Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Most Famous Bedroom In Art?

It’s certainly not mine!

I think it’s this one:

More on that later. It’s not directly related to anything I’m going to be talking about today, but it is kinda related.

(I’m thinking along the lines of the Thomas Dolby quote from last week, about electronic musicians working away in little rooms: “They sort of disappear in their cubicle for two years and they never come out.” It happens in every field of endeavor I know. Writers shut themselves up and write. Programmers program endlessly. Van Gogh immortalized the whole process when he was stuck in his room to rest his eyes: He painted the bedroom he would shut himself away in to paint!)

Anyway, I certainly spend a lot of time in my bedroom. Writing. Reading. Doing music or working away at stop-motion segments and other things.

So today I have just a few little notes about bedroom stuff.

1) Cool Book!

I am very happy right now. At the end of last year I posted about how one of my favorite art books of all time is being published in a new edition, Clayton Hoagland’s “The Pleasures of Outdoor Sketching.” (I talked about it in “When All My Words About Britney Disappear” ) The new edition was supposed to come out in the middle of April and I stopped in at Amazon today to see exactly when. The publication date is still listed as April 18, but the new edition is listed as already being in stock! So I ordered a copy and I should have it Thursday or Friday. There are very, very few things that make me happier than having a cool book to sit in my room and read over the weekend!

2) Cool Clothes!

And look what came today. New clothes in my bedroom:

New pants! New shoes! I mentioned I needed new pants and new shoes a couple of months ago in, She Asked, “Why Are You Looking...”.

The pants are basic Levi’s. The shoes are a model of Teva I’ve never had before called ‘Mush.’ They may be the lightest shoes I’ve ever owned. Very cool, very comfortable and I’ve had good luck with Teva shoes—they seem to last a whole summer even though I walk a lot.

It always makes me happy getting new clothes. I’ve still never gotten up to Toronto to try Tilley Endurables (Dreaming Of A Dinosaur In A Maidenform Bra) but every time I buy new clothes I think about it and someday I am still going to get up there and try that brand.

3) Cool Art History!

So last week at some point I was flipping around to websites that I visit only now and then, every few months, and I stopped in at a cool company that makes oil paint for artists, Gamblin Artists Colors. They’re an Oregon company run by a painter and they make some of the best oil paints in the world. Even when some European museums, for instance, are doing re-touch work, they often use Gamblin paints, rather than the more historic French or British paints.

Anyway, so I visited the Gamblin website and they had a link on their site to a story about a Van Gogh painting that was restored using Gamblin paints. The Amsterdam museum that did the restoration collected various blog posts their specialists had created about the project and made a summary post that was very interesting.

Van Gogh Museum: Bedroom Secrets—Restoration of a Masterpiece

But the link on Gamblin’s site was broken and didn’t get to the museum’s blog post. So I dropped them an e-mail and the very next day their tech coordinator replied and gave me the correct link. (They still haven’t fixed their website’s link! wtf)

The link here is correct and gets to the post from the museum.

It’s a long post and it’s all very interesting, but I think my favorite part was Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho’s discussion of “The Intangibility of Color.” She makes an interesting point about how technology, and the internet in particular, have had an opposite effect on the status of originals versus copies, compared to what some specialists had once believed would happen. She gathered various examples of Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” from around the web to compare to the original. These are four copies and are interesting to compare to the careful reproduction from the start of this post:

She discovered that almost all the copies she could find had extreme color shifts and differed drastically from the original art. She discusses the technology of reproductions and concludes, in part:

It was long believed that the dissemination of art reproductions – at first in the form of photographs and today also through the internet – would lower the status of the original work. After all, these days anyone can hang a reproduction of an important work of art like The bedroom in their own home. But the unreliability of these images actually has the reverse effect: the original becomes all the more important.

That’s about all I have for today. Notes from my bedroom.

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