry works. Observing Omar reminisce his time in London was wonderful, he lives and breathes the European way. He also has an interesting way of viewing life. He perceives every moment as if his eyes are video cameras, cutting from one scene to the next. Perhaps his unique way of viewing day to day life has transferred to his paintings, such as in Yalonda.
In the future, Omar wants to exhibit his body of modern erotica paintings at a gallery in Savannah, and he continues to make fabulous erotic silver and gold rings, earrings, belt buckles, cuff links and much more. He continuously strives to teach without a classroom, and will always be a true friend.
Omar K Bone:
All images belong to Omar K Bone and can be found on his websites.
As I began reading Philip Gustons’s interviews, I found myself building a campfire in my backyard and enjoying a few moments of solitude. While reading, I noticed the wind blowing through the trees, which reminded me of the artist Ned Kahn who constructed several kinetic facades to showcase the patterns of the wind. The wind is like magic, quietly rolling through our lives, slowly uprooting vegetation and trash, rustling people’s hair. It would be fascinating to build an installation with some sort of device that could optically depict the wind.
“If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain.”
Adlai Stevenson Jr.
The ache. I feel it. The artist’s pains. Not some deep psychological burn to create some deep dark mysterious whatever (because its already there), but the actual psychical pain of working. No one tells you that painting everyday will give you constant shoulder and back pains. People fail to mention the paint-splattered clothes and the pungent smell of oil and mediums filling the room. My body aches for the love of painting. Its not talked about enough. We all would sacrifice anything for someone you love. Painting is my love, my devotion, and I would hurt for it anytime.
“That’s art. That’s the real smell of reality, of creation. You make real things.”
Artists have always depicted the delicate play of societies’ triumphs and pitfalls, creating their own breakthrough movements and advances, grasping to stay ahead of the game. We have a deep-rooted passion do evolve and create, research and discover, plot and plunder. Discover and destroy.
I stumbled upon a wonderful book, Herbal Medicine the Natural Way to Get Well and Stay Well by Dian Buchman. According to the book, plants have always been our main way of medicine. Plants are basic in most effective drugs. Most plants can only be used in their raw state. Such as in a fruit from Africa that can heal skin cancer, like WHAT. That would be so helpful. But why are we not allowed to have such access to such a plant? I can’t just waltz into Africa, somehow find that plant after extensive research and travel, either grow it from a seed that I barter for or buy the actual fruit, then either make it into a paste and bring it back through customs, or hope shipping the fruit would work. Mass-producing said plant through chemical reproduction is dangerous, and by Dr. Stecher’s findings dangerous and unsuccessful.
Willow bark is nature’s greater anti-flammatory plants, and was soon duplicated by a German scientist who broke down the chemical code by using the spirea plant family instead of willow bark which resulted in our most common drug found in our medicine cabinets, Aspirin. Kinda scary right? Most of our common drugs ARE artificially based while being derived from nature.
Recently I have been focusing on rebalancing my body and restoring it to its native energy levels. The industrial revolution has molded us into believing the excessive consumption of goods and splicing everything in the name of science is the way to go. However, the Earth is slowly revealing, perhaps this way was wrong.
Another book I have been interested in recently is called The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain. “Fear of death lies behind another trait peculiar to humans-guilt.” Shlain, 30. Early Paleolithic sites revealed through sculpture that females were divine mother figures and inextricably associated with death, as all things that die return to life through the agency of the female. The earth is both womb and tomb.
Leonard also reveals that when humans introduced the alphabet, our society as a whole became predominately left brain thinking, or “male”. This shift upset the balance between men and women, initiating the decline of the feminine, and also ushered in the reign of patriarchy and sexism. Whenever you utilize both the left and right brain, you become intellectually compassionate, able to comprehend way more in life!
“We have to create our own situation in order to give ourselves the illusion that we have free will.”
Sacred Geometry is the geometry of consciousness. There is a “3rd Informational System” called the Circles and Squares of Human Consciousness.” The cube is like the father of all shapes, while the sphere is the mother of all shapes. Leonardo da Vinci knew about this interaction of shapes, and drew the Vitruvian Man. What Leonardo was drawing was actually the first level of consciousness.
I have started using Sacred Geometry in some of my art works, and I have to admit, its pretty interesting, Just the act of creating, say the flower of life, is calming and enjoyable and creating a beautiful pattern with just a compass is awesome! In nature, the rules of Sacred Geometry can be found everywhere! Take a tomato seed for example. It starts out as something simple, grows into a more complex stalk, then a flower, and finally a tomato. Sacred Geometry follows those same guidelines, starting from a simple shape and ending with something elaborate and magnificent.
“Beauty takes care of itself”
Amazingly, a human start out as a sphere (the egg) and divides inwards (into a pattern that looks like the flower of life) and then can divide outwards. Then you become a four-celled tetrahedron, then a star tetrahedron with eight cells. Then you become a mess of cells until you form your heart at the center of the blob. Did you know the heart is 100 times electrically stronger and up to 5,000 times magnetically stronger than your brain?
To sum everything up, I have found myself researching, living, and making things that basically “question everything”. I’m not quite sure where I’m heading with all of this; expect I’m trying to understand this crazy world that we exist in. It’s so important to learn throughout life and discover its beautiful, mystical, and amazing wonders.
“An ‘Apocalypse’ is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind, in an Era dominated by falsehood and misconception.”
“Painters have always talked and some…..wrote.”
Dore Ashton’s description of Guston is beautifully written with examples such as, “Guston’s sometimes arcane utterances” and “his wondrous bursts of language when he felt inspired, his sometimes playful contrariness, his satisfaction in being a provocateur, and his consistent preoccupation with serious aesthetic questions throughout his working life as a painter.”
Guston studied Dostoyevsky and Kafka and was an autodidact, rebel, and burgeoning artist. After dropping out of the Cleveland School of Cartooning after learning about crosshatching, he joined high school with Jackson Pollock, who sought out a teacher more interested in the “higher arts”. Guston eventually was expelled from high school, however, he won a year’s scholarship to the Otis Art Institute, which he dropped out of as well. He fluttered around menial jobs until Guston turned his work into a study of Mexican muralists and his study of Renaissance paintings.
“The act of painting is like a trial where all the roles are lived by one person.”
“The canvas is a court where the artist is prosecutor, defendant, jury, and judge.”
During the 1950s and 1960s there was a web of painters and composers and were stirring up a cultural situation of mutual aid. This unusual mixture of creative souls led to artists creating new schools, such as in the case of Mercedes Matter. Her school was pure, uncorrupted by grades and degrees.
“When you start working, everybody is your studio – the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all your own ideas - all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then if you’re lucky, even you leave.”
Guston favored original sources of modernism, including Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Apollinaire, and T.S. Eliot.
“Be modern at all costs.”
According to Dore Ashton, Philip Guston thought more about precursors in painting who had expressed pessimism in their work, Goya above all. Guston was also impressed with Goya’s so-called black paintings in the Prodo.
“The monstrosity of humanity, the distortion of their faces, and the way he piled them all up in these pyramids, in these hills, these big black shapes and threatening clouds.”
Guston also focused his attention on Rembrandt, especially the use of impasto.
“There’s an ambiguity of paint being image and image being paint which is very mysterious.”
“What he’s done is to eliminate any plane, anything between that image and you.”
“I know there’s an existence on this imaginary plane which holds almost all the fascination of painting for me. As a matter of fact, I think the true image only comes out when it exists on this imaginary plane.
“Most great paintings have this duality between the forms of the surface and the forms in depth.”
Guston always responded to modern artists who were the origin of planar painting, specifically Mondrian, because like Mondrian, Guston was engaged with certain propositions that considered the cosmic aspect of painting or the quest for an imaginary wholeness. Guston was able to recognize Mondrian’s pictorial prowess as passion, which Guston possessed just as intensely.
In his Woodstock studio, Guston experimented with drawing and painting grotesques, recognizable things, shoes, cars, junk (which he referred to as “crappola”). Occasionally he represented single images such as a light bulb or an open book., or more controversially, members from the Ku Klux Klan riding in comic-strip cars.
In the 1970s, he showed new paintings and drawings and Guston took back the prerogative of past painters and openly declared his will to be a storyteller, or better, a movie director. Guston never forgot his urgent need to question the act of painting and what might be called a philosophical inquiry into its origins, declaring art is magic in more rhapsodic commentaries.
“We’re not supposed to meddle with the forces – God takes care of that.”
“Thank God for yellow ochre, cadmium red medium, and permanent green light.”
“What is seen and called the picture is what remains – an evidence. Even as one travels in painting towards a state of “unfreedom” where only certain things can happen, unaccountably the unknown and free must appear.”
“The very matter of painting – its pigment and spaces – is so resistant to the will, so disinclined to assert its plane and remain still.
“When I work, I am not concerned with making pictures, or with what the work will look like, but only with the process of creation.”
“Actually, a painting is exactly parallel to life. I mean, you know when you’re really making love and when you’re not really making love, or any emotional involvement. Did you ever listen to someone talk on a platform or in conversation when you knew he was only telling you a store and your mind wandered? But when you always really listen is when they are not hearing themselves tell the tory. Well that’s creation. That’s all its about.”