Black and White Goya


A few months ago was rewrapping some old paintings and took this photo.
The image is handpainted oil, based on a portrait of Goya by Vicente Lopez from an art history book. I made it a few years out of art school. Surfacewise it's pretty tight--it's holding up as an artwork. I didn't know Gerhard Richter at the time I did it but would have compared it to him (only warmer and more human for all the distancing of the grisaille photoreproduction).
Was laughing at the reaction to Damien Hirst's recent desire to paint like Rembrandt. Some of the fogey artbloggers were making fun of his nerve. Of course he's right--that kind of skill is still possible. The question is, is it necessary?

The TV in the home - now and then

from Brenna on Nasty Nets: Futuristic Control Panels

A selection of wooden cabinets for the den or family room, each of which features an enormous flatscreen TV surrounded by domestic books and knickknacks.

Compare to Barbara Gallucci's photo project, where she photographed the "TV nook" under the stairs in a typical Levittown home and what owners are doing with the nook 40 years later. In case the meme has faded, Levittown is "the first and one of the largest mass-produced suburbs... a symbol of postwar suburbia," per Wikipedia.

The TV was smaller then but no less a spaceship artifact in the suburban little house on the prairie. Most of the people in Levittown filled in their nooks with something else, as shown in Gallucci's photos. Mainly because of the awkwardness of the stairwell placement--presumably their big flatscreens are elsewhere in the room now.

The flatscreen/widescreen phenomenon spreads like a disease, not just in homes. Every bar has one. Even office computers, which presumably aren't being used to watch Lawrence of Arabia or play videogames, are now coming equipped with font-stretching widescreens. The screens get bigger but '50s-style conformity never goes away.