Friday, September 25, 2009

Stephen Magsig

La Maison Blanche IV
oil on linen/panel, 2009, 5" x 7"

Dequindre Cut Shadows
oil on linen/panel, 2009, 7" x 5"

Swing Bridge to Zug Island
oil on linen/panel, 2009, 5" x 5"

"Postcards from Detroit is a diary in small paintings from American artist Stephen Magsig."
I found Stephen's work through a facebook link and have been enjoying. He has set up an ebay auction account for these works, which links directly from his blog site.


Nomi Lubin said...

Wow, I thought the first two were photographs for a minute. That's a compliment, you know. I learned that last Summer painting outside in New Haven. A slightly menacing passerby told me my painting looked just like a photograph. When I said, "Hm, a photograph," a little unenthusiastically, he said belligerently, "Yeah, that's what I said, a photograph. That's a compliment. Don't you know that's a compliment"?

OK, so that story has nothing to do with these paintings which look quite luscious and painterly and I think only looked like photographs momentarily because of how small the images are. Though, I see that the actual sizes are pretty small too. Almost postcard size. Nice.

Nomi Lubin said...

Oh, wow, I went to his blog. A painting a day! Wonderful.

Kim said...

Carla, thanks for posting

Nomi, I think I've met that guy;)

Carla said...

Belligerence rules the day.

I find it hard to imagine these at their actual size. The loose brushwork combined with the preciseness of form seem impossible at that size. I think a similar preciseness with color makes these small online images read as photographs. Nothing's jumping the shark spatially, yet they are not dry flat illustrations of a scene. They are paintings.

They remind quite a bit of your NYC scenes, Nomi.

Lausanne said...

Which is worse? People saying of your faux finished walls, "Wow! It looks just like wallpaper!" or, to your painting, "Wow! I thought it was a photograph until I got closer!"?? Sigh... They mean well but they have no idea how it deflates us.

This miniature format seems all the rage. Will be perfect size for when I'm nomadic. Although I'm afraid it will have me working with even smaller brushes when I should be using the larger ones for loosening up. Can't win!

I think the best aspect of the plein air/painting-a-day thing is that it makes you look harder at everyday scenes and find the otherwise overlooked images. Good stuff.

M.A.H. said...

love 'em.

Carla said...

I just noticed that these images don't enlarge fully. If you go to Stephen's blog and click on, the brushwork is really nice. Much looser than you'd expect.

Nomi Lubin said...

Right ^^^ that's why I was saying that I thought they probably only looked like photos because of how small the images are (here).

On his sight, where the enlargements area actually often bigger than the real paintings, you'd never think they were photographs.

Nomi Lubin said...

@Kim: "Nomi, I think I've met that guy;)"

Oh, man. I kind of wish I had a hidden camera running while I was doing that painting. If I wasn't actually trying to make a painting, it would have been a great opportunity to make a little what-happens-when-you-paint-in-public documentary. When I paint outside it usually in semi-hidden places. Not this time.

I was in the grassy divider of a fairly main street in New Haven, CT. It was a long (five weeks?) painting of a pink Victorian house on a small hill, which did become quite detailed toward the end and attracted more and more attention from people who had no real understanding that I had about two hours tops where the light was right and that painting is not relaxing and therapeutic. I used to have some of the exchanges (rather one-sided) practically memorized. But now they're fading . . . Mostly nice people, actually, but then some incredibly nervy/oblivious sorts. It was madness by the end.

Well, I guess anyone who's painted in public knows what I'm talking about. But this was the most extreme example for me.

Carla said...

If I painted in public, I'd probably be incarcerated.

Nomi Lubin said...

You mean for assault? I came close a few times.

Carla said...

I have a very strong startle response. I actually say this to clients as I shut the door to the room I'm working in.

Nomi Lubin said...

"I have a very strong startle response."

Oh, wow, I do too. I hate it.

Anonymous said...

I wish I received more belligerent compliments.