For an example, we talked briefly about Peter Doig. His paintings are imaginary environments but a figure tends to anchor the landscape, making it a breathable space.
Marcel Dzama as a counterpoint to Doig.
We discussed how the photographic reference should be the starting point of the image. Marlene Dumas uses images that are unflattering or voyeuristic. Because they form a fragmented narrative, the meaning of the image is left up to the viewer.
We then talked about Lucien Freud and how his sculpted marks begin to create a "fleshiness" of paint. The constant laying down marks, scraping them off, and then placing them back on, lend the painting a certitude: this is wear the marks should go . . . here's the evidence.
Jenny Saville's work is similar in that the paint is used richly and "fleshily" except that the fragmented narrative of the image is heightened.
Luc Tuymans work is interesting in that its a series of negations . . . like there was an elaborate scene painted, and then pared back. This gives his work an emptiness that is rather unsettling.
I want to approach this assignment building on the idea of making a painting with the figure as an excuse for the painting to happen. This one might be hard for me just because I have my own hang-ups about the figure. Hopefully, I can leave them at the door and make an interesting painting.