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    敢于彷徨的, 是男人





    《伏虎 1》   100x80cm  布面油彩 2016年


    敢于彷徨的,

    是男人

    许章伟 伏虎 

    文 / 郑昀



      许章伟  



    出生于湖州

    毕业于浙江理工大学

    中国美术家协会会员

    中国70油画公社社员




    “我以一种笨拙的方式记录。我不安排对象,我只站在他们面前,安排我自己。我很喜欢丹尼洛·契斯(南斯拉夫)的话:‘不要追求禅之类的东方哲学,你有更好的事要做’!

    —— 许章伟



    和章伟

    算是“熟人”。在互联网移动终端的社交环境下,他属于我在“邓巴系数”内排位靠前的朋友。我们有关注和互动,有频次不高的线下对话。这也是观察一个艺术家的最佳距离:保持陌生感是为了在时间纬度上看到思想和创作的变化,保持一定接触频度是为看穿变化背后的因缘。就像看蚂蚁搬家,隔上一时半刻去观察一下,既可知来龙去脉,又不至于陷入细节。


    开始有兴趣和章伟搭讪是因为他的《大风景》;业髯拥某鞘忻糟辛,被漠视的青春荷尔蒙分明写在城市的轮廓线上,那是一张张“成熟长大的脸”。沐泽在鱼米之乡的杭嘉湖人,很少有这般高视角和大勇气。章伟那晃悠、迷茫的神情里有湖州人的气息,但他算得上是江南勇士,唱着南方摇滚,享受金属撞击的声音。


    “风景”之后是一段相当长的“水墨小品”时期,这期间,他一直摆弄文人画的拙。我估计这背后是对生活和创作的焦虑。我知道他是容易彷徨之人,而彷徨的背后是永远不安于现状的勇,章伟自己的说法是“荷尔蒙一直在奔腾”。


    《造风景 之天空 1》 180x150cm  布面油彩 2016年 


    《造风景 之天空 3》180x150cm  布面油彩 2016年



    《大风景》和新城市系列《造风景》之间,隔了五六年。他说是“想尝一下北欧简约风”,其实是从不甘中挣扎出来的果实。时间让他摆脱了无谓的纠结,心大了,思想也辽阔起来。从“大”到“造”,是一次个人和世界的位置转换,是一次和世界的和解:“大风景”时期,人被城市森林掩埋,风景大于人!霸旆缇啊敝,人走出城市,“城”被主观塑造。单纯、鲜亮的色彩构成天空和建筑,天际线常有一条鲜亮的、荧光黄的边缘,跳跃着天真烂漫。这时的城市不一定激励人,但一定不再困扰人。


    《造风景》会成为章伟的经典,一点波普艺术的手法让城市不再恐惧,青春荷尔蒙得到合理释放。生活理应是一场欢乐颂。


    我并不企图给章伟的绘画历程写阶段总结。最近常有人引用拉姆斯菲尔德的名言:“存在已知的已知,已知的未知,但也存在未知的未知!。我想艺术家至少分两种:一种只画已知;一种喜欢超出自己的认知去看未知。章伟是后一种。从《造风景》中盘踞着的老虎来看,一个新的彷徨病灶又在生成。是风景里的虎走出来成了“伏虎”,还是“伏虎”误入了风景?我没有追问。我也不知“伏虎”的缘起,或如他自己所说:是权力?是男人的世界?至少我不信,因为他还说过“是艺术家面对日常精神状态的凝结,让人惊颤,甚至羞于启齿,纯属私物!薄盎ⅰ本褪撬乃轿,是他私处的另一种刚勃发的东西,他自己或许还不知或假装不知。但至少,他说的“照虎画猫”肯定是撒谎,因为我见过他的萌猫萌狗系列(一组在不设防状态下的作品,值得收藏)!胺ⅰ痹谡飧鍪贝、以这种形式出现,在我看来是一出不怀好意的戏。徒有威仪的物种,突然以中国画的喻意出笼,嘿嘿,你去想吧。


    艺术家总是自觉或不自觉地用真诚和假意迷惑人,只有这样艺术才有趣嘛。但至少,老虎的力量是每个男人所向往的,虽然老虎也常在众生沉睡的午夜彷徨。我们允许艺术家保持沉默,免得他们言不由衷。章伟画虎也让我想到他的装置首秀《第一次蛀牙的联想》。牙是人感知世界的重要方式,爱恨生死、吃喝痛痒、接吻骂娘……


    第一次蛀牙的打击在艺术家心里构成了怎样的认知,或者关于“虎”到底是什么,他不会告诉你。


    《伏虎 14》 60x80cm  布面油彩 2016年 


    《伏虎 4》 100x80cm  布面油彩 2016年




    Q A

    that's China:70年代生人在当下艺术圈里算是老艺术家了。过往是财富还是负担,想挣脱还是从中生长?

    许章伟:是的,至少不再年少。荷尔蒙在降低,这对艺术不是好事。不同年龄做不同的事,在不同年龄的创作应有适合不同年龄的特点。面对大幅的画布我已没有足够力气反复抠细节,但岁月给了我高度提炼、概括的能力。我对自己简化事物的能力越来越自信,学会更简单、更省体力的同时,表达得更准。过去就是过去,一切无法挽回,岁月带你到哪里,你就应当呆在哪里。


    that's: 从“大风景”到“造风景”,这是对周遭态度的改变么?

    许:想把城市表现得更简约明快,加入了单一、明亮的色彩。荷尔蒙的降低过程中,风景也平和起来。人活着是一口气,画画也是一口气,气有多长,创作激情的保持时间就多长,长时间的激情是要有体力支撑的。所幸的是我做减法的能力在提高,更重要的是看问题的方法在变。概括、提炼是成熟的标志。


    that's: 从油画到水墨再到油画,是刻意探索还是彷徨着找出路和方向? 

    许:水墨让我更放松,所以一直会画水墨。我向冯峰先生学艺,是喜欢他画中的人生态度,也体会他的高度概括能力。油画和水墨终究也相通,相互借力是个不错的方法。


    《伏虎 18》 50x60cm  布面油彩 2016年 



    that's: 前几年的萌猫狗系列是游戏放松之作,那么现在的“虎”呢?   

    许:照猫画虎而已。老虎是权力、是男性力量,只是想招唤一下这种力量。在当下的城市背景中加上一只老虎,可以理解成是寻找、唤醒、调侃。史蒂文斯的一句话大约可为注解:诗人注视世界就像男人注视女人。老虎也是一个视角,一种力量。


    that's: 说说你最近一次画展“鹿山夜画”中的装置首秀《第一次蛀牙的联想系列》?

    许:只是想到了杜尚和安迪·沃霍尔,想尝试用生活中的普通材料去表达,将材料直接从物质层面上升到思想层面。也就是说,思想观念开始成了艺术的材料。安迪·沃霍尔说:“人人都是艺术家”,“每件物品都是艺术品”。我所用的材料与艺术无关,只是第一次蛀牙经历让我想到很多,蛀牙与人生有很多连带和丰富内含,说大了有生与死,说小了有一日三餐。我只想用这种普通材料表达一时之念。说得唬人一点:人所做的一切不过是些死前的游戏;蛘呶抑幌胨担阂桓雎臣で樗党龅拿,比一个用平淡无味的语言表达的真理更讨喜。



    Taming of the Tiger No.2 .  100x80cm.  Oil on Canvas (2016)




    The Taming of the Tiger 

    Xu Zhangwei


    text by 厉静


    Why even Facebook cannot expand our true social circle has been explained by evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar. “Our brains just aren't big enough to cope and we can only ever have 150 friends at most,” Robin Dunbar predicts.


    Luckily, Xu Zhangwei is in my social circle so we are able to interact at a comfortable frequency that gives me what I conceive as the best viewing distance to observe an artist. It’s just like watching a swarm of migrating ants moving towards their new colony – it makes little sense to strain the eyes by looking at them all the time.


    Xu Zhangwei looks very much like Mo Yan (the first Chinese Nobel Prize laureate) and his passion for his artistic endeavor is just as strong.


    Constrcting Landscapes -- Sky 6.  180x150cm.  Oil on Canvas (2016)


    I became curious about the man and his art because of his Big Times, a series of black-and-white paintings drawing inspiration from the high-rises of the chic Pudong area of Shanghai. Xu’s most recent ‘tiger’ collections show a very modern and explosive style that just bursts off the paper. I was lured into Xu Zhangwei’s artistic world by the hazy, grey color tone that dominates the whole series. The paintings are saturated with a feeling of teenage angst. The black-and-white skyscrapers evoke ‘faces of maturity’ and suggest something in the man’s disposition that noticeably defies the soft, mild ‘Huzhou’ stereotype. From what he paints, one can feel something grand and bold in his seemingly absent-minded look and sleepy, squinting eyes. In a sense, his Big Times suggests the man’s rock ’n’ roll disposition.


    In between Xu’s Big Times and the new Constructing Landscapes was a prolonged, ‘cozy’ period of ‘ink and wash’. His new ‘landscape’, sprightly and refreshing, took more than five years to shape. One can easily see the comeback of ‘innocence’. It looks like he has re-positioned himself and has come to terms with the world. The long-time entanglement has dissolved with time, broadening his heart as well as his mind. The result is a whole new vista, an ode to joy.


    Artists fall into two general categories: those who paint the known world and the others who try to paint the unknown. Xu obviously falls into the latter one, as can be experienced in his casual release of artistic hormones in a huge production of adorable ‘puppies’ and ‘kittens’ and in his recent burst of passion in ‘tiger’. His ‘tiger’ creations, characteristic of his very unique technique of using a western oil style to paint Chinese motifs, display a very relaxed, concise style that delights all senses.


    “You’d better not ask about what the ‘tigers’ insinuate,” Xu Zhangwei advises while squinting his eyes, as he notices my attempt to pry deeper. With the words on the tip of my tongue, I hold back knowingly, and come to realize the ultimate charm about art is that it can be read in infinite ways. However, one thing is for sure, that is, the power of a tiger is craved by any man.



     (left) Constrcting Landscapes -- Sky 9.  180x150cm.  Oil on Canvas (2016)

     (right) Constrcting Landscapes -- Sky 10.  180x150cm.  Oil on Canvas (2016)



    Q A

    that's: The 1970s artist generation you belong to is reaching their middle age. Do you see your past as a burden to shake off or a treasure from which you grow from?

    Xu Zhangwei: Yes, gone are the young days. Puberty has become history. The hormones in us are waning, which is detrimental when it comes to artistic creativity. You think and create differently at different ages. At this stage of my life, my strength falls short of my desire to polish the details. The length of time, however, has honed my ability to extract and summarise. I have become more self-confident than ever when it comes to simplifying and getting to the point at the same time. The past is the past. There is no turning back. You find yourself where destiny has brought you. That’s life.


    Taming of the Tiger No.26 . 180x150cm. Oil on Canvas (2016)



    that's: What's behind the evolution from 'big landscapes' to 'constructing landscapes'?

    Xu: I want to see on the canvas something concise, lucid, and lively. In the new theme, I try putting in some northern European-style minimalism elements by using brighter, more relaxed colours. When the energy is declining, the ‘landscapes’ become more peaceful accordingly. Painting is just like breathing. It is a non-stop thing. The longer the breath is, the more passion you can put into the creation. It takes quite a lot of physical strength to keep the passion going. Luckily, I feel my capability of painting minimalistically has become stronger with age. Now I have a better sense towards everything than when I was younger. I call this maturity.


    that's: Have you been trying to find an outlet in artistic confusion by going from oil painting to ink painting and back to oil painting?

    Xu: Ink painting feels like a tranquilizer, making me relaxed. I learned a lot from Feng Feng (a Guangzhou-based artist and art educator). The attitude, the worldview and the masterly generalization expressed in his artworks inspires me. Essentially speaking, oil and ink has something in common; and the ‘crossover’ between the two fascinates me.


    Taming of the Tiger No.9 . 60x80cm. Oil on Canvas (2016)


    that's: Compared with your much more relaxed Cutie series (kittens and puppies), what's the message in your ‘tiger’ theme?

    Xu: ’Tiger’ is power. It is masculinity. I just want to summon the ‘power’ into my current artistic state of mind. Putting a ‘tiger’ into the landscape reminds me of a famous quote by Wallace Stevens :"A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman." The ‘tiger’ symbolizes awakening or hunting. It can also be perceived as ridicule. It is just a new angle of view.


    that's: Tell us a bit about your installation art debut (Tooth Decay) in your most recent exhibition?

    Xu: The inspiration came from Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, famous for his statement “everyone is an artist”. The idea is to use the most commonplace materials to express my whimsical thoughts. When my first tooth decayed, it prompted me to think about the small and big things in life. Until the final analysis, whatever we do is a game before death. 

     



    Taming of the Tiger No.17 . 50x60cm. Oil on Canvas (2016)




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