Thursday, January 26, 2012

EIKO ISHIOKA July 12, 1939 – January 21, 2012

"...and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Geof Darrow Part 1: "The Art of Attention"

Geof Darrow's art has made great contributions to both ‘sequential art’ and cinematic conceptual design. The success of his work is often misunderstood as being achieved by its abundance of what many refer to as ‘detail’. The term ‘detail’ is far too inclusive or inaccurate to be used to describe the quality of Darrow’s work that makes it great. Praising his work for the amount of ‘detail’ it possesses would be shallow praise, and it would overlook what is truly exceptional about Darrow’s work. Geof Darrow’s supreme qualities as an artist are his power of observation, the depth of his investigation, and his ability to translate his insights into art. What makes his work truly exceptional is Darrow’s practice of “the art of attention”.

Below are some examples of Darrow’s conceptual art from the Wachowskis' film series “The Matrix”. The art is a product of fantasy, and while it possesses ‘detail’, the art is not driven by a need to create quality by means of its quantity of marks. Instead, Darrow utilizes his years of observation, exploration, and investigation to inform the visual metaphors he is charged with communicating.

What differentiates Geof Darrow, as an artist, is the quality of the individual elements his designs possess. They do not weaken or distract from the meaning he is intending to convey as a whole, because of the intelligence he brings to the visual choices he makes.

The “used future” that was a hallmark of the film “Star Wars” in 1977, is one of the most misunderstood aesthetic concepts of modern visual design. ‘Detail’, in the work of the novice artist (and the mind of the incurious) depicts worn or broken objects that cannot be imagined as new or whole, and visual elements that assault the viewer without informing them. Geof Darrow's work has a truly unique capacity to enrich any viewer or student willing to investigate and acknowledge the level of ‘attention’ that informs it.

If we all practiced “the art of attention” that Geof Darrow brings to his work, our own work would be better for it.

In a lecture entitled, “It Doesn’t Matter if You Die for It”, which I have embedded the second part of below, Jiddu Krishnamurti articulates “the art of attention” beautifully from 02:00.