Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Matti Paints: Subject Wes

    Me and Wes have a very giving and loving friendship, so he was the obvious first choice for my art project.
This is Subject Wes: Note that it is Groundhog day again

    Right away, from the first stroke I knew that there was something very special about this experience. Painting on someones body has a magical quality about it that I’ve never felt before. There is a palpable amount of trust involved, and an unspoken yet understood agreement that in the end, they are giving you their vulnerability in exchange for a work of art.
    When I first set out on this project I wasn’t anticipating the sheer amount of feelings that go through you as you begin. We started out joking around about the coldness of the brush, but as the work began to take shape, there grew an almost serious quality to the painting.
After Song 2

After Song 4

Close to the end

    I think it started with his colour choices. What was so interesting about them was they were almost the exact colours I would choose. I’m a huge fan of red and blue contrast, and the fact that he chose them meant that it would create a palate I was familiar and eager to work with. Since it’s been so long since my last painting, I appreciated this. However, there is a significant emotional overtone to the colours he picked.
Note: Colours not colors.

Three warm colours: red, orange and pink; followed by two cold colours: blue and teal. The interesting fact was that orange and teal are about as removed as you can get from each other on the colour wheel, while blue, red and purple are all very complimentary. As a result I knew the green would be the odd colour out, and as a result I am left to wonder if Wes knew he was doing this intentionally, or if it was simply the luck of the draw. I wonder if he even realizes how significant that is. Without the green to contrast the other colours the piece would run the risk of being too boring. With it, Wes showed a dangerous, almost rebellious side that gave the piece a level of interest that would have otherwise been lacking.
    As the painting continued a few really interesting things happened. We became silent. I became obsessed with the painting and Wes became contemplative. I’m not sure if he was being quiet for any particular reason, but at a certain point he really did become a human canvas. The music choices also helped to ease and relax the two of us as I worked.  As the painting continued, the songs became more and more melancholic and I soon realized that it was having an effect on both of our moods and the painting itself. His character began to show through as reflective and pensive. It began to reflect, especially in the facial region.
This was his playlist. The last song to play was "How He Loves". Hard to get more deep than that.

    In the end his character was revealed as vibrant, strong and reflective. A man emboldened with wisdom and a history of pain, but with a resolve to move forward.
This is his portrait.

Wes Response:
"I am most grateful to have had this "conversation" with Matti and the results from the future "voices"and to see how their conversations turn to out... to see the resulting colourful conversation."
"The time and space given for the process was quite meaningful in itself. I can't say I've ever been able to engage in a project as provoking with a friend before, however it is one that will be cherished"

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