Now you're talkin!
Shaving cream + blood = ... don't think I have words for how much I love this.
yes, agreed. weird and wonderful.
this is great. especially that peeing? figure on the top left.
the look on his face... those eyes... he is beaming feelings of quiet desperation at the viewer.
mid life crisis.
kiss me, cut me, oh yeah!!
Can I get those girls to shave my legs?
long time reader first time commenting....This is one ass kicking painting. I agree...those eyes...the poor bastard.....
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! what are the dimensions?is that oil?
I hurt bad.
love how the shaving cream is sitting right on the surface of the painting, simultaneously asserting itself as shaving cream and expressive paint smear. It has real object-ness. Then the blood pulls me into the image.
let's sharpen up the dialogue here. if this blog is nothing but "nice" -- "good"-- it's a waste.
In real live the color is much more vivid, the paint on the shaving cream beard is thick also a clod of gloppy paint on the lady on the right. This peice was in ArtForum last month and the reproduction was much better.
Seems to me the babes in the periphery are out of key with what is otherwise a reasonably dissonant picture. Like grafitti by some 7th grade doodler on her highschool art teacher's self-portrait. Those two imps are an afterthought that doesn't make the navel-gazer any more a poor bastard than he already is, and his quiet desperation would be no less evident without them. This painting is unnecessarily overstated and dismissable as a result.
This does look a lot more interesting than her old work in my opinion. More open-ended. I wish the background was a little more manhandled, but otherwise it looks great. Look forward to seeing it in person before saying too much more.
ahab, i only see ONE imp... where are the "two imps"??I dont think it's dismissable but i think the figure on the head pissing (or whatever) is unnecessary.
Yes, the peeing imp is my fave. I can't wait to see in the real.
i thought that too, but reconsidered. something about the man's expression makes the imp seem psychologically challenging. it's a cliche, but so is the shaving metaphor, and together they somehow create a necessary logic. the fact that the imp is shitting on his ear is part of the formal dialog - it's about the paint moving around the picture, relying on the picture plane + the man's weird inner dilemma to gather meaning. to me, that doesn't also make the images arbitrary, if that's what's being implied.
oops, is it pee? substitute peeing for shitting in my last comment, please.
The mastery of this painter is obvious to me.
part of what I love about her work in general (besides the wonderful humor) is the anal-expressiveness & her ability to avoid overpainting. the "peripheral" quality of the other 2 figures doesn't bug me, because in this type of expressive work not all parts of the painting have to be as developed or worked-up. The developed/fleshy bumping up against the cartoony/less developed parts are creating energy that would be lost if it was all taken to the same level.
I don't understand why that is a cliche? to me it is a medieval trope. Fantastical. Where they have this little scale shift reflecting different events in distorted sequence. And does overstatement equal dismissable? I love overstatement, overabundance, all of that. To me it adds up to FUN!
the way the little imp is painted just seems stupid to me.
Could the shaving cream be any better? So deftly painted.
Capt'n, sloth, hammy, and pmb. Thank you for playing Jesus to the lepers in my head. Right on, all.
i like the way the man's eyes are so intense, as though the painter (eisenman) clearly has some kind of psychological relationship to BEING the man in the painting. the little imp and the "wife" to some extent seem extraneous-- too cartoony.
heart as arena you make me tired.
anonymous...shut up already.
anonymous, please pick a name so we know who is posting all the idiotic comments, K?
what is the problem w/ saying I dont like the imp!? I simply think it seems sophomoric and i prefer the way the man is painted, which is what illin said too.
Ahhhh. My day, made like a bed.Too tired to get the reference to David Lynch's 'Industrial Symphony #1" in my original post? A shame. There is a bloody chord stretching between the two works.Back to sleep.
hammy, i guess i thought that if i considered the imp to be part of the guy's psychological dilemma (cause he seems to be letting his mind wander) that the imp was cliched. but i love what you said about the scale shifts and distorted sequence. that is the subtle narrative that i love in this painting.
I don't think the graffiti element (the imp and somewhat the lady) can be ignored as such. Cartoony ladies subverting a stern, white, '50's looking male, 'painted' (the white, male art) deftly and expressively? This is one element that I get out of it. This is a kind of dialectic subversion that Nicole, Sean Landers, John Currin and other 90's painters were fond of and I think it's still buried in her work. Younger artists like Jules de Balincourt and Anna Conway don't seem as interested in this way of communicating.
all this talk of extraneous stuff, paring it down, what is necessary, etc. why? it's a line of thought i would have never even considered - to question those extra figures. they totally make sense to me.
good observation bb. what I enjoy about this painting, among other things, is the dumbness of the image. it's goofy and raw, playful with cliche, bad/good. know what i'm saying?ww. i like your comment about the paint moving around the picture plane. well put. this painting is many-layered in meaning. and we're just looking at a jpeg!
makes me think of ensor.
fairy butler: some people like all the extended director's cuts of films with extra comments and eggs. Others would just like to see the film in its tightly edited format.Not that anyone cares, but I usually belong to that latter group. I feel kindof insulted, on behalf of everyone, when the artist appears to think the audience isn't intelligent enough to get it so she redundantly illustrates and punctuates her point.
ahab, please do not feel insulted on my behalf. I can speak for myself, & I have no problem with this painting.
if it isn't to your taste, it isn't to your taste.
ok ahab, that's cool. i just don't find this image didactic and it's interesting to me that others pick up on this.
& plus, where is the redundancy? If the little pissing figure wasn't there, maybe I'd read her presence in his eyes?
Ham I love what you said as well about the Medieval reference and distorted sequence and Sloth - shaving cream as paint - I love when painters find funny ways to make us aware of the medium - not just an abstract expressionist gesture, but a narrative purpose - like Dana Schutz's early sneeze paintings. I like those much better than her later works. But anyway back to NICOLE whose paintings have been killing me each time I see them. In a great way. I want to be killed over and over. I see the ugliness of aging, the ridiculousness of putting on your best face-self in the mornings, when you are preparing to face the day...all the while, in your mind, someone is peeing on your head and making fun of you because deep down YOU SUCK and no amount of shaving or self-improvement will fix that. And one more note about the man's eyes- do they not remind you of the eyes of the inhabitants of Dune, Desert Planet, with their spice-taking ways and deep blue, high as a kite eyes? Just wonderin'.
BB, I am curious if you mean to imply that the younger, newer generation of painters are more successful in the creation of a convincing painting? I am not sure what you meant by "dialectic subversion." I think I have an idea, and obviously see how these painters who evolved in the 90's are different than current painters, but in Nicole's case, I feel like her work has changed so much that it no longer warrants be lumped into a category of "those 90's artists." I am just not sure I totally understand what you mean. (I hope there is no facetiousness read into this comment, I just would like to understand better.) Thanks.
i can't answer for bb but... taking a stab at this... 'dialectic subversion' - i take it to mean playing with ways of painting to make a point about gender, power, status quo, am i on the right track? here the "graffitied" or kind of "bad-girl" imps - point to a kind of position of rebel - outsider- non-academic culture. taking on the more painterly-painted dude. this is probably over-reading into this particular image. its a stretch....But there is something indie-rock or outsider or something in there like those other painters. i happen to dig it. a certain perspective on things that is subtle.i agree that her work has changed a ton mm.
but attitude is the same.
Nicole is an awesome person: going out of her way to be nice to less established artists& students. If I had her resume or work I would be a total ass making my dealer pick out the brown M&M's, stuff like that.
Hey MM,I think FB answered very nicely for me on your question. I actually prefer the '90's' artists, and feel there is something lacking in the younger brand of artists (maybe it's the symbolism of the medium that's lacking, or the urge to show some injustice and instead make a perfect escapist object.) I don't mean to group her into 90's artists, but I like to think of her in relation to those people...
Nice choice for the jpeg painter.Others don't look as good on the screen. I like that her paintings look different from one and other. If you can get dealers and curators to still drool over you than you "GOT IT". Sorry to join in with the love fest but she’s good.Im not Nicole Eisenman so I have to go and start a new painting that looks like my other paintings.
hammy is right on. i mean dead on. she's such a great picture hunter and the grand giver of painting hall passes. she really makes these deja-vu images seem timeless in both a social and an art historical way. always with this good timing too, i still don't get it. i have to admit, she's so inspiring to me that her, mari eastman and sillman got me into trouble while i was in grad school. all 3 helped me to become a better painter.
i like the fairy butler comment about the indie rock quality, the slightly outsider quality. i think that's right on. that is why i cant go with the whole "masterful" thing-- (the cap'n i think used that term). it's not punk enough to describe the whole eisenman phenomenon which is sort of a genre unto itself. it isnt really "good" painting, in a defiantly DIY way. it's kind of schooled but not schooled, you know? like wide eyed in love w/ painting but slightly getting it wrong. that's why I think you CAN critique the little imp or the man or whatever anyone takes issue with. Because it's almost like talking about a wall or a building or a car or some other phenomenon of the world where everyone is allowed to openly say, "wow" or "nah"-- as though you were arguing about sports players or something. that's exactly the way i like to approach eisenman's work which is something i didnt quite get from today's posts, the ability to say yes, no, i love it, i hate that, that's cool, that's awesome, that stinks. i think her unusual and wonderful for allowing a discussion around it in "normalized" terms, not arty terms. (not saying you cant talk about the painting in an informed way but you know what i mean??? not academic, i guess. not insular.
PS i'm NOT trying to criicize the posts at all...just didnt get the exact edge*i* feel about her work yet... was trying to tease it out here....
I'm leaving this comment very late in the game; probably nobody will see it. But here is what I have figured out about Nicole: she is our Goya. The political & allegorical mix, the capriccios, it's all there, and it's great.
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