Thursday, February 08, 2007

Art: Jasper Johns

Slate has a great series of slide show art reviews. I like being able to see the art along with the words about it. Great use of technology to illuminate art.

This one on Jasper Johns is excellent: Targeting Jasper Johns: Is the artist overrated?

"The small drawings he did of targets are a revelation; no larger than 6 inches square, they are lively, intense, and full of mystery. Unlike the primary colors of the painted targets, the drawings are monochrome: gray, green, white. They look like mandalas, or rubbings of Cambodian temple fragments. The target is almost invisible, pulsing in and out of focus as one looks at, or into, the image. There's a Zen feel to it, as though you yourself are dissolving into the target. "The hits on the target are only the outward proof and confirmation of your purposelessness at its highest, of your egolessness, your self-abandonment," the master tells his pupil in Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery. Close your eyes. See the target. The target is within you."