What apparitions lie in shadows, cloistered, awash by velvety tones, only to be revealed by the palest of light? What tenuous fixtures are to be gleaned during witching hours, and by sfumato lines insinuate form to the mind and rouse the dark corners of the imagination? And when beheld and captured so literally on canvas, it begs questioning: with an approach often dismissed as outmoded – where some would consider baroque traditions ‘blasé’ and unviable – can such a painting thus be salacious and seethingly evocative separated from the post-post-modern-isms that imbue today indifferently?
Article by Wade Hunter
Photo of Ranes by Fitz
Lead photo/ still life painting by Ranes
Ranes, initially having a background in film, decided one day to “just do it” and began to explore self-taught painting after a lifetime of functional abstract sculpture and drawing. His recent stylistic period began more formatively five years ago, when switching to oil. After being inspired by his friend Andy Chambers’ work, Ranes begun developing realism techniques. Ranes remembers “…being just blown away by [a] piece, … an oriental mask that [Chambers] painted… and was like ‘man, I really want to do that.’”
Initially, a fear of failure inhibited him from pursuing something as daunting as true-to-life painting. Past that, Ranes found himself well within his element, but not without practice. “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it,” he stated.
It can be posited that when dealing with realistic portrayal (including pre-modernistic treatment) one simply needs a decent camera with proper metering – after all, shallow ombre shadowing could be wrought with proper Rembrandt lighting. Ranes, however, feels that the work done by the brush and the dimensionality of the layering offers something irreproducible in photography. “Being able to recreate something by hand is classic,” Ranes admitted, “and it’s important to keep the classics alive… [It’s the actual strokes] put down on the canvas, your colors, your mixing… people tend to think ‘I can’t do that’, but they don’t understand everyone’s hands work the same way. Painting is more ‘seeing’… when you look at things, that’s how you capture the light. That’s how you capture the realism.”
While a dialog is welcomed by the artist, Ranes is content with developing his works for himself alone – meaning no quaint paintings of sailboats, beach scenes, or any other such uninspired but “safe” miscellanea. For those wondering when he will “stop painting skulls,” you’re sure to get a firm “fuck you” from Ranes;
“It is not my job. It is my work. There is that difference.”
757E Zine is a bi-monthly music, arts, and culture magazine dedicated to local musicians and artists who are not afraid to push boundaries. 757E Zine doesn't strive to be "safe" but rather in touch with what is new and unique in Hampton Roads music and art.
Contact us. for advertising opportunities.