AuthorTopic: GR#027 - F. Nietzsche gazes into you - Portrait  (Read 14451 times)

Offline Alonso

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #20 on: June 28, 2010, 10:33:12 pm
I don't think I have much to add to what's been said, except that--talking about Nietszche--, Heidegger once wrote an essay called "The origin of the work of art". Not only does it explain what he thinks art is, and how it uses the artist rather than the other way around, he also questions and tries to understand the "is" of this last sentence. Apparently, an artist's (should he choose to call himself that) art is much more interesting when he's read non-cartesian philosophy (that is, Plato, Kant and Heidegger). The only thing I think I can suggest is that philosophy thinks being (the verb+noun). Art, on the other equally-valuable hand, feels it.

Not that it is respectively so in this case, but Tarkovsky suggested symbolism as a complex formula that can be intellectually split apart (first thought, then felt) while metaphors, however, are first to be felt and then thought. In this sense, philosophy and art are both a combination of each other and need each other to bear meaning about themselves, but philosophy analogically leans towards intellectualism whilst art does to emotion. Here's a quote from an interview of his:

"We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image as opposed to a symbol is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it's a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it."

(http://people.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/Symbols.html)

What is more important, it would seem as though art finds us and invades our vision; art could be a landscape, or the stars, or Bach's music. But once we're moved by these things, we cannot escape them, and they will force themselves upon us every time we create something we call artistic. Sorry for dragging the subject away from your piece, Helm. I very much digress all the time. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 10:39:11 pm
helm: I doubt by now that many people here believe gain something socially by complimenting your work. We know in this forum that the entire point is for us to give feedback on others work- if anything we might receive someone's visit to our thread to give us their feedback- but nothing in the way of social status which it sounds like you mean.

Anyways, this piece doesn't particularly appeal to me. You've lost a lot of what made the sketch awesome- the contrast, the really strong planes( you fragmented them too much in the pixel piece). It seems to me you've become so comfortable with choosing palettes and the like that you're only focusing on pixel clusters- when it's the gestalt that really matters.

I know I've butchered your subtlety and pixel clusters here, but to me this image is much more powerful without it( the subtlety, pixel clusters are nice)

You nailed the planes and lighting in the drawing, but you just failed to transfer it.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 11:00:25 pm by Ryumaru »

Offline Mathias

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #22 on: June 29, 2010, 12:08:22 am
You can have a strong, assertive, opinionated personality while still being humble. St0ven's bit about knowing where/how you fit in is a nice way to say it. I hate to keep rambling about psychiatry here so to be succinct and avoid too much online forumpostmortemboredom - I think you're humble enough because you don't behave like some king diety of pixel art, when other individuals with your skills might make the mistake of doing. Instead you're content with honing and developing your craft for your own pursuits, not lording over others throwing your weight around, etc. I'm only acquainted with you in the pixel art sphere, so I only know one facet of your existence. If I knew you in-person, who knows, we might tangle. haha j/k


Alonso, some great thoughts there, thanks for fencepostmorteming!


Ryu, yikes that edit. Looks like ol' Neitzche took a few steps back in the WIP. Contrast too harshish. But I too wish the strung-out vibe captured in the sketch was better intact in the pixel. Perhaps Chris's hand could assist. Helm's tall-pixel 'plotting' piece uses body language in the hands to express a certain state of mind. Though, I doubt any hands would fit in. This is such a classic bust portrait. Hands are normally not pictured.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #23 on: June 29, 2010, 12:31:37 am
I wouldn't have used that pure white for the highlights, but when i opened the document in photoshop I couldn't edit the palette. point is that all the playing of hues and pixel clusters in the face has overshadowed the form of the head.

Offline Cure

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #24 on: June 29, 2010, 04:10:07 am

I don't think the hand works either, I haven't seen an edit yet where I didn't find it distracting. Even if ryu's edit is a bit strong, I think he makes a good point.

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #25 on: June 29, 2010, 08:42:12 am
Alonso: I tend to the position that 'thinking/feeling' dualism is a mistake in philosophical thinking. I mean, it's not a mistake because if taken as a presupposition, it leads to very interesting thoughts and that's never a mistake. I certainly have benefitted by supposing this in my thinking as well, but now I think I benefit more from a more holistic view of the span of sentient activity of the human. I think what often is called 'intellectual' is very emotional, to me, and that there is no clear priority (either to be pursued, or to be experienced) between thinking and feeling emotions. To ponder on something for me is an intellectual process as well. I realize it seems when it happens to one to be accessing 'different parts of the brain' as it were but it was startling to me when I approached it phenomenologically and realized that when I am pondering on a thing very directly, and when I am experiencing an emotional stimulus, what my body does is very similar. The classicist approach tends to say 'when emotional, one acts. When intellectual, one doesn't act, instead stands and thinks'. Well, I don't see how to 'stand and think' doesn't constitute an action, and how it is not emotionally charged to begin with.

When I am faced with an intellectual challenge, I respond to it with much the same emotions that a child would respond to an offer to go outside and play football with his friends.

On symbolism/metaphor, yes I see why the distinction would be made by Tarkovsky in that historically, symbolism has a 'this stands in for that' structured language. A human skull represents mortality, a woman in the darkness represents temptation, so on. Whereas a metaphor requests one be a bit more proactive in interpretation, but really, not too much. I don't think it's such a useful distinction for the working artist because really the working artist should go on working and not worry on whether his metaphors are really hard symbols or vice versa. It's not like either approach will arrive at a more comprehensible work of art (from my experience at least). Even if you write a legend in the beginning of your artwork 'this stands in for that', you know? People will still interpret it very wildly.


Thank you for the interesting thoughts, by the way.

Ryu and Cure, that is a valid approach to retaining the high contrast of the original sketch, but it's not something I thought of as a priority in capturing, I instead focused more on nuance and multi-level rendering. The why of the thing is pretty strange... I like the pencil art version but at the same time I am wary of portraying someone like F. Nietzsche in a 'cartoony' and simplified light. This is the main reason - I now realize - for most of the changes, how the arm is missing, how the eyes were played down a bit, how the rendering became a bit less dramatic. I don't want to portray the man as too much of a psychopath (or strung out, as mentioned) so I am more pleased with the pixel version than the pencil version in this respect.

Offline Alonso

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #26 on: June 29, 2010, 09:35:19 am
I think I agree with most of what you say (except for the part about the unworrying, working artist). I apparently lost myself in Heidegger's/Tarkovsky's argument, but yes, at least the former explains adamantly that dualism is quite indeed monoism entire (cartesian atomism vs greek holism--I could elaborate more on this, if you want me to); religion and science tend to think manichaeistically, and both are inherently wrong in its fundamentalism (god is religion's mistake; metaphysics is science's). I suppose I most find meaning in dialectic phenomenalism, and this is what gives us the freedom to look into our being-in-the-world and try to find out who we are (which is intrinsically an unknowable and meaningless pursuit). The question on being is for ourselves, but scarcely made throughout our being-here. I feel immediately pretentious by writing this, but let's pretend I'm doing it as honestly as I am able. I have not stated that I am a thinker or an artist, whether I am one or not. So much meaning has been taken from those original words. When said, so much is left unsaid, and this oversight (which is what the word truly means) goes by absolutely unnoticed.
 
I'm sorry to have made you write all that last and this be my reply. I'm glad to have exchanged points of view.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 09:42:40 am by Alonso »

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #27 on: June 29, 2010, 11:19:26 am
Well I think a thread about a portrait of Nietzsche is the most fitting place for such a discussion in Pixelation. I appreciate the dialogue as well.

I'd like to clarify that the working artist is never unworrying, I think they couldn't help but be worrying. But they should be doing most of the worrying in other times than when working, at least. I mean this to say that generally speaking, I tend to think about aesthetics and philosophy of my art when I'm not engaged in making it. When I am actually engaged in making art I try to not worry about the philosophical undercurrent of my every brush stroke. Otherwise I'd make very few of them. When I'm done with something that pleases me and I look at it at its telos, then I have a discussion with a teleological version of myself through it and there is much instruction from the beyond to be gathered from that. But while I'm making something, I don't care if it's symbolic of metaphorical very much.

I realize that this is not in disagreement with anything Tarkovsky might have said on the subject specifically, as from nowhere in your quote of him is there a mention that the artist-should-worry-about-symbolism-while-making-art, but it's just an aside I'd like to bring to light because I see a lot of active minds worry too much about what will happen when they will eventually sit down and make art, and they tend to very rarely do it at all because of this.

I don't know how the outside world looks at my artwork, I don't know if they feel impressed by the craftsmanship or if the message interests them. While I am making my art I am almost always fundamentally unimpressed by what I am doing, it looks plain and below-par, during creation. If I start thinking about what my peers make instead, all their art looks much more accomplished and strong than mine. I try not to think about these things while I work, I try to draw in solipsist mode, as if I am the only artist in the world and this - thoroughly unimpressive - piece of art I am making is the only piece of art to be made. And through this I struggle and when I am done with the piece it no longer looks as unimpressive and plain, because it is finished and there is an awe in finality for the human because telos is death also. Even if the brush work is plain and the piece is under-worked and I can see a parallel universe version of myself doing a better job of it, a finished piece communicates strongly to me because it is finished, because its story has terminated and there is space for reflection and interpretation at the end.

I think that's pretty much why I even make art, just so I can look/listen when it's finished and it can tell me things from beyond.

I know this sounds silly when talking about a small pixel portrait of F. Nietzsche that took 5 hours to draw, but that's what I get from it and even from stupider stuff like little video-game sprites I've drawn. When they're finished, they talk to me and what they say is usually heartening and hopeful.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 11:22:26 am by Helm »

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #28 on: June 29, 2010, 04:41:33 pm
I was wondering why you posted your finished work on Pixeljoint and created a thread here, I appreciate your going deeper into the hows and whys of your pieces. The exchange of point of views was an interesting insight for me, and it really is the type of thing I look for when browsing art threads. Thank you, I'll be looking forward to more of these type of discussions, and as much as I'd like to participate, I do not have the knowledge to do so. I'll content myself to reading and documenting myself on the terms and theories used!
(sorry if I sound pompous just saying this but I feel it needs to be expressed, as I really do want to encourage these type of discussions)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 04:45:51 pm by Chris2balls »
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Offline Mathias

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #29 on: June 29, 2010, 08:15:13 pm
What exactly is this "beyond" you speak of? Obviously, you're being poetic, but really how would you explain what you're referring to there?


Finality is great. But with pixel art, I only feel like I'm done once I've forgotten about all the AA clean-up I still want to do. You can virtually refine your AA forever with pixel art, I feel. This portrait you've done here for instance, I could improve it's AA in some places. As could you I'm sure. "Done" is a sacred word to me. Few things better in daily life than completing a piece you've worked long hours on. So hard to pronounce pixel art as done though, when you look at it and keep spotting a crappy cluster or bad group of AA every time.