January 15, 2013

"The pollen piece looks like a yellow painting... but it’s much, much more."

"It’s not a yellow pigment, which is very important for me. It’s the potential beginning of millions of plants. It’s the semen for the plants. And this I was interested in. It has an appearance, maybe, like a painting, but the sun is not a round ball. It’s much, much more. The sky is not a blue painting. For me, these things were somehow very important. I would have stayed as a doctor, if art was only about this color or that color."

42 comments:

chickelit said...

Get a load of that!

Inga said...

Anaphylaxis !

edutcher said...

If it's art, God painted it.

Bob_R said...

No one who read the first chapter of The Painted Word could say that with a straight face.

Petunia said...

Well, from the looks of his other "artwork", he's certainly got a good scam going.

ricpic said...

SOMA

In some spots the yellow was yellower
In others not so much
Depending on whether the artist nodded off
Before the final touch.

wildswan said...

One reason why so many have allergies these days is that most people only plant male plants because they don't want fruit dropping from trees and shrubs onto their lawns. As a result twice as much pollen blows everywhere. Hazel is a great offender in terms of allergies so maybe this guy (no, I refuse to think "artist") maybe this guy will make people realize that hazel pollen has a nice color. How much is that worth? Millions for art- not one cent for pollen.

There is a nice picture of hazel pollen at http://www.psmicrographs.co.uk/hazel-pollen--corylus-avellana-/science-image/80015210

YoungHegelian said...

I'd love to own the drugstore near this guy's place!

His antihistamine bills must be somethin' else!

Palladian said...

He should have stayed a doctor.

Palladian said...

The yellow of the pollen is a pigment. Some sort of flavonoid?

Rob said...

Achoo!

Chip Ahoy said...

"Headlinewriter, come'ere."

"Me?"

"Yeah, you."

))) BANG (((

That's for your little Wolfgang Puck misdirection mindfuck right off before even getting started, you dumbass.

sydney said...

Just six months after med school, he developed his first “milkstone” sculptures—white marble works with a recessed area that holds milk, changed daily so that it is indistinguishable from the stone—and he rushed to show his doctor friends this discovery.

“I think the milkstone is about having this concentration of life that only lasts for a few hours on this white marble,” Mr. Laib said. “It was a direct result of my studying medicine for six years and seeing what happens in hospitals, and possibly a reaction to the limits of medicine.”


More like a reaction to the difficulty of practicing medicine. What a nice life he has, spending his days collecting pollen and refreshing the milk puddle in his stone sculptures. No listening to people's complaints. No thinking, really. Good work if you can get it! (Wonder what the other doctors said to him when he showed them his milkstone sculptures?)

Palladian said...

Milkstones? Whatever.

I prefer Charles Ray's white marble box full of Pepto-Bismol.

betamax3000 said...

RE: "While not an adherent of any one Eastern philosophy, Mr. Laib has been greatly influenced by them all..."

His narcissism contains multitudes.

Replace pollen with sperm and my testicles are now preparing an art exhibit.

Phil 3:14 said...

I don't think this is what Maslow had in mind.

chickelit said...

betamax3000 shares: Replace pollen with sperm and my testicles are now preparing an art exhibit.

Jacks on Bollocks?

betamax3000 said...

Claude Mayonnaise.

chickelit said...

Otto Dicks

Basta! said...

"You get the sense that, like Hesse’s Siddhartha, his life is a constant negotiation between isolated, personal study and the need to engage society."

If the author is using "you" to actually mean "I", well then, fine. If he means ME, uh, no, I get no such "sense", I would never conceptualize someone's life as a "negotiation", no, so fuck you, and by that I mean singular YOU who could write, who could believe such crap.

Henry said...

I was taught that Indian Yellow, authentic Indian Yellow -- Winsor & Newton Indian Yellow, made by authentic British Imperialists -- was colored from the concentrated urine of Hindo cows, fed a diet of mango leaves.

Perhaps. It is a beautiful color.

Palladian said...

I was taught that Indian Yellow, authentic Indian Yellow -- Winsor & Newton Indian Yellow, made by authentic British Imperialists -- was colored from the concentrated urine of Hindo cows, fed a diet of mango leaves.

The myth that Indian yellow is/was made from mango-fed cattle seems to have come from a single 19th century source from Calcutta who seems to have made up the whole preposterous idea out of thin air. In reality, Indian yellow was, originally, probably made from some sort of plant resin. Later it was simply a mixture of synthetic pigments, including arylide and nickel-azo yellows and quinacridone red.

Alex said...

So does he get an NEA grant?

Henry said...

@Palladian -- I suppose it was too good to be true. The Winsor & Newton really is a unique color.

chickelit said...

@Palladian & Henry: I'm not familiar with Indian Yellow, but just looking at the chemical structure tells me it's of plant origin and not animal: It's got an intact pendant sugar -- untouched. Why would an animal pass through such valuable energy, especially when ruminants are experts at digesting carbohydrates?

Palladian said...

The Winsor & Newton really is a unique color

It is.

chickelit said...

That Wiki article and the associated reference in the footnotes does a good job taking the piss out of the cow story.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

@Palladian & Henry: I'm not familiar with Indian Yellow, but just looking at the chemical structure tells me it's of plant origin and not animal: It's got an intact pendant sugar -- untouched. Why would an animal pass through such valuable energy, especially when ruminants are experts at digesting carbohydrates?

Interesting observation. I've never read anyone who has discounted an animal origin for the pigment based on that sugar.

Another chemical point against the cattle metabolite theory is that the raw product was tested by a chemist in the 19th century and was found not to contain any trace of ammonia, which I believe would be present in all mammalian urine products.

Palladian said...

Biological-origin Indian yellow is the sole pre-20th century pigment material that I do not have in my collection.

chickelit said...

Another chemical point against the cattle metabolite theory is that the raw product was tested by a chemist in the 19th century and was found not to contain any trace of ammonia, which I believe would be present in all mammalian urine products.

Plants are very efficient with nitrogen because it often is the limiting nutrient for their growth. The bulk of the world's nitrogen floats overhead but in the absence of fertilizers, plants evolved a symbiotic relationship with bacteria to fix it. Ammonia and nitrates are used by plants as nutrients and are not wasted and wouldn't be found in the leaves anyway.

Animals by and large eat what plants made or animals who ate what plants made. We are the ones who squander it back to ammonia which is why urine and feces make such good plant food.

chickelit said...

Palladian said...
Biological-origin Indian yellow is the sole pre-20th century pigment material that I do not have in my collection.

That's pretty impressive! Do you have samples of lead tetroxide and lead carbonate?

chickelit said...

Things of animal origin can be washed free of ammonia (ammonium in water), but it's harder in the case of Indian Yellow which is apparently water soluble--a consequence of the pendant sugar.

Palladian said...

That's pretty impressive! Do you have samples of lead tetroxide and lead carbonate?

Both, yes. I use lead carbonate in oil painting regularly.

I also have other leads, such as lead monoxide, and lead compounds like lead stannate and lead antimonate.

Palladian said...

I have more than a minium of lead pigments.

Palladian said...

I even have a 19th century glass vial of "mummy" brown. There's another pigment with an origin mystery!

chickelit said...

From the Wiki: Mummy brown was originally made in the 16th and 17th centuries from white pitch, myrrh, and the ground-up remains of Egyptian mummies, both human and feline,[2] one London colourman claiming that he could satisfy the demands of his customers for twenty years from one Egyptian mummy.

WTH was in mummies besides corpse, myrrh, and resin? Egyptian cotton? Myrrh is probably the color source, if I had to guess. Or frankincense. There has been lots of recent analysis of mummies and mummification. Amber? Wish I'd paid more attention.

Palladian said...

chickelit, I have myrrh resin, and have dissolved it and it's a very different tone than the "mummy" pigment, much lighter and more red. The "mummy" material looks more like a color called "van Dyck brown", which itself is a warm, bituminous-looking pigment mixture. The color of the "mummy" material is also, I hate to say, similar to the color of the skin of unwrapped Egyptian mummies.

Palladian said...

WTH was in mummies besides corpse, myrrh, and resin? Egyptian cotton? Myrrh is probably the color source, if I had to guess. Or frankincense. There has been lots of recent analysis of mummies and mummification. Amber? Wish I'd paid more attention

Aha! More than you may ever want to know about the chemistry of mummies!

Conifer resins! Myrrh! Beeswax! Lichens! Henna! Juniper! Cassia! Onions!

chickelit said...

It is shown that natron salt was the most important material to desiccate a corpse, ..

Ah, good ol' natrium carbonate. Sodium chloride is a decent preservative of salt pork too but it must be the Na and not the Cl that is important.

The Egyptians were the original al-chemists -- from the land called Khemia.

颜炎 said...

I got you back!
More paintings to admire in Artisoo.
That is Artisoo

Aridog said...

chickelit said...

That's pretty impressive! Do you have samples of lead tetroxide ...

Although long long ago I thought I might be a budding artist (promptly discovered not to be the case)... Red Lead aka Lead Tetroxide and Zinc Chromate (yellow) are the only pigments I had extensive atmospheric exposure to in my early skilled trade days. I had and have no idea what creates their pigmentation.

They were the preferred rust inhibiting primer coats for large steel bridgeworks. Application was by conventional "airless" (high pressure)paint spray gun, usually hand weilded. They both were also considered toxic in the extreme by OSHA et al and we had to switch to Red Oxide primers ... over coated with a gray epoxy paint (Fluoron ... IIRC-sic?) that is no longer made today.

Toxic apparently, but I inhaled plenty of it. Same thing, inadvertently, for cyanide fumes when cyanide was used in case hardening tool steels. Amazing how casual we were with chemicals long ago.