Thursday, 10 May 2018

Paper Collage + variations: Invest In A Blonde

From the pin-up series, which I've now ended, mainly because I started suggesting to LJ that she get a black wig and wear kinky (circa 1950) underwear in an effort to remake/remodel her after Betty Page just as John 'Scottie' Ferguson in Hitchcock's Vertigo remodelled Madeleine...that or I just decided to work out which is true.

R. Tomens, 2018

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Print: Now £15

No, that's not the cost, it's the title. Obviously, you spotted that. Here's a print (above) and it's variations, created from photos taken this year and last. I've grown fond of the mannequins I photographed 18 months ago in Kentish Town. The shop no longer exists, but I wonder if the dummies live on in another display? I like the absence of wigs on the males, which lends a slightly sinister air to the child especially. I our fascination with mannequins a reflection of the way they mirror us but in a deadened, soulless if to symbolise the way we all sometimes feel robbed of our humanity by a world that would prefer us to be so easily contained and controlled in society?

R.Tomens, 2018

Friday, 4 May 2018

Print: Mother Image / Weasel Walter on being an outsider / Art and acceptance

RTomens, 2018

I made the print above, Mother Image, yesterday and as you can see it continues my interest in imagery/culture from mid-century America, although not for reasons of 'nostalgia', obviously, since I was never there. Other interpretations of nostalgia are possible. Affection, if not longing, for a bygone era or, in my case, fondness for the colour of an era in print. Yes, whatever. This work combines a found image with a photo I took last year. 

Weasel Walter isn't one to dwell on the past and despite having noticed his name I had never listened to him until this morning, namely the interview below. I don't know how he popped onto my radar today but I'm glad he did. If his diverse (and vast) musical output doesn't interest you that much, his thoughts on making art (music in his case) as a permanent outsider should (unless you happen to have 'made it'). WW has been around for a good few years and developed his drumming (Improv) chops before moving on and I admire that for starters. It's easier to stay put, even though where you're at isn't very popular. 

As I listened I realised he could be talking about any art form which is niche. By which I mean content-wise, I suppose. Put another way, let's just say he echoes the thoughts, I'm sure, of all who carry on regardless of having no financial success. Each of us may succumb to bitterness before, hopefully, saying 'Fuck it!' to ourselves and charging on whilst feeling virtually alone.

At one point this notion of caring what other people think is discussed. I can relate to WW's desire to work with others whilst remaining determined not to let what others think of him soil his thoughts. I've often wanted to work with others, as in a group of like-minded artists, but that's even harder than finding musicians on the same wavelength. By the very nature of the thing, producing art is a solo effort, with a few exceptions who have co-created. Music, though, is a co-operative venture, on the whole, again with occasional solo recordings.

Talking of music, at one point WW suggests that if John Coltrane was miraculously resurrected his new album on Bandcamp would be just another album on Bandcamp. In other words, the 'level playing field', as he puts it, can reduce everything to the same status in a negative way, as well as positive. I've joked about that in the past, suggesting that should Picasso be alive and posting his work on Facebook it might just get a few 'likes' before viewers quickly move on or at worst... 'meh'.

They also discuss class in relation to the more privileged artists. I was surprised the subject came up between two Americans since they don't seem to share the level of obsession with class that we do in the UK. Or I do - rather did in relation to my art. I'm not saying I'm 'over it' but as WW has (being self-confessed 'lower-middle) I've become more accepting of the luck of others. It's not worth being angry about the good fortune of others born into financial comfort which enables them to be creative without money worries. 

Likewise, it's not worth getting in a state about the degree to which your art is accepted. WW suggests that out of a hundred people asked, none would known him. So it is, even with legends such as Cecil Taylor (RIP) or Dieter Roth. As for making money, who buys art? It's not a career, except for the very few and they are either currently fashionable Fine Artists or Commercial ones. 

Anyway, make time to play the interview. If any of the above issues interest you it's worth a listen.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Print: Drive x 3

Hello, art-lover (what the hell are you doing here?! - ha-ha). This print and it's variations were made this week. I'm all for multiples. Using technology as I do, like Dieter Roth, I find it liberating and enjoyable to create versions. I've got almost as many versions of pieces as there are of reggae rhythms. 'Version galore!', as they said in J.A. if you like the work, don't forget to spread the word. perhaps a contact will make me famous (canned laughter). TTFN

R.Tomens, 2018

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Print/Vispo: Late

Print experiment using one of my own photographs. I like all three colour variations, therefore felt it only right that the world should be allowed to see the trio. I am so generous...

Add caption
R.Tomens, 2018

Monday, 30 April 2018

Print: No Help

No Help, RTomens, 2018

(Pop art, Dada, neo-Dada, surrealism, Fluxus digital art, collage, digital collage, art print, London art, Situationist, Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton) 

Friday, 20 April 2018

Print + variations: The Cat

A variation on the Pin-Ups theme - digitally altered artwork after the original print (top), in which the experiment unexpectedly highlighted the cat in the pin-up picture. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Paper Collage plus Versions: Pin-Up No.14

Greeting earthlings. I've been working on a Pin-Ups series of paper collages and prints, some combining both, such as this, No.14. 

(Pop art, Dada, neo-Dada, surrealism, digital art, collage, digital collage, art print, London art, Situationist, Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton) 

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Paper collage/vispo: Leadership Success

As with yesterday's post, three variations from an original paper collage, altered by colour, this time along with the third treated differently. As before, the original is included at the bottom. 

Leadership skills are important, should you find yourself in a position of leading a team, which few of us do. Instead, we are often 'lead' by those seemingly unqualified to do the job properly. Leaders have a psychopathic condition which gets them the job, from which they derive power... individuals we do our best to 'lead good lives' yet find life leading us one way or another. As artists, we must lead ourselves and marshal the disparate elements (the team) within us to forge some kind of coherent strategy for Getting The Job Done. On 'the team' is the quiet reserved one, the shouter, the coward, weakling, fool, egotist, genius, idiot etc. The only success to be had is to get The Job done as well as you can...

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Concrete poetry/vispo: Concealed

RTomens, 2018

Three concrete poetry (or vispo) pieces created from an original on paper (see final picture). It's only the faintness of the original which sparked a desire to, if not improve, then bring out some characteristics of that piece.

RTomens, 2018

RTomens, 2018