Wednesday, 5 March 2008

'Sweeping Aside the Ancient Wall of Conformity' - Michael Newberry

    Conformity - NEWBERRY          

Part of a series of charcoal drawing the artist is exhibiting shortly called 'Cast the Light,' this piece is  Sweeping Aside the Ancient Wall of Conformity (2008, charcoal on Rives BFK, image 19 x 26").  Explains artist Michael Newberry, "the show is a series of charcoal nudes in hand painted oil frames, the color mixed uniquely for each image, uv glass or uv plexi glass, and 8-ply acid free mat.  Each of the works plays off the visual metaphors of cast light."  Of the series' conception, he says:

the idea of the shadow as an alter ego has crept into my conception of this new series of drawings...  I hope you will enjoy seeing these works. And I hope you will take a moment to reflect on how these visual images express ideas and feelings. Perhaps you will see your inner self in them as well.

You can see details of the the 'Cast the Light' Exhibition online here, including the rest of the drawings in the series.


  1. What's with the shadow on the wall? Is it meant to be Dr Banner?

    And, there is an *awful* lot of naked people about in art - fine if it's a redhead, but.

  2. Eric, I think Michael explains both your points in the posts he made announcing the exhibition.

    His description of "the shadow as alter ego" suggests a depiction of the 'inner soul' of the figure. If you look closely for example at the figures in each drawing and the shadows cast, the very slight differences between figure and shadow indicate the difference between inner and outer character. Melissa Hefferlin's self-portrait (shown at the main link for the exhibition) might show this best.

    Have a look too at at pieces like 'God Releasing Stars into the Universe,' about which Michael explains "The act of creation, personally, feels like a catalytic experience. Energy gathers inside me, is quickly digested, and explodes out of my being through my hands.
    "I love the operas of Puccini and Verdi but many people don't understand why the singer can soar so effortlessly while they are supposed to be dying. That has never bothered me, I love it in fact. The voice is representing their overall spirit. In a similar way that is the spirit in this painting, it is not meant literally but, rather, its a symbol of my spirit."

    And what's wrong with naked people? Michael again: "It's my view that the nude is one of the greatest subjects in the visual arts to express individuality. As soon as you put a figure in clothes you classify their period and status. I think of it as clothes tell you who someone purports to be, and the nude shows you who they are inside."

    Sort of follows the theme, doesn't it.

    And nudes are great to look at too. :-)

  3. Again, artists are truly obsessed with cocks & pussies. I haven't seen a nude picture of an obese man or a woman, now that would be fascinating.

  4. YOu have a problem with body parts, Jim?

    Obese? Never seen Rubens' women? Or, gawd help us, Jenny Saville's? Here's Saville's 'South Face'?

  5. Now, that Jenny Saville's is interesting to look at, from an artistic point of view, since majority of artists do produce paintings to conform to the public's taste, slim naked white beautiful blonde females.

    A point to note that I've never seen any nude paintings of a black person.

  6. You interviewed Michael Newberry a few years back if my memory serves me correctly - and it usually does.

    Is it on line?

  7. All I can find online now is this tantalising snippet on the difference between a camera and a photograph:
    " transfers reality through a machine and painting transfers reality through a soul."

    Remind me to post it online next week if you're interested, or in the meantime check out his most recent interview on 'Art & Entrepreneurship.'

  8. Thanks. And I'm pleased he's doing so well.

    He is a good example of someone actually *living* Objectivism. He's not negative and pessimistic all the time about humanity. Although I know nothing about aesthetics I think that shows in his work.

  9. "[Newberry]is a good example of someone actually *living* Objectivism."

    Yes, I think you're one-hundred percent right, and yes, you can see it for sure in his work. :-)


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.