2/06/2006

Hilo Chen

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

no

cass said...

Everything about the subject matter is offensive and gross. No head, sexy bod, whatever. Is this artist making commentary on commercial culture or making blow job material?

cass said...

excuse me, masterbation

Sloan said...

This is almost as offensive as the Sillman.

w.w. said...

at least there's a pseudo-sincerity to his myogenist agenda because he's a photo realist. know what i mean? i'm kind of fascinated that someone would painstakingly paint porn. did you look at his other images? crazy.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think art can be immoral, debased, but not provocative. boring, like most petty crimes.

ms lollobrigida said...

i just looked at some other images. ladies beware! i think this guy has a cell phone camera on the beach or something!

ahab said...

Just goes to prove that simply rendering an image is not sufficient. No matter how painstaking a painter's process might be, the pretence of subtlety and profundity (e.g. the little boy's freudian gaze) is not the same as being subtle or profound. To offer suggestions on how this painting could be improved would be to throw good money after bad.

cass said...

My only suggestion would be to go to a feminist workshop. Learn to love.

hey mayberry said...

porn? offensive? feminist workshop? are you people crazy? did anyone teach you how to look and think about pictures? ironically, the only person who was onto something was cass (commentary on commercial culture). l couldn't give two shits about hilo chen or this way of picture making but chen is an OLD man who's seen NYC, photo, advertising and media in general transform over decades. his work is about these changes in relation to advertising and consumer culture. i mean for christ's sake they're acrylic on top of it...does he need to spell it out for you? you don't have to like it (i certainly don't) but at least know what it's about first. what a let down here.

krixfort said...

perhaps the work is not as painterly nor quite as shocking, but it reminds me of early Eric Fischl in a sense. The figures in Fischl's paintings were more exposed and vulnerable. This picture of Chen's seems a bit more cynical.

w.w. said...

That's very interesting, hey mayberry - the notion of having to know about an artist before you comment. i think some of the best comments on this blog have been made from first-time viewers.

There is no direct relationship between this series of beach nudes and the 'transformation of advertising and media' that could not have been explored using alternate subjects. Besides, all photorealists are concerned with consumer culture and advertising.

Edna said...

I've seen NYC. Is it OK for me to paint men with bags over their heads getting blowjobs from the Queen of England, as long as I use acrylics? I mean, I'd never try do it with oils because then no one would get it.

George said...

The reaction here to Hilo Chen's painting is interesting. The fact that no one appears to care for the work (including me) may make it easier to discuss

For reference here's a link to a painting of soccer players from 1979. This style of work, photo/hyper realism was a outgrowth of pop art and was one of the few forms of imagistic painting with market viability at the time. In the historical context, AbEx followed by Pop Art and Minimalism, photorealism was a style which was attractive because it was realist, and a display of technique. For other examples see this Louis Meisel Gallery page.

Mimetic realist styles are attractive to viewers because they think it is hard to do. It is a lot of work but something any well trained artist could learn. As such one might give it points based on the labor theory of value. I would tend to disagree that how much work is involved in making of a painting, has any direct relationship to its quality.

The observation that Chen's work might be a "commentary on commercial culture" is probably a stretch. I think Hilo's paintings along with Estes, Bell and others on the Meisel list were primarily exercises in technique applied to popular imagery. In Hilo's case, I would say they are "girly" pictures but not porn and that is how they are marketed.

The association to porn is probably a result of the now widespread prevalence of porn websites. Hilo's paintings of the female body, mimic the photograph and have now unintentionally acquired an association to the 'appearance' of porn.

As a painter I would question why one would want to paint a photograph. While a number of painters since 1850 have used the photograph as a reference, the idea of trying to 'make it like the photograph' seems perverse. It is counter to the notion that photography released painting from the drudgery of documentative realism.

Sorry for such a long post.

hey mayberry said...

w.w.: of course there is. have you ever seen a capri sun commercial from the early 90's? the old sunkist commercials? an add for pretty much any body lotion? even the new "seein stars" diet coke commercial? so the guy's a bit of a pervert. who cares? painting is the ultimate perversion anyway. the point is that a girl's body in a bikini with a nipple showing is the same exact thing as someone washing their hair or eating a cheeseburger. there's no difference between "alternate subjects" (this is not a pipe). he just happened to push people's buttons (in which he is mot certainly successful) by using loaded iconography.

w.w. said...

mayberry & george, you are being a little condescending and didactic by assuming that no one knows the premise of photorealism. maybe porn was too strong a word, but these are certainly more voyeuristic than the average female nude, and deserve to be critiqued as such - regardless of the historical connotation of the genre. to reduce this discussion to "painting from photographs" is totally ridiculous.

hey mayberry said...

edna, i think it's a great idea to paint a guy with a bag over his head getting a BJ from the queen of england. yes, edna...choice of materials most certainly make or confuse/distort meaning. by the way, great post, george.

hey mayberry said...

w.w.: look at richter much? i suggest you read the daily practice of painting immediately.

George said...

ww. Sorry if I appeared to be condescending, I wanted to make a case for the early roots of Hilo's work. I would agree with your observation that the works are 'voyeristic', this is what I meant by 'girly' pictures.

w.w. said...

gosh, mayberry. you are very nasty.

George said...

My hunch is that from the current perspective we may say "photorealists are concerned with consumer culture and advertising" but I don't think it is central to the work. This perspective is more recent than the ideas in force at the time when this style was formulated. If these artists were primarily intending to make a philosophical statement on the subject, they would use different tools. It's about the seduction of technique.

As ww noted, correctly I believe, if they had intended to deal with issues of the 'transformation of advertising and media' it could have been done more effectively using different subject matter. The paintings of Hilo Chen and Mel Ramos are about voyeurism and titillation using a technique which is inherently titillating. Unfortunately to my eye that is all there is. The works will be traded among collectors of the genera but forgotten over time

Anonymous said...

yeah mayberry, to return some of your own material, why don't you go fuck yourself? i'm sure you'd enjoy it.

burrito brother said...

Did you see the topless one with the pussy cat in the lap? Hilarious! This guy's a hip swinger, man...

hey mayberry said...

wow anon, smart!

hey mayberry said...

wow anon, smart!

Anonymous said...

yeah, so smart i posted it twice, dipshit.
sacarsm is the reliable standby of douchebags like you, thanks for being so predictable.

hey mayberry said...

sorry for the double post there, my connection can be a dog. w.w.: i merely suggested that you read up on the transgression of images in relation to picture making, that's all. sorry if it came across harshly...i don't want to be counter productive in this blog. i'm just trying to stimulate the discussion and steer it away from amateur observations (?) such as "this is almost as offensive as the silman" or "ladies beware, i think this guy has a cell phone camera" or "why don't you go fuck yourself". i apologize. burrito: agreed!

hey mayberry said...

i wasn't being sarcastic. i really thought it was smart. "douchebag"...laughable. come on buddy, step it up a notch. you can think of something better than that, no?

pencil said...

WHy is nobody interested in this work, other than the subject matter?

sloth said...

dear PainterNYC, i love your blog & am sad that it was hijacked today by jerks and blowhards. maybe they will go away and never come back...?

sloth said...

A google search turned up other images; this painter makes me think about Damien Loeb, i.e., what makes him (Loeb) contemporary and Chen not? Seems like there is a flatfootedness to Chen's paint handling.

Also makes me think about the "Idols of Perversity" show at Bellwether last summer, which featured both high and low painting. There is a tendency to blur those boundaries, which I think is good, but I would put this solidly in the "low" category because it's illustrational and gratuitous yet genuine.

sloth said...

sorry: "Damian Loeb"

Anonymous said...

hey sloth, and bloggers, i dont mind the argumentative posts, i mean not the totally mean ones but i hope they dont "go away"-- i still feel like hashing shit out is good. and also makes for exciting reading.

ahab said...

Hi George. Your comments are insightful as always. And accurate here too.

pencil, there are always ways to critique even the worst paintings - but suggestions just end up seeming drastic, as if what we're looking at now is still an early stage of development and whole sections need to be blotted out. I think to get a good painting out of this, and most of the other Chen's I've looked at online, it requires as much work again to effectively undo what has already been done. I'd bet even a hardworking painter like Chen would be unwilling to make such a sacrifice of time or precious effort. And as is often the case with photo-realistic work, a viewer gets easily side-tracked with how the work should look even perfecter.

sloth, if a little advice isn't too condescending and you weren't lumping me in with the blowhards (not hard to imagine), let the uncouth misspell their profanities to their own shame.

sloth said...

ahab, I wasn't lumping you in... I just wish it wouldn't get so hostile. This is really not the forum for it.

Sloan said...

I did not mean for my comment about Amy Sillman to sound so nasty. I just do not find her work as masterful as everyone else seems to. I am just stating my opinion as everyone else is. I apologize if it has caused any trouble.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mayberry is the worst. Please change your name or become a better person. You obviously have a lot of information to share but can't you do it in a constructive way, rather than offending everyone?

hey mayberry said...

funny i'm the bad guy, i tried to talk critically about seriously looking at and understanding problematic pictures (after reading some dismissive, ignorant posts) and i get slammed and not the person who tells me to go fuck myself.

Marta said...

It is sad that painting these days is reduced to jpegs. I know this is the way of the world in this age of ADD. But I find it troubling to really rely on these images we see flattened out on the web. It is good for a point of reference etc... but in general, it is silly to delve deeply into them on a blog. How many people can actually stand in front of a painting for more than 30 seconds?
That is the the most offensive thing these days.

Marta said...

And blogs such as this often perpetuate the lack of experiencing paintings and the pleasure that comes from not knowing why they are so good, or why they are not. The pleasure of having no words to attach to that experience.

ahab said...

hey mayberry, don't take it personal and it won't be personal. I, for one, don't know you from spit.

I am not sure that you are "talk[ing] critically about seriously looking at and understanding problematic pictures" as much as you think you are.

George pretty much annihillated your argument that Chen's "work is about these changes in relation to advertising and consumer culture." All you have to do is pay attention to what he wrote and, if you can, respond.

Instead of referring us away from this discussion to go read something, you could add to the conversation by summarizing and paraphrasing the ideas you seem to be obliquely referencing - e.g. is "the daily practice of painting" a book? Is "the transgression of images" someone's thesis?

I think Chen, in acrylic paint, has already "spelled it all out;" if "it" is sophomore psychology. Should you understand something deeper, how about giving us some clear clue of what that is, rather than assuming we can read your mind or have the time to browse for your personal library favourites.

Anonymous said...

well put ahab, and hey marta, although you make a good point, i don't think you need to demean the blog in doing so. this kind of forum doesn't take place in real time, in a gallery or museum, so this blog is the next best thing.

mcgrooter said...

Why are people so down on acrylics? Lots of painters are using 'em. Don't dismiss an entire medium out-of-hand. I'll bet some of your favorite artists employ acrylics!

hey mayberry said...

ahab: yes, the daily practice of painting is a book, a very important one by gerhard richter. refering to this book most certainly has everything to do with this discussion. the transgression of images is just some words of the english language i threw together to make what we call a statement. it involes the idea of recontextualizing and shifting a given meaning of a picture when representing it within the dialogue of art making. acrylic is plastic so it has an inherent synthetic quality that easily lends itself towards making a more direct statement about consumer and advertising culture.

mcgrooter said...

in skilled hands, today's acrylics can transcend that quality.

mcgrooter said...

in skilled hands, today's acrylics can transcend that quality.

mcgrooter said...

(sorry about the double-post.)

hey maybery said...

you're misunderstanding me. i'm not saying they're a "bad" thing. i happen to think they're great depending on what you're trying to communicate. i'm a firm believer in making meaning with materials.

sloth said...

I don't see any critique in this work. It seems to be imitating to imitate, not to comment.

ahab said...

Thanks for the glossary, hey mayberry, though that isn't something I need a lesson in. What's needed for effective dialogue here, or anywhere, is an assertion backed up by reason - not a jumble of disputable terms "[thrown] together to make a statement."

Big words: "recontextualizing and shifting a given meaning of a picture when representing it within the dialogue of art making." This is nonsense, and I'll presume that if you reread it slowly, word by word, you'll understand that I mean nonsense in the most literal way. So far you're doing a standup job of term-dropping, though.

Okay, you say, "acrylic is plastic so it has an inherent synthetic quality that easily lends itself towards making a more direct statement about consumer and advertising culture." So? Acrylic equals plastic equals synthetic which lends itself to a direct statement? What does the acrylic whisper to you about consumer and advertising culture, exactly? To me it says, "I'm an inert chemical substance. You see."

You're having such a hard time making meaning with words, how is anyone supposed to understand, "making meaning with materials"? Extra points for alliteration, though.

Anonymous said...

oh god, would you two take it to a chat room please? this is SO not interesting.

mcgrooter said...

"To me it says, 'I'm an inert chemical substance. You see.' "

ahab you are a real luddite.

zipthwung said...

yo people, I know you missed me, because you are confused.

Acrylic paint is plastic looking because it lacks the translucence and specularity of the "oils" this, in laymens terms, means it looks flat and dead, and even with the right extenders or whatevs, it still looks like ass.

Damien Loeb paints by num,bers last I saw at Mme Boone's barn, and I dont mind that. However he has no content beyond the spectacular, which I continue to enjoy well into adulthood.

I love T and A, so whatever, this painting is great. High class porn is allways better lit than the populist smut. Thats why this is FINE ART. At least its not some prebuescent tart in a mini-skirt.

But I'm a fan of jpgs, so all that "finish" - well I'm blind to IT.

Keep smoking that crack - anonymous (the sanctimonious one) can blow me.

hey mayberry said...

ahab: it sounds to me like you most certainly need a lesson in a number of things. big words? what are you, nine? term dropping? if what i stated is nonsense then ok let's see, we can pretty much write off anyone who has ever made or will make art. darn, that sucks. well look at this this way, at least now there won't be any big words, terms or statements for you to be confused or threatened by. art is about creating/destroying/shifting/transgressing/subverting/ meaning...

zipthwung said...

and if that string in AMy Sillmans work is what I think it is, all that purity of paint can blow me too. Go Red. Go Big. Go Big and Red.

mcgrooter said...

http://sikkemajenkinsco.com/davidhumphrey_works.html

"looks like ass"...? maybe. a very attractive ass, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

zipthwung, it's highly improbable that you enjoy ANYTHING "well into adulthood," judging by your infantile posts.

Anonymous said...

zipthwung, it's highly improbable that you enjoy ANYTHING "well into adulthood," judging by your infantile posts.

zipthwung said...

hey man, dont infantilize me, I'm real, unlike you. I bet you a herpes virus I'd crush you at office politics.

Mountain Man said...

OMG, you'd crush people in office politics???? What does that have to do with anything? Let alone painting, acrylics or oil, or this post or this blog or art in any way?

Acrylics may be synthetic and plastic-y but in the right hands they just look great. Because a painting was made in acrylic instead of oil - that may have conceptual weight in certain paintings but not in others. More and more often, people can't tell the difference. It's just a newer option for painters. Why should there be rules? Sometimes people put pants in paintings. Sometimes they put poo.

Anonymous said...

zipthwung, you can keep your herpes. really.

Painter said...

Sloth,
I myself have become intimated to comment on my blog. I state things simply and I want that to be okay here.

zipthwung said...

"OMG, you'd crush people in office politics???? What does that have to do with anything? Let alone painting, acrylics or oil, or this post or this blog or art in any way?"

And there are no rules in painting. OMG, you hippocrite. Next you'll say my computer monitor has no "surface" and thus no "aura" or some shit. Like some people paint with herpes, some people paint herpes. Art and Life you know?

Mountain Man said...

No I don't know. I don't understand you most of the time. Sorry. I never said there were rules in painting. Why are people so eager to misunderstand and jump down each other's throats with insults? At least try to be funny.

zipthwung said...

uhm, erm...sorry my tone is off and im not funny. but seriously -

you asked "why should there be rules in painting" and I thought you were being facetious, because painting is all about rules.....like this painting is breaking some rule because its "offensive and gross" to "Cass" and "misogynous" to w.w. but thats an easy knee jerk reaction to get - which is what the conservative right depnds on for laughs - baiting knee jerk liberals. So in that sense, yes, this painting could be usefull. Just like herpes.

Anonymous said...

i think you guys are too hard on hey mayberry. i think his points are reasonable.
if we want to not devolve into just quibbling we should agree to disagree and stick to the point. really you guys: dont tell people to blow themselves or fuck off or that they sound like idiots or whatever... for crissakes. cant we stick to the paintings?
(i am not the same anon who told mayberry to go fuck himself)

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Helen said...

I invite all to read this forum

http://www.redbubble.com/groups/redbubble/forums/4/topics/12241-discussion-artistic-nude-or-objectification-of-women

and then go here:

http://hmbascom.blogspot.com/2008/05/objectification-of-women-in-art-and.html

Artist said...

If you do not know a torso painting from a skin magazine picture...you will not understand the subject matter. If you do not know the difference between expressionism and photorealism...you will not understand the style. If you do not understand why a painter paints you will not understand why this painting exists. If you get your mind out of the gutter you may begin to appreciate this artist.

jj solari said...

lotta opinions here. not a lotta discernment.