May 13, 2008

All Things Art and Good IV

(The reasons behind the series of articles titled All Things Art and Good and the format followed in each article is explained here, in the first post in the series.)

The first digital artwork of Erwin Madrid‘s that I ever saw was Amends. For some reason, the painting reminds me of a dark, Disney vision. The girl and the slight sense of light playing around her gives the feel of a classic Disney heroine while the crows somehow manage to evoke all the dark and evil step-motherly feelings from all the classic fairy tales. I also like how the crows are almost like leaves on the tree and how all the lines in the painting, the bark on the trees, the way the branches are laid out, the angular lines created by the crows, the girl’s dress and even the stripes on her socks, create a world of lines. It might not be very colourful but it sure as heck is an interesting painting that I can stare at for hours!

Then there’s Erwin’s Umbrella on Balcony. This is another one of those classic play-of-light paintings. I love paintings where the light becomes almost an entity by itself. Here, the light does just that. There’s hint of sunlight coming off from somewhere behind the roof of the building at the left edge of the painting. The light turns the church spire golden, limns the laundry hanging on the lines so that it’s transformed from common laundry into something ethereal and then burnishes the edge of the umbrella on the balcomny with gold. You can also see a hint of the gold on the climbing plant on the balcony. It might not be a very detailed painting but what I love about the composition is the fact that the light does most of the work for you. The light is the central player and it gives you visions of hazy golden afternoons, idle Sundays where you just soak up the sun, and of warm sunlight playing gently on your skin. Sometimes, less is more 🙂

Erwin has quite a few other paintings which evoke various feelings of awe, wonder, and joy in me. And I’m sure you’ll find your own favourites too if you explore his site. However, I feel that I must mention Factory, if not for anything then because it is so different from the other two paintings that I mention here 🙂 This one is so dark, foreboding and damp that I can only imagine that it’s from a far future when the world is bereft of sunlight because everything is smothered in smog. Sure there is a golden haze through the murk but it seems to be more of a promise of sunshine (perhaps if the world got rid of the dirty smoke from the factories) rather than any actual sunshine. While it is a bit of a downer after the brightness and gold of the previous images, Factory is an image which still manages to transpose me and think of far future worlds where factories will sit by bleak coastlines like some fat, bulbous insect and belch smoke and dirt into the air, covering up the last bits of golden sunshine.

When you have such powerful imagery, what else would you need? 🙂

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Posted by Fahim at 7:30 am  |  1 Comment