"The only reserves that last are those we renew. This applies to us personally and ecologically.
Time is finite, but we act as if it were otherwise, assuming that longer hours always lead to increased productivity. But in reality our bodies are designed to pulse and pause - to expend energy and then renew it.
This is a long presentation, but it has many great insights - including the reminder that we are most effective, efficient and creative when we give absorbed attention to one thing at a time. Renewing and cultivating our personal energy is a key criteria for working at our full potential in the 21st century..."
(Nick Potter on 22 January 2012, Intersect)
"Chuck Close is associated with the style of painting called Photorealism or Superrealism. In this style, artists in the early 1970s created a link between representational systems of painting and photography. Photorealism developed as a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art, which did not depict representational images. Photorealists frequently used a grid technique to enlarge a photograph and reduce each square to formal elements of design. Each grid was its own little work of art. Many of the Photorealists used the airbrush technique.
Big Self-Portrait, in black and white, was the first of Close's mural-sized works painted from photographs. This painting took four months to complete. To make this work, Close took several photographs of himself in which his head and neck filled the frame. From these he selected one of the images and made two 11 x 14-inch enlargements. On one of the photographs he drew a grid, then lettered and numbered each square. Using both the gridded and ungridded photographs, he carefully transferred the photographic image square by square onto a large canvas measuring 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 inches. He used acrylic paint and an airbrush to include every detail.
When Close was making his painting he was concerned with the visual elements--shapes, textures, volume, shadows, and highlights--of the photograph itself. He also was interested in how a photograph shows some parts of the image in focus, or sharp, and some out-of-focus, or blurry. In this portrait the tip of the cigarette and the hair on the back of his head were both out-of-focus in the photograph so he painted them that way in Big Self-Portrait."
Fig.1 Chuck Close 'Big Self-Portrait', 1968 acrylic on canvas 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 in. Walker Art Center
"Before the Internet, most professional occupations required a large body of knowledge, accumulated over years or even decades of experience. But now, anyone with good critical thinking skills and the ability to focus on the important information can retrieve it on demand from the Internet, rather than her own memory. On the other hand, those with wandering minds, who might once have been able to focus by isolating themselves with their work, now often cannot work without the Internet, which simultaneously furnishes a panoply of unrelated information - whether about their friends' doings, celebrity news, limericks, or millions of other sources of distraction. The bottom line is that how well an employee can focus might now be more important than how knowledgeable he is. Knowledge was once an internal property of a person, and focus on the task at hand could be imposed externally, but with the Internet, knowledge can be supplied externally, but focus must be forced internally."
David Dalrymple, 'Knowledge Is Out, Focus Is In, and People Are Everywhere,' Edge, http://www.edge.org/q2010/q10_16.html#dalrymple
James Cameron: "I think it's a myth that you want deep focus in 3-D shots. I find the opposite is true. Selective focus, created by working at low f-stops with longer lenses, evolved as a cinematic technique to direct the audience's attention to the character of greatest narrative importance at a given moment. With 3-D, the director needs to lead the audience's eye, not let it roam around the screen to areas which are not converged. So all the usual cinematic techniques of selective focus, separation lighting, composition, etc., that one would use in a 2-D film to direct the eye to the subject of interest, still apply, and are perhaps even more important. We all see the world in 3-D. The difference between really being witness to an event vs. seeing it as a stereo image is that when you're really there, your eye can adjust its convergence as it roves over subjects at different distances. Convergence is the natural toe-in that the eye does to align the left and right eye images of objects at specific planes of depth. In a filmed image, the convergence was baked in at the moment of photography, so you can't adjust it. In order to cut naturally and rapidly from one subject to another, it's necessary for the filmmaker (actually his/her camera team) to put the convergence at the place in the shot where the audience is most likely to look. This sounds complicated but in fact we do it all the time, in every shot, and have since the beginning of cinema. It's called focus. We focus where we think people are most likely to look. So I've found that just slaving the convergence function to the focus works exceedingly well, and makes good stereo a no-brainer on the set."
(David S. Cohen, 10 April 2008, Variety Magazine)
"If we approach the painting of Felice Varini with the aim of describing it, in its fundamental components, the most productive concepts - in particular those of 'vantage point', 'focus' and 'framing' - all closely related to the vocabulary of photography. If we begin with the device Varini employs in each of his artworks, the differences between painting and photography are, effectively, reduced to a minimum. The artist's work, concentrating on the problem of falsehood of images in relation to the truth of perception, makes use of photography, going so far as to equate it with painting in the strategies of constitution and unmasking of iconic status. The roots of photography - the 'machine Ó dessiner' and the camera obscura - closely connect it to the tools of the painter. Photography demonstrates the functioning of perspective as a construct based on the fixed gaze and monocular vision, thus radicalizing the theme of painting as illusion: 'in the window and in the photograph the framed world seems to inscribe and represent itself in an immediate manner' (1)."
1). Johannes Meinhardt, La realtÓ dell'illusione estetica. Le 'trappole visive' di Felice Varini, Lugano, Edizioni Studio Dabbeni, 1999, p. 29. The definition machine Ó dessiner dates back to France in the 17th century. On the forerunners of the camera, see: Heinrich Schwarz, Arte e fotografia, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1991.