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{PHOTOBLAST} Styled To Rock ! [Vintage Style Inspiration]

Styled to Rock-Best Damn Sweater Ever - Vintage Menswear Inspiration- The Eye of Faith

Whether today, sixty years ago, or seventy-five from now, we will always have the need to look good, and put ourselves together in a way that says ‘this is me’. It’s our suit; our armor that lets the world know we mean business.

No matter the day for us, we always like to set the mood for the day with a healthy dose of style, and with the release of Rihanna‘s “Styled to Rock” (finally; the UK version was the SHIT) in the US, we couldn’t help but feel the need to do what we do best: look back to the {past} for clues to the {present} to help us foresee and shape the {future}.

Rihanna always gets it done, and with the epitome of laid-back rock n’ roll sophisticated bad ass cool, Erin Wasson, hosting the gig, it’s a wicked hour of fashion meets music, and the basis for this wicked {Photoblast} of vintage style inspiration that explores some of our predecessors who knew how good life can be when you are Styled to Rock!

Dress to Impress, or Undress…

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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Fragments of Donald Rizzo ! ! !

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Donald Rizzo is an artist who sees the world through fragments; fragments of color, fragments of memory, fragments of space, and fragments of who people really are. His works are kaleidoscopic visions of vibrant color which stem from his dark personal experience dealing with depression with psychotic symptoms. Born under a full moon on a lunar eclipse, Donald is nothing short of being his truest self and showcasing his unique eye that allows his viewers to create their own reality of what they see in his images.

We were delighted to receive an interview with the artist by our correspondent John Wisniewski who took the time to delve deeper into the fragments of Donald Rizzo!

JOHN: When were your first art exhibitions? When did you begin drawing and painting?

DONALD: My first exhibit was “Fragments of Color” August 2010 at Magnet in San Francisco.  I began painting in 2006, my current process (color juxtaposition) started to develop in 2008.  I created Raster (pixellated) paintings, the first painting was 48 x 48 with1/2 inch square pixels and a palette of 20 colors.  I thought what would one look like with 1/4 inch squares and then 1/8 inch square.  I discovered that 1/8 inch squares were a little to small so landed on 1/6 inch for this style.  I also noticed that the palette was increasing one painting had  150 unique colors.   I continued with this style through the end of 2009.  It allowed me to develop mixing the paints to get the color and value I wanted.  I never blended colors on the canvas but applied the paint as thick dabs of paint resulting with a textured surface, I noticed that the textured surface aided the viewers eye in blending the colors.

I had always wanted to break out of the grid and discovered Chuck Closes work, in particular his paper pulp projects.  In January 2010 I completed my first painting of my current style. Refereed to as Abstract Realism or color juxtaposition.   I still create a textured surface but limit the palette to 60 to 80 colors.  Unlike Close who created his colors from a CMYK palette,  I use color temperature  to aid in creating depth.  I noticed that not only was I creating juxtaposition of color, but also of ideas, concepts and images.  Which can be seen in my “Shades of Purple” series.

JOHN: Whom are some artists who have influenced your work?

DONALD: There are two; Leroy Neiman; Neiman had created a set of prints for the 1976 summer olympics, and Burger King would issue a new print (poster) every week.  I made sure I was there on the day they released the new poster.  The impressionistic bright, vibrate colors amazed me.  the second Chuck Close: unaware of this connection until 2009.  In grade school 6th or 7th grade, the art teacher was discussing an exhibit he had just seen of this artist who did these dot paintings, he then showed us a print of billboard sign, which I know now is color halftone CMYK print.  I was amazed at the size of the circles and how from a distance, driving down the highway we never see the dots, we see an image that is blended.  Someone asked me when they saw my first paintings if I was influenced by Chuck Close; at the time I said who?  As I discovered Closes work, I also discovered that he had exhibits in both Akron and Youngstown while I was in grade school.  And the artist my teachers was discussing was Chuck Close.
Artist Leroy Neiman.
Artist Leroy Neiman.
Chuck Close in his studio.
Chuck Close in his studio.
Madam Secretary by Donald Rizzo
Madam Secretary by Donald Rizzo
JOHN: What are you doing when not painting or drawing?
DONALD: Sleeping. From the moment I get up in the morning until an hour before I go to bed, I’m working on my art.  Weekends, holidays, 7 days a week, I’m creating.  A major reason is my health.   I have HIV and I developed mitochondrial toxicity (MT) from the medication.  The mitochondrial in my leg muscles and upper back were most effected.  I wasn’t producing adequate  ATP and this greatly effected my mobility.  Their was a period of time when I couldn’t raise my hands above my ears and feared I wouldn’t be able to paint much longer.   I also found painting to be a healing experience both mentality and emotionally.

JOHN: Are you inspired by cinematic art?

DONALD: I had to think about this question.  On the surface I’d say no, but then I think sub-consciously I would be influenced.

JOHN: Could you tell us how you developed your technique of color juxtaposition?

DONALD:

I was diagnosed with severe depression with psychotic symptoms.  Let me start by saying when one experience delusions; thats their reality.  This psychosis was adaptive for instance when I told the voices that were repeating everything I said out loud that they couldn’t know what I really thought because they can’t read my mind.  Within two weeks the voices were repeating my private thoughts.  When a thought entered my mind that I didn’t want them to know, I had to immediately change my thought.  This was pure madness.  I realized that my conscience mind was battling my sub-conscience mind.  If this battle continued both minds would lose as I had numerous close calls with death during this time.    With this psychosis I found myself staring at reflections, the more uneven the surface the better.  Reflections in three or more surface where bits of information was used from the multiple planes the more intriguing I found them.  Then I discovered that pix elated images had hidden messages, some that could be seen zoomed in and some seen zoomed out.  Again my conscience and sub-conscience mind attempting communication.
With this technique Color Juxtaposition the mind must construct the shapes in the viewers mind were their sub-science mind  plays a significant role.  With my painting “If I Only had a Brain” there are two faces one in portrait  and one in profile.  The portrait is more apparent from affair and the profile is revealed up-close.  There is a distance where both faces oscillate and the mind can’t stop it from oscillating.  Here the viewer can experience a small fragment of my psychosis.     Also because of the physics of reflected light the painting changes as light dims in the room, or one looks at the painting from a 45 degree angle as opposed to a 90 degree angle.  Just like those hidden messages in my psychosis.
Looking4CockNow by Donald Rizzo
Looking4CockNow by Donald Rizzo
JOHN: How do you choose the subjects for your artwork?
DONALD: They choose me.  I start with a photo and I begin to work and massage it.  My sub-science plays a role and at some point during the process, I discover the message it wants me to project.   Every painting I’ve done in some way I make it about me.  Each painting becomes a fragment of my self portrait.  My early paintings “The Lonely, The Forgotten and The Outcast” are paintings of healing.  Healing from the immense pain of depression.  I mentioned above about delusions being real, these paintings became the start of my healing from my reaction to this reality.  As I write this I still can’t call them delusions.
And now with “Shades of Purple” as I state in the artist statement: “The time for sound bites is over. We need to move our conversations to a more productive and less condemning place. With a little bit of humility and the willingness to listen to another’s perspective, we might just have a chance to talk about solutions instead of blame.”
JOHN: Some of your portraits feature famous faces-do you ever get any feedback from the subjects of the paintings?
DONALD: As of yet, no, but would love to have a conversation with Chuck Close about “Chasing that Experience”.  I have found images of semi-famous people on Facebook and unbeknownst to them I’ll complete the painting and when posting it to Facebook, I’ll tag that individual in painting.  I’ve had some remarkable comments, I do enjoy that.

Be sure to check out Donald Rizzo’s site!

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 Until next time,

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{theEye}
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Mr. Sandman Bring Me a Dream … {On the Shore, Summertime Sadness, Vintage Photographs from Yale University}

{Salt Air Pavilion, Salt Lake City, Utah – 1901}

These fantastic Photochromes from the Detroit Photographic Co. were taken from Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and feature some impressive technique in the art of color.

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{The Sand Man, Atlantic City circa. 1900}

{Fun on the Beach in Atlantic City circa. 1902}

Far before colored film was available, photographers were able to tint their black & white using a complicated process known as the Photochrome process:

A litho stone was coated with a thin layer of purified bitumen dissolved in benzene. A reversed half-tone negative was then pressed against this light-sensitive coating and an exposure in daylight made (taking from 10-30 minutes in summer, to several hours in winter). The bitumen hardened and became resistant to normal solvents in proportion to the light. The coating was then washed in turpentine solutions, removing the unhardened bitumen. It was then retouched in the tonal scale of the chosen color to strengthen or soften the tones as required. Each tint needed a separate stone bearing the appropriate retouched image, and prints were usually produced by at least six, and more commonly from 10 to 15 tint stones.

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The House of Mystery…

{The Cliff House, San Francisco circa. 1899}

So just think how lucky we are today not to have to go through these complicated and painstaking processes. Or maybe, too bad we don’t go through them all today.

The process was immensely popular from the 1890s through to around 1910. It’s undeniable, the images created using the Photochrome process possess a mysteriously affecting and beautiful effect that almost bring these moments right back to life.

The water is just seconds away from rippling to shore…Did you just hear the splash of water? Must be my imagination…

Enjoy the rest of these incredible Photochrome images of summer days now gone.

We found these over at 50Watts who have even more fantastic photographic fantasies from the Detroit Photographic Co. {click here}

Do you have any vintage summer memories to share? Email us at: the.eye.of.faith@gmail.com

We’d love to hear from you!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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