Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aaronic Configuration by Noplacia

'I have photographed a couple hundred men who come from a variety of backgrounds. I have worked with a guy who installs air conditioners, a bull rider, a few military veterans, rock climbers, MMA fighters, ex-convicts, heroin addicts and many other people who didn't really think of themselves as models. I hope my art conveys how beautiful and intriguing each one of them are.'

Last month, when putting together Noplacia's work with Warren Russell (DirtRoad), I also included for the first time some of photographer Gary Larson's drawings of Warren. (Erotic Authenticity) Each time that I have done a piece on Gary's images of Warren I have been intrigued by the pose and shot choices made. When Gary shared that most of his work as a photographer was actually part of his drawing process, the interesting body positions he captured made it all come together.

Gary prefers to shoot a model, then work on the drawings later. This way, Gary can create his art on his own time using the photos as a reference. 'This way, I can put on some music and take all the time I want to experiment and create the art.' Sometimes, the drawings come out looking similar to the photographs, sometimes, it can be one pose or body gesture that inspires a drawing. This month, Gary's drawings will be on display for a show at the God Hates Robots gallery in Salt Lake City

'Aaronic Configuration tells stories about 25 men exhibited in his work. Relying on hundreds of photos he captured of the models, G. S Larson transfers their forms on to colorfully textured backdrops. Hints of emotion, bits of back-story and details about the interactions held between the artist and his models come through in this narrative approach to depicting the male figure.'

Gary's show opens on May 19th and runs through June 9th. If you're in the Salt Lake City area, drop by and check it out! With his show about to open, I asked Gary about where his love of figure drawing came from, and asked for some photographs to include with the drawings. The process piece is always of interest to me and I love viewing the raw unedited images along with the completed art piece. Gary puts his stamp on his drawings so beautifully in his work. It is especially fascinating to me how the depth of emotion, and complexities of the man drawn, seem so much starker, and more real in Gary's drawings than in the images that inspire them.

'I'm a fan of art that is about people. I found a book of figure drawings by Rodin at a bookstore in Berlin around 2002 that captivated me. I later collected many other books of figure drawings by Klimt, Schiele, Matisse and other artists from the last century. Their work inspired me to want to create figure-based art as well. I first worked with women because I knew a few that were willing to pose, but I really wanted to work with the sex that was less represented in figure art. With some practice I started finding men willing to pose and I started figuring out my method.'

'The photoshoots are a collaboration between the models and I. We both bring ideas to the table and try to capture the model in their best form. I could print out the photos and be done, but I prefer to put the photos through one more filter by creating the drawings. That way I am putting a little more of myself in the work. The finished pieces then have complexity to them. They say something about me because I made the color, composition and model choices. They also document the interaction the models and I had. Most importantly, they are portraits of an interesting human being who came to the project with emotions, personality and a lot of past experiences.'

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