We often think of landscapes as traditional and conventional works of art. We have forgotten that right there in both words, lie the roots of our imaginary worlds and spiritual realms. Christmas brings back childhood whimsy and play to the darkest time of the year, when we most most need to escape to another land.
In a forest fire, animals immediately move as one towards their common safety. In our current climate of global destruction, the ‘return of the buffalo’ evokes the desire for the rebalancing of our ecosystems, and for the reestablishing of our connection with our home. When we work together to restore the health of one species, many species thrive, and feed the spiritual health of the landscape.
The Next Step in the Series
What I found when I looked back over the black and white images of the last year, was the subtle patterns of the shoe prints and how these suggested two dimensional magic. The textures and intensities create exquisite design patterns and sometimes suggested landscapes. When I poured over them, I recognized that some of the images were begging for a foreground to their background to create a more literal story.
Painting small additions onto these backgrounds provided new three and four dimensional qualities. I started focusing in on all the areas AROUND the shoe prints and realized that often the real and dramatic story was being told there, not just in the strong designs of the shoes themselves. The new atmospheric emphasis began to deepen the stories being suggested by the literal images.
To Giclee or Not to Giclee, (Increasingly that IS a question).
I am just in the beginning stages of turning work into high-end giclee art prints in a limited series. These quality prints have many advantages over framed originals. They can be shipped fairly inexpensively inside a cardboard tube anywhere in the world. They are cheaper to purchase and have really fine production values on high quality art paper. And…..they can be any size, from say 8 by 10 inches to 4 feet by 6 feet or larger. This printing machine is a genius. It can print on canvas, cotton and other great materials. I am super excited too, from an educational point of view, to learn more about which images need to stay small, which ones want to be stretched a bit, and which ones are dying to be life size.
The majesty of colour is well documented. There is something though about black and white imagery that reaches back into the recesses of our memory. There is an immediate and simply dynamic that gets right to the facts of the matter. We can’t live without colour, but we can’t think or choose without black and white.
Here’s the full collection
Evidence of Walking 2018
EVIDENCE OF WALKING
A New Series of Images in Black & White
BIRTH OF THE CONCEPT: A couple of Christmas’s ago Vancouver was hit by a number of ice and snow storms. The streets and sidewalks were literally canvases built by layer upon layer of shoe treads embedded in the ice, signs of people, dogs and a few skunks and coyotes moving about in all directions.
I photographed dozens of these small film noirs and got to the point where I said to Max (the dog) “we are both going to freeze to death out here so let’s just capture abstract works that Matisse would approve of”. They were all over the place. Based on these photos I started collecting dozens of shoes at 2nd hand stores, ones with aesthetic sole designs. These soles became stamps that could be covered with acrylic paint.
Suddenly all kinds of ideas and metaphors about taking action, walking, finding a path, leaving behind a light footprint on the earth…. started to shape images that appeared. I could see that some of the images and their abstractions could work on very large canvases. One of these images came from a love of Calder’s mobiles as I imagined how Calder would playfully turn the Milky Way into a mobile.
So the images you see here are soon headed for a larger format. I remain committed to seeing where this idea of leaving traces behind as we move takes me. The Japanese language may be unique in having a word for the experience we have when we see the wake from a ship even though the ship itself has disappeared behind an island. Giacometti, particularly in his large free- standing figures wanted to capture what was left in the memory after you turned away from a friend. His bronzes became goldfish thin, very tall figures as if his memory had compressed them for better preservation.
Following two group shows at the Expression Gallery in Berkeley California, my 1st Vancouver Art Show happened in The Yoga Studio, 3476 West Broadway, Vancouver BC Canada on Friday May 6th to Sunday May 8th, 2016.
I’ve added some thumbnails below so you can get a quick overview of some of the Art Show work. You can see more at my website http://www.deanfogal.com but new works combining wire and paper and acrylic inks and paper were featured at the show.
About the Work
I’m passionate about working with recycled materials and vibrant colours. My theatre background makes me interested in environments where many different stories can be told. Some reoccurring themes are metamorphosis of one form into another, mythology, playfulness, the re-wilding of the earth and archetypal imagery.
Spreading the Word
Any forwarding of this composite is greatly appreciated, as well as sharing the event on social media.
“Dean Fogal’s adventurous visual exaltations/explorations bring to mind Matisse’s late paper cuttings, First People’s bone carvings, and Paul Klee’s profoundly whimsical portraits of interior mental spaces.” Thomas Leabhart
“I immediately see in front of me, simplicity, truth alignment, fluidity, expansion, playfulness, Joy, sweetness and gentle strength in all his pieces.” Naomi Lang
Please feel free to add your own feedback here: https://deanfogal.com/community-commentary/
Thanks so much for your support.
Life without a Role
What if it is possible, for a day, an hour, a minute, a millisecond, to actually not be our mother’s son our father’s daughter, our Aunt Tillie’s piano player. What if, for a moment, we chose to not play any of the roles assigned to us by social and genetic tradition.? What if, for a millisecond we even chose to not play one of the characters WE have assigned ourselves in the totally fictional drama we like to call ‘My Personality, For Better or For Worse’?
Can you even imagine life like that? Even if its complete fiction the idea itself is extremely enticing. Some people will say ‘there is no way you can step out of all that patterning because its bigger than just family patterning, it goes back generations, even perhaps including other lifetimes that we ourselves have led Role playing has become the very fabric of who we are, not our soul maybe which is transcendent, but our character, our personality, the way we act, react, behave, think and feel.”
We might have started playing a role, thinking ‘this will help me see who I am, test my muscular strength, put my emotions through a wringer…’ And soon the role was part and parcel of who I think I am, or at least who I once thought I was.
Enjoying that millisecond beyond role playing would include putting aside the critics of the idea as they play pivotal roles in our cast of characters.
This moment beyond programming has no room for the critic. Annihilating the critical voice, in itself, brings up trouble as it sets off a riot in the internal prison where all the inmates with CRITIC written on their uniforms set fire to their cells, thinking “if they’re attacking one of us, I could be next. I will not sit here in this predictable, boring lifestyle while my boring, comfortable and predictable lifestyle goes down the toilet. Resistance to change is the only thing that still fires me up. Hand me that Bic lighter over there, the blue one. I’ve got to go to work.”
A number of people have written about life beyond addiction. The glories of it, the sublimity of it. But life beyond role playing is the grandmother of all addictions.