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Visual Jazz

DE GENTE NORMAL Y BICHOS RAROS

joacmacro3Hasta hace relativamente poco tiempo, la visión aceptada, basada en desarrollos psicoanalíticos y psicológicos de las diferentes personalidades, partía de una línea divisoria entre “creativos” y “no creativos”.

Los creativos serían personas naturalmente dotadas y por ende, capaces de desarrollar procesos innovadores y quiebres estructurales, mientras que el resto de los humanos serían, básicamente, los no creativos. Estos no solo correrían con desventajas a la hora de desarrollar estas cualidades, sino que su rol en la vida sería más bien el de apoyar con una visión más lógica la tarea del creativo.

Toda esta dicotomía estaba basada en la observación, un método clásico de desarrollo de teorías. El problema consistía en que la visión era muy subjetiva. De hecho, y hasta recientemente, el único órgano del cuerpo humano que no se podía someter a un profundo análisis objetivo sobre su funcionamiento era, justamente, el cerebro.

Una persona se fractura un hueso y se realiza una radiografía, una ecografía o una tomografía. Es posible “ver” lo que ocurre, diagnosticar y medicar de acuerdo a esa observación, y esperar un resultado que se puede monitorear de la misma manera.

En cambio, y hasta hace relativamente muy poco tiempo, la manera más utilizada para enterarnos qué era lo que estaba ocurriendo con el funcionamiento de un cerebro –de no existir una “falla” perceptible – era someter al sujeto a un análisis psicológico o psiquiátrico. El conocido “Por favor, recuéstese aquí y cuénteme lo que le anda pasando” tiene una limitante clara. Su resultado se basa en inferencias que realiza el profesional y no incluye una observación funcional estricta del cerebro y de la actividad neuronal.

En los últimos tiempos los avances, mayormente apoyados sobre grandes novedades tecnológicas, han permitido realizar progresos profundos sobre las características funcionales de nuestro cerebro. Y los resultados han sido, en muchos casos, sorprendentes.

velas3Por ejemplo, por mucho tiempo se había generado una teoría que establecía que utilizábamos solo el 10% de nuestra capacidad cerebral. Los estudios objetivos encontraron que utilizamos, de hecho, la totalidad de nuestro cerebro pero con una enorme economía energética. Para ejemplificarlo podríamos decir que, de la misma manera que hoy tenemos procesadores de 8, 16 o más núcleos, y cada núcleo se especializa en una tarea, prendiéndose y apagándose a medida que delegan tareas para optimizar la velocidad de resolución y la energía utilizada, nuestro cerebro hace más o menos lo mismo. Con una utilización energética envidiable, realiza las más complejas tareas delegando en diferentes áreas labores específicas.

De la misma manera, se han encontrado algunas diferencias estructurales en los cerebros correspondientes a personas muy creativas, comparado a personas que naturalmente son menos creativas. Pero también se ha llegado a la conclusión que las diferencias no se encuentran tanto en el entramado íntimo de la estructura cerebral, que igualmente puede existir, sino más bien en la manera en el que la persona creativa utiliza su cerebro. Y se ha comprobado que la mayoría de ellas, son características que pueden adquirirse, y que por lo tanto, todos podemos ser más creativos sin importar si nacimos con esa facilidad o si debimos aprenderla.

Messi dribble Plzen

Messi nació con ciertas ventajas sobre otros en términos de la sorprendente velocidad con la que su cerebro resuelve el laberinto de piernas en movimiento que se le presenta en un partido. Otros jugadores no poseen esa capacidad innata y por lo tanto debieron entrenarla, practicarla, y trabajar constantemente en la prueba y el error (cosa que alguien como Messi seguramente hizo también). Sin embargo logran ser profesionales del futbol, jugadores destacados y con nivel de selección.

Las destrezas se aprenden. Y la creatividad es, en cierto modo, una destreza más.

Practicar, probar, jugar, desestructurar, explorar y experimentar. Son todos conceptos que colaboran para que cada día podamos ser más creativos y son todas acciones que podemos emprender en nuestro camino de descubrimiento.

 

Hasta la próxima!
Ignacio

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© Copyright 2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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NO SOUP (OR ART) FOR YOU! From the soup Nazi to the art Nazi

You know that there are things you love. You see them, touch them, they may make you feel happy, or uncomfortable, or childlike, or even sad. Yet, you still love them.

That happens to me with many gallery experiences. I go in and see stuff that I simply enjoy. As most of you may know, I am an artist myself. So I love seeing what others do, how others express themselves, their techniques, their sublime expressiveness and their massive flops. It is all part of the planetary network of neurons that we all share as artists. If you want, it is something like letting the left side of your brain getting a glimpse of what the right side is doing. Sometime you may approve and sometimes you may not, but most of the times, you will probably think “that´s different, why didn´t I think of that” (while in others it will be more like “I´m glad I didn´t go there…).

There are as many visual paradigms as inhabitants on this planet we call Earth. Yet the freedom to express those different views of the world are not that simply available. We artists are, in general, highly sensitive individuals. And we are courageous too. The truth is that not everyone is prepared to pour his or her heart out so that someone can trample on it. We artists do that time and time again, and I can assure you there is always someone ready to trample, jump, back-up over the victim, and even do a few wheelies over the dead body.

But we learn to survive with certain stoicism. Sometimes it hurts, but we have also learned that survival is paramount to our success. Most of us will use basic methods of defense like intellectually separating the views on our art from personal references (which are different things in fact, but not always easily disconnected at the receiving end).

The truth is that our art is usually something very personal. Our artistic expression is a part of our inner being just hanging somewhere for people to see and criticize. And so, in self defense, some of us may resort to more unusual methods of resistance. They may vary from practicing Voodoo, to even make the “tramplers” (I think I just made up a new word) part of a very profound exhibition on the subject of feces – or something of the sort -.

Jokes aside, it is quite clear that criticism, and therefore critics, are part of the business. There are good critics. Some kind, some harsh, some provocative, but in general terms, they are looking to guide, to get the kinks out of our work by forcing us to move when we have become staid, or to help us stop when we are moving too far away from our essence. The truth is that there are as many critics as people who see our work (“Everyone´s a critic” as the old showbiz saying goes).

But then there is another special race. These are darker figures lurching in the shadows. Critics like, let me see… like you are a werewolf and they are vampires and we are in the middle of a battle from the “Underworld” movies.

These people gladly – and without afterthought – destroy without pity, they convey lessons that they themselves made up about the “right” way to do things and the “wrong” way to do them, or are even stuck in some rigid and parsimonious “standard of practices manual” – which they themselves have written or presumed-.

And it is not that I do not agree with the fact that certain things should not be done in the name of art. People hurting animals, or other people for that fact, or making fun of the old or the frail in the name of art sickens me. Can someone call that art? Sure, you can call art anything  you want. Now, is it art? And most importantly, should that be done? In my book these things would rank as a definite “No” (Paraphrasing Chris Rock: “You can drive a car with your feet, but that doesn’t mean it is something to be done”).

But these people are not about criticizing these things. They place themselves in the role of judges of the correct ethical and artistic paradigm, and then proceed to destroy the poor artist who dares cross over or yet remain in visual or aesthetic areas with which they do not agree.

Some of these so called critics, albeit not all of course, even agree with the crazy stunts I mentioned before for the sake of being on the “edge”, or for the sake of generating a new market, or a new “visual experience”. And if they change their own sustaining paradigms in the middle of the stream, they will usually explain this move as just their way of evolving. Never as the result of the work of the artists which they had summarily and harshly dismiss not long ago.

These people I have happily renamed “The Art Nazis”. Just like the beloved “Soup Nazi” of Seinfeld fame, the Art Nazi is that person who has such a strict view of what art is or should be, that shoots to kill anything that does not fit within his or her views.

The truth is that we may find them anywhere. There are even dealers and gallery owners who also belong to the Art Nazi breed. And I can tell you, they are not only difficult for the emerging artists who come to them for advise, and who get shot down and sent to the back of the imaginary line. They are also the young artist´s worst enemy, and the established artist most difficult nightmare.

“What rubbish”, or the look of disdain and the typical “this is not good enough”,   to the pretty extremist  “get THIS out of my gallery” (all true cases) are not uncommon. These rebukes, and right to the jugular type of criticism, resonates in the poor heads of artists, some of whom have even crumbled under the weight of the Art Nazi´s critical hammer.

People have the right to “like or not like”, criticize, ignore or applaud – I am not disputing any that -, but visual coerciveness to force a resolution acceptable to some rule is conceptually the opposite of art. Yet, it is apparent that some egos must be fed, some closed markets maintained and some careers pushed along.So the Art Nazis survive by keeping a tight reign over their whole area of influence.

The lesson is always one. Always take the time to listen, even if it is harsh criticism. But learn to distinguish between a tough critic and your run of the mill “art nazi”. In their case, the way to proceed is to just ignore their painful remarks and keep looking for other avenues of exchange.

The main thing is not to lose your faith and keep searching for those who will finally understand what you are trying to say. Look for the ones who may even “get” your point, or those who will be critical – even relentlessly –  but always in good faith. Search for those who will be amazed at your freedom of expression and at the fact that, your constant disregard of some accepted paradigm, has allowed you to cross over into another artistic dimension. In short, search for the ones that, with their comments,  will nurture you somehow instead of just feed their own egos.

There are a lot of good people out there. From individual art lovers, to experts, critics, journalists, curators, art dealers, “connoisseurs”, and gallery owners who love art a little bit more that the “Art industry”. And do not misunderstand me. I am all for the Art Industry. But if we kill the artist, we will kill the industry as well.

So, find the good honest thinkers, the ones that believe in, and protect, freedom of expression. Maybe, unlike the Soup Nazi, they may not always necessarily have long queues of people at the door who are ready to be fed their concoctions. But these are the people who know what true Art is all about. They are the ones who will guide you and help you to go as far as you possibly can with your career.

I urge you to look for them. I am sure they are out there waiting for you and your art.

Until next time!

Ignacio

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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IN ENGLISH previous works by the same artist Promoting your Art The Sunday Concert (Jazz) Videos Visual Jazz

THE SUNDAY CONCERT: Clifford Brown & Max Roach

This is not the first time this album is mentioned in this blog. Furthermore, Joy Spring is my dedication to this album (Joy Spring being the fourth track on the original recording).

This influential album was recorded in 1954 and remains as the best known, and to many the very best, in the short life (two and a half years) of the Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet. Describedjoyspring 2014 80x90 by The New York Times as “perhaps the definitive bop group until Mr. Brown’s fatal automobile accident in 1956”, the band managed in its short life span to leave a mark in modern jazz.

The album (first released on vinyl in December 1954) was very well received by critics and the listening public. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and it is also included in “Jazz: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings” at #34.

Why I love it so much? It is just so good. But also it is warm, sincere, very advanced for its time, and it is also a gorgeous example of exquisitely rhythmic hard bop.

Whether you are a jazz fan, you are beginning to get the taste for it, or you are simply curious, I am sure you will love this album.

So, there is really nothing further to say other than, just enjoy. And have a great Sunday!

Until next time.

Ignacio

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

 

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2015 art works 2015 Exhibitions 2016 art works 2016 exhibtions Creativity / Creatividad IN ENGLISH Promoting your Art Visual Jazz What is Art

SHORT LECTURES: When information is shared, knowledge is multiplied

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The whole concept behind every one of my short lectures, seminars and curses on creative and innovative thinking, working productively in groups, art and other connected subjects, is to engage the imagination and the interest of newcomers to the subject and knowledgeable individuals alike.

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THE HEART OF THE MATTER (2016) by Ignacio Alperin

It is very common to hear these days about people feeling unhappy with work, and very often with their life choices as well. The end result is an evident tension at home and at the work place, few new ideas, lack of energy to pursue other options, and a general feeling that things are not flowing for them.

Sometimes this has to do with family pressures, sometimes with limitations we set ourselves. Most of the time there is a feeling that we have been given a series of talents and “gifts”, as I call them, and we are not taking advantage of them. There is this numb sensation that life goes on without us doing anything to change our reality and that one day we may realize, maybe even too late, that we did not follow our dreams and that opportunity has knocked on our door, and left forever.

The idea is to deconstruct many of these preconceptions about being creative members of society, resolve common perceptions based on fears, disinformation or social pressures, and open hearts and minds to the immense possibilities of freeing our creative juices, be it for our own benefit, the people we work with, and our community in general.

Attendees should leave these lectures armed with “tools”, concepts (and concrete ways to put them into use) that will help them to be more effective, work better with others, and donthangaroundbe more productive in general.

Finally, these lectures and seminars are not about “self-help”. Quite the contrary, they are about recognizing that to be happy and active members of society, things must be less about “me” and a lot more about “us”.

Depending on what is required, and the level of detail, they all can range from 30 minutes + Q&A to 2 hours + Q&A each.

Aimed specially (but not exclusively) at: Students, creative professionals, artists, CEOs/Managers of creative enterprises or corporate areas, and anyone interested in creative activities.

These are single lectures, but they can also be mixed and matched in terms of contents, or converted into full seminars. Any company, group, NGO, or government office interested in any one of these lectures can contact Luz at luzpages@ignacioalperin.com for more information.

Until next time!

Ignacio

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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2014 Art works 2015 Exhibitions 2016 exhibtions IN ENGLISH Promoting your Art Visual Jazz

OF HALF WAY HOUSES AND LABERYNTHS

borgesBorges is one of Argentina´s great prides. The kind of author that forces everyone to say “Of course I´ve read Borges!” (be it true or not).

His friend and sometime collaborator, the also brilliant writer Adolfo Bioy Casares, called his texts “halfway houses between an essay and a story”.

Borges was not known as a great lover of music. He enjoyed classical music, and even tango as long as the “bandoneon” was not too prominent.

There is a lovely story about him going, invited by a friend, to watch a tango musician and composer whom everyone said was some kind of “boy wonder” of the new tango wave. One that borrowed a great deal from his New York upbringing and carried a very jazzy influence. His name was Astor Piazzola.

Borges apparently stayed for about six songs, and suddenly turned around, looked at his friend, and said: “Let´s go. Apparently they decided they were not going to play tango tonight”. Or so the story goes.

If you have never read him, recommended works by this very influential author (some have gone as far as to say that he may have been the XXth Century´s best writer: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140902-the-20th-centurys-best-writer ) could be Ficciones (The Garden of Forking Paths, The Circular Ruins for example), Laberynth, The Aleph, and the earlier The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim (1938).

Borges is a bridge. A bridge between old and new, North and South, Classical and modern trends. In  way he is also a bridge between Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. He is all about being new while rehashing what has already been done. Showing that what we create is more like what we “recreate”. His stories are wonderful to read, despite their inherent complexity, and they always feel new.

Clearly, he was also more open minded than many gave him credit for, since even after allegedly leaving Piazzola´s concert and despite his known dislike for the bandoneon, shortly after he went on to join forces with him in a project in 1965. From that wonderful coupling we have this beautiful song simply called: “El Tango”.



 

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BORGIANIUS KAFKARIS (2016) by Ignacio Alperin – 150cm x 150cm –

Until next time!

Ignacio

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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IN ENGLISH previous works by the same artist Promoting your Art The Sunday Concert (Jazz) Videos Visual Jazz

THE SUNDAY CONCERT: Frank Sinatra

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THINKING OF YOU (2013) by Ignacio Alperin

Ready for a treat this Sunday?

This Sunday Concert is dedicated to a little gem I found on YouTube not long ago.

From 1957, here is the first modern pop star, the King of the cool, the jazz voice made from honey and wine. This is Frank Sinatra in concert live in Seattle.

There is nothing new I can say about Ol´Blue Eyes, so I will just invite you to get comfortable, close your eyes, imagine you are sitting there waiting for the introduction and simply enjoy one of the best at work, live!



 

See you next time!

Ignacio

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©2016 por Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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Cooking with Art´s Chili Pepper

Everyone who has explored his or her creative gifts has found that inspiration cannot be kept tied to one single form of expression. The fact is that many painters sing or act, some actors cook or paint, even some dancers are singers or sculptors. The choices and variations are almost limitless.

As you all know, I paint. It is my preferred expressive outlet. I love what I do, I feel I am constantly growing and I love exploring my artistic leanings through color and form. I know that I also have other God given talents. For example, I sing, although my shyness has gotten the best of me. My baritone voice is today a rough expression of a natural gift and it will probably remain so for the foreseeable future; I have also studied acting and I love it. But yet again, I never managed to get that “break” that seems to be necessary to make something of it and that has been that, at least until now.

For a lateral thinker like me, creativity can take on many guises. Cooking was one of the earlier ones, together with painting. My old school buddies still remember me in the kitchen “creating” grape sorbets and crazy cookies when we were just 10 or 12. Today, I probably  cook as much as I paint, and I know my friends enjoy coming to visit, see what I’m working on a canvas, and later enjoy a full meal prepared by me while we chat.

For those who are afraid of cooking, let me tell you, it is one of the most creative and freeing exercises you can find. It is quite simple to grasp once you know some of the basic concepts (ALL of them so obviously logical and sensible that you will wonder why you didn’t learn them before).

Food is something to be shared. Both at the preparation stage (with your family, your kids, your wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend or just with friends) and obviously as you all enjoy the end result. It is also a great way to become even more creative.

So, my recommendation would be: Let´s go cooking!

And as long as we are talking about cooking, how about if we look now at some cooking of mine, but of a different kind.

This is Cooking with Art´s Chili Pepper (and a taste of Art Pepper´s Chili Peppers right after it).

Enjoy!

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COOKING WITH ART´S CHILI PEPPER (2012) by Ignacio Alperin


 


Until next time!

Ignacio

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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JUMPIN´ OFF A CLEF

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JUMPIN´OFF A CLEF (2016) by Ignacio Alperin- Macro photography detail

For an artist, doing the sure thing, the thing one feels most comfortable with, is usually something close to what is traditionally called “the kiss of death”.

Repeating the same work over and over again has often taken artists from seemingly wonderful work into the realm of the tedious.

The same way, the “system” (to call it something) tends to force its hand by pushing artists into doing over and over again, and maybe with minor variations, those paintings by the artist which “sell”.

The end result may, although not necessarily, be a profitable return on investment, but it mostly turns a creative and artistically rich individual into a laconic, easily infuriated, and mostly frustrated artist.

I have tried my best to be as flexible as possible with the market. I will not deny that I accept that if the public likes something in my work, then it is up to me to give it to them. I accept and embrace the market. But I also make the effort to keep my art close to my heart rather than my pocket. That also means that I keep and feed the energy needed to try to produce something new every time I face blank canvas.

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Jumpin´off a Clef (2016) – Detail

Those who know me and have seen me work, always mention that I quickly demystify the usual idea of the cool artist with a long brush in his or her hand, sitting in front of an easel contemplating life before every brushstroke.

Instead, I usually end up looking like a long distance cross country runner, feeling (and appearing) exhausted after a few hours of “running” free with my ideas and inspiration into a canvas. I suffer, walk, look, leave and comeback, and I work to the point of collapse.

That does not mean that the end result is better or worse, but there is a good chance that something in it will definitely be original. Most of my paintings will say one thing about me, and that is that I will not surrender to the temptation of mere repetition. I am always attempting, at the very least, to come up with something new, explore things I have not tried, and see if in the process I manage to grow, as a person and as an artist, a little bit more.

And to do this, I must jump off the proverbial cliff (or maybe at least “off a Clef”).



I believe that whenever you want to explore your talents, you must endeavor to go where you have not been before. And it does not matter if the cliff is 10 inches or 2 miles deep. The distance matters but the jump is the real key. It is feeling, at least for a moment, that there is nothing keeping you safe on the ground. It is that sensation that nothing you know will save you, so you must look into what you don´t know.

In creativity we may call that “divergent thinking” (term coined by Dr. J. P. Guilford during WWII). It is what happens when your brain faces something that for most people would mean crushing into a mountain, but you manage to come up, under pressure, with a new strategy to avoid it.

This is the experience of painting for me. It is looking for that “unknown factor” that will get my burning plane into a safe landing situation. In a simplified manner, I always say that my biggest thrill is when I manage to turn my mistakes into triumphs.

We all can do it. You just need to take a deep breath, make a quick run, and just jump off the cliff. As simple and as terrifying as that.

So, I dare you. Yes, let´s go together! Just get ready, set…

Jumpin´ off a Clef (Just like Chet)
JUMPIN´OFF A CLEF by Ignacio Alperin (2016) Acrylic, inks, and oil based paints on canvas – 220cm x 130cm

Until next time!

Ignacio

PS: I recommend you check out these exercises on “divergent thinking”: http://faculty.washington.edu/ezent/imdt.htm

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera