Sunday, October 14, 2007

Long thread on Furries, Fursuiters, my paintings and fucking chewbaca

um... wow. I just discovered this today a post on UNFOGGED,with 108 comments five days after the fact, because i was wondering why so many hits came into my site from this URL. Thanks to BECKS for mentioning my project in the first place. I have to respond to some of these things... can't help myself: (comment numbers in parens)

I Love Pearson-Wright's painting as far as I can see from the photos, thanks for turning me onto him . Fischl has always really underwhelmed me in person- the way they're painted just doesn't do it for me(107). Clearly should be the name of a furry-speed-dating site(144), my paintings do not look like photos with photoshop filters applied in person(36), i promise, come see if you don't believe me, and taking the piss out of furries may be very 2003, but seeing what happens when you actually take them seriously as an expression of a universal human longing to be other than we are is TOOOtally 2007, man(74).


thanks to Cryptic Ned Frowner for 106- he hits on several things that I feel too- I admire my furry friends for the fact that they're doing something that they know people are going to think is dorky but they just love to do it so they do it anyway with no pretense to it being anything other than straight ahead-open-hearted-goofiness of a kind that is pretty rare in my world otherwise. As for the whole sex thing, as i've said any chance i've gotten- its really only a small part of the whole furry scene- and the thing you gotta realize is there are as many reasons for being into furry stuff as there are people who are into it-- I'm not a furry myself and there is and may always be something about it that i just don't get, which is part of why it is utterly fascinating to me.... Viva la Difference! I dont' expect everyone to understand why i love painting so much.

latest version of artist statement

I thought i'd put up this version of my artist statement from the KC show...

My paintings revolve around irrepressible enthusiasms. In all cases the first subject matter of the painting is the (admittedly irrational and irrepressible) love of painting itself that I've never been able to talk myself out of. The secondary subject matter, which serves mostly just as “as good an excuse as any to paint,” relates to the irrepressible enthusiasms of other people: the things that people love, even though other people think they are dorky, or weird, or hopelessly romantic and outdated.

The Fursuit Portrait Project is a series of life-sized paintings of people from the "Furry Fandom,” a rapidly growing, highly-creative, and world-wide subculture that celebrates anthropomorphism (the combining of human and animal characteristics so common in popular culture, e.g., Mickey Mouse, who, although a mouse, walks upright, talks, and wears gloves and shoes). The people/animals depicted are some of the most dedicated members of the Fandom, the "fursuiters,” people who have either made for themselves or have commissioned from professional suit-makers a full-body animal costume that they wear at Furry events and other special occasions, or just for fun at random on the street. I always paint from life, usually taking three two-to-three-hour sessions on different days to do one painting. This time spent together is filled with conversation and I’m proud to count each of the (11 so far) people that I’ve painted as my friends. I try in each painting to represent both the spirit of the human inside the suit and the personality ("Fursonna") of the suit itself.

The Stuffed Animal (Knuffel Besten) series are portrait/still-life paintings of animals of personal significance to me and other people that I’ve met.

Soul-mate Detectors 1.0 and 2.0 are groups of 16 small gestural abstract paintings that will be of interest to any fans of gestural abstraction but which also contain secret information that, while being recognizable to some extent to non-nerds, will be fully decoded only by the most geekalicious of observers.

Fursuit Portrait Paint-Off: This event is first and foremost meant to be fun. It's also a good excuse to do something that I've been wanting to do which is to bring the furry subculture together with the underground art subculture. Both are filled with dedicated, creative people doing something they love mostly for the appreciation of other people within the subculture, and without much notice from outsiders. I like the idea of collapsing these groups into one event where we can all get to know each other and have a good time. I had the idea for this because the first fursuiter I painted, Rapid T. Rabbit, of Queens, New York, video-taped me painting him. Having the camera trained on me, made me aware of the performative aspect of what I was doing. There is something of a time-traveling performance to putting on my painting apron, mixing my paint and engaging enthusiastically with this obsolete technology. The magic that still fascinates me utterly, in painting, is something that for most people is a hokey religion or an ancient weapon, just a lot of simple tricks and nonsense...

Jay Van Buren

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Come see me and Foxwell on Saturday

He'll be sitting for his portrait and I'll be painting it saturday afternoon at Jack the Pelican Presents. This is the last of three such FURformances? :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fursuit Portrait Project Article on TONY's website

Time Out New York just published this article about my Fursuit Portrait Project