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 Post subject: Gallery: Mike Page
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:58 am 
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The thread is for the discussion of Mike Page's gallery.
http://www.artofbonsai.org/galleries/page.php


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:08 pm 
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This is my first posting on the forum and I would just like to say how happy I am to have discovered "The Art of Bonsai Project". That being said Mike has presented us with a wonderful display of trees. I am impressed by the skill of the carving especially on the olive, most unique. I do have however, two critiques about this collection.

First is the choice of pot for the yew. I find the shape and texture of the pot pleasing, however the grey color seems to detract from the overall ascetics. My eyes are continually drawn to the pot when I view the tree, rather than enjoying the composition as a whole.

My second critique is on the jin of the ginkgo. To me or to anyone else that I showed the photo (male or female) to, the phallic shape of the jin dominated the tree. I don't know if the unusual appearence of the jin was by design or just happened that way but I find it detracts from the beauty of the tree. Anyone else notice this or is it just my dirty mind?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:03 am 
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I agree with you on both points (the yew and the gingko). Mike certainly has a knack for unusual designs. And the gingko has even more than just the phallic shape. It also provides the "rest" of the package.

My favorite is the Cal. Juniper for the world bonsai contest. It has a spectacular trunk and a movement to the left that I find very intrigueing as well as interesting.

What I like about Mike's trees is that due to their unconventional design they constantly make me reexamine and challenge my views and beliefs about bonsai.
Very nice gallery.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:04 pm 
Amar and Attila, thank you for your comments and observations.
Amar,regarding the ginkgo, I had never visualized the "phallic" aspect of this tree, but since you have pointed it out, there it is! I certainly wasn't intended, and the many times it's been exhibited, the "phallicy" (may I coin a word?) of it has never been commented upon.

Could it be that there is a subliminal Freudian power guiding the carving tools?

Anyway, I'll never be able to look at the ginkgo the same way again. I may even have to give it a name that I won't tell here.
Mike


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 Post subject: phallicy
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:32 pm 
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Mike,
I am amazed that I am the first to notice the "phallicy" of this tree. Perhaps people were just too polite to say so or they, like you, just didn?t see it. Attila pointed out quite correctly that the whole package is represented, I noticed this too but wanted to see what others thoughts on it were. As for the name of the tree I could think of many choice ones that are not appropriate for this forum as well. Glad I was able to open your eyes to your Freudian influence.
Amar


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:39 am 
Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Edgar Degas
Amar, does the above quote by Degas apply here?
Mike


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 Post subject: Re: phallicy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:48 pm 
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Amar Oesterly wrote:
Mike,
I am amazed that I am the first to notice the "phallicy" of this tree. Perhaps people were just too polite to say so or they, like you, just didn?t see it. Attila pointed out quite correctly that the whole package is represented, I noticed this too but wanted to see what others thoughts on it were. As for the name of the tree I could think of many choice ones that are not appropriate for this forum as well. Glad I was able to open your eyes to your Freudian influence.
Amar

First, Amar, welcome to the art of bonsai project!
Second, I have confess that I saw the same thing in the ginkgo that you did.
Best regards,
Carl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:39 pm 
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"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas
Mike, if I understand what Degas was saying, its that art is there to expand the viewers mind and push their perceptions beyond their normal everyday world. I suppose you did this with the styling of this tree, I?m just curious to what end. Getting people see male anatomy in trees, is this good art?
Amar


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:07 pm 
Amar, I can see that I need to set the record straight, once and for all. There is no way that I designed and carved this tree with any sort of anatomy in mind.
I suspect this is one of the failings of judging a 3 dimensional object with a 2 dimensional image.
Mike


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 Post subject: The fallacy of phallicy
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 11:42 pm 
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Mike,
I can appreciate the fact that a 3 dimensional object represented in a picture can appear differently than what one would see if the object is there in the flesh. I believe too that your intent for this tree was not to create a phallus. However your previous quotation of Degas seemed to imply that there might have been something behind the styling of the tree. I must have read too far into it. My apologies.
Amar


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:23 pm 
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Perhaps the Yew would be enhanced by an unglazed drum pot, in medium brown? It's not a certainty, but it is the sort of treatment that seems to work with a lot of deadwood on Junipers and Yews.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:26 pm 
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Mike,
I must confess that when I first seen your carved Olive, I despised it, I hated it, I thought it violated my senses and was an insult to bonsai and the artists who create them, but I never dismissed it.

It stuck inside my mind like an open faced roast beef sandwich sticks inside your stomach. The image gnawed at me, I would see it in other forms, in other venues, it haunted me and I kept coming back to it because I couldn't wrap my tightly bound, sometimes stubborn mind around it. It didn't help that another bonsaist, who I greatly respect, said that he had come to appreciate it, even like it.

I think I figured it out, I was looking for the tree, for the image of nature, for the representation of what I have seen in the forests, for a bonsai as my mind had come to expect such to be. Because of the filter I had become accustomed to viewing bonsai though, I was unable to see a bonsai in your carved spirals, your light against dark trunks, your straight living and twisted dead swirling material, your even numbered living and non-living trunks, and your presentation as a whole.

I couldn't see the forest because all the darn trees were in the way. I missed the whole because I was looking to intently at the parts that made it up.

Today, I seen the image and I liked it, excellent work, out of the ordinary but striking, nevertheless.

Image
I now think that this is the best in your gallery, thank you for sharing your work here.
Will


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:56 pm 
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Hi Will
This is a bonsai that wasn't inspired by trees, so it's expected that many viewers will be put off by it.
Rather, it was inspired by what I believe to be one of the greatest folk art/architecture works ever done, the Watts Towers by Simon Rodia. I'm a great admirer of Rodia's work, and this bonsai is my homage to him.
http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings ... owers.html
Best Regards
Mike
BTW, what happened to the gallery?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:07 pm 
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This gallery?
http://www.artofbonsai.org/articles/memgal_page.php
Still there! We ran out of room on the front page. I'll be setting up a gallery index page some time soon; in the meantime, one can still get to the galleries from the links at the top of each thread.
-Carl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:09 pm 
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
Every time I look at the tree above I am reminded of a scene from a movie. If only I could remember which movie it was!
Mike... Would the stark whiteness of the deadwood look a little better if you were to include a little lamp black in the paste next time? Maybe it's just that I am not a great fan of vividly white deadwood.


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