Posts Tagged ‘Torsten Slama’

The Three Strategies of Huang Shigong

August 8, 2022

Antitransgressive prevent strategy has three specific objectives: (1) respond to the ideological challenge of deviancy and systemic transgression and the threat we face from those who promote it, (2) prevent people from being drawn into boundary challenging behaviour and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support, (3) work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation (hot spots, suburban abandoned areas, et al.)

This drawing ®2031 by Torsten Slama
The Three Strategies of Huang Shigong (Pencil, crayon, pastel, acrylics on paper, 65 x 50 cm)

Look at a brutalist office edifice with sustainable, architecturally integrated cooling and climatization scheme, dedicated to the established best practice of social work and the prevention of social disintegration by all forms of deviancy, including chronic fatigue syndrome.

See how the sculptures of three modes of transportation – (steam powered, bodily propulsion by legs, petrol based motorized solution) are forming an allegory of adaptability and the value of “getting out of the comfort zone”, to achieve better social results which will all eventually end in failure due to entropy which besets the universe and is totally against all human endeavours to create stable (“sustainable”) solutions. See also that the tricycle of the Dion et Bouton type is meant to be an immovable sculpture, bolted to the pavement, just as the Greek Riace bronze warrior is only a mass-market die-cast full scale model of one of two actual sculptures, found in 1972 in the sea near Riace, Calabria, of an actual and organic bearded warrior, and the Engine on the roof is also just a light-weight, plastic replica in slightly reduced scale. This is all architectural art of the Kunst am Bau variety, later added to the stark and elegant brick edifice which in its purer form served purer functions, supposedly.

Please note that this drawing is not only in actual execution, but also in reproduction of only middling quality. This reflects a remark by an actual social worker “social work is always and in all forms dedicated to failure”. In fact, even though in rough form, the drawing includes and merges all sorts of painterly and graphic techniques. If the artist was a Norman Rockwell this should mean that the work was supposed to shine in photographic reproduction, but this was achieved in this case, due to inferior photographic equipment and lack of photographic expertise on the photographer’s side.

Drawing and text © 2052 by Torsten Slama and the SHY Laboratory Group

Way to Work – Strengthening the Links between Active Labour Market Policies and Social Support

June 13, 2022

Way to Work, this drawing ®1992-2022 by Torsten Slama
Way to Work, 9.1 x 12.6 inches, pencil on yellow carton, 2022

This drawing is the recreation of a drawing from 30 years ago. That drawing was nearly identical in composition, but the figure was fully dressed. While the original was not found, presumably lost or sold, a photocopy still existed, begging in its inferior quality for the undertaking of making a new drawing, a handmade copy of the remembered original, coming as close as possible or even surpassing its original craftspersonship (perfectionism/youthful folly). Actually, even though slightly larger than the original A4, the technical execution is inferior, no doubt due to use of single mechanical pencil with HB mine and tip size 0.3 mm instead of multiple finely and variably sharpened wooden pencils of different grades.

The original clothing of the depicted person was first executed, then, by means of an eraser, removed again, and the nude body reconstructed, to achieve something of an Helmut-Newton effect, with a tint of irony perhaps, as the depicted person is not really the preferred Newton body-type. There was the idea that this could be a sort of nudist yoga teacher, but the muscular tonus is not there, nor the general width of the core which normally results from yoga practice. 

The source of the depicted setting is not clearly remembered. In all probability it was inspired or rendered from a photograph of an architectural decoration project by Victor Vasarely somewhere in France, either a shopping centre or university campus.

The following is a non-realized passage concerning dress codes and where nudism would or could be placed on a scale between “casual” and “formal”. 

Please observe the extant photocopy of the 1994 original:

Copy of original drawing, drawing by Torsten Slama, copy made at a Düsseldorf copy shop in 1993

First version (copy) “The second Idyl” A4,  ~1993

Drawing and text © 2052 by Torsten Slama and the SHY Laboratory Group

The Marianne Dreams House

March 18, 2022
This drawing ®2031 by Torsten Slama
The 2nd Marianne Dreams House/The House on the Borderland (Acrylics, [coloured] pencil, on two A4 sheets of “Durex” technical drafting paper)

This house is the second variation on a dream location described in the book “Marianne Dreams”, by Catherine Storr. It is a house containing a boy, inflicted by polio, who lost the will to live (or to move which according to Wolf Larsen is roughly the same), a house with barred windows at first and no interior furnishings, surrounded by encroaching rocks with evil eyes. Marianne enters the house, which she had created by drawing it with some sort of very powerful pencil, in her dreams, while herself in her waking state being bedridden with some illness but a sense of agility far surpassing the progress of her recuperation, and engages with the boy, whose name is Mark (he could have been aptly called “Mark One” had this story been set in a science fiction as opposed to a sort of fantasy setting).* She challenges him, much to his discomfort, to get out of his self-protective identification with the limitations and the confinement of his illness, and finally succeeds, after having empowered him by dreaming/drawing up an exercise bike for him to train his legs, to have them both rescued by helicopters.**

*If set in a “parodic” sort of internet and social media world of the 2010’s, the character could also be aptly rechristened “Chris”.

**For a slightly darker toned rendition of same image, please visit this address

First edition cover art by Marjorie-Ann Watts

Drawing and text © 2052 by Torsten Slama and the SHY Laboratory Group

The Meat Packing Plant

February 5, 2022

HBATK® Meat Packing Plant/The Secret Missile Silo, painting on board ©2037 by Torsten Slama, COD
Vize 4: Tajná raketová sila / Vision 4: Das geheime Raketensilo / Vision 4: The Secret Missile Silo,
2020 Öl auf Holz / oil on wood 70,2 x 60 cm / 27.6 x 23.6 inches

This 2020 painting harks back to several versions of the same motive, a 2006 drawing, another smaller 2009 drawing, a comparatively large painting from the same year and a later, 2012 re- or overpainting of that painting. It is based on a Heljan plastic model, the Heljan #673 N Scale Meat Packing Plant kit. While painting this iteration of the structure, one of the artist’s roughly four favorite and therefore recurring real world or model-type architectural structures, the artist was grappling with ocular clouding (encroaching blindness) and also with a newly developed (or degenerated) technique of mixing organic substances with oil paint and acrylics, applying the resulting mixture, uneven because of different solubility of its constituents, often in half dried states or different phases of coagulation, onto the canvas with brushes in varying states of distress, interspersing the emerging image with highlights of synthetic luminescent powders and pastes. In this painting the artist perhaps reached a pinnacle in the materialization of a certain style he envisioned – a style where the constant fight between the youthful wish for perfect execution and the cosmic truth of decay leads to its own results, where human mind control and the freedom of molecular motion and chemical interaction coexist, where the Jungian amateur pursuing personal narcissistic goals of alchemical omnipotency finds respite in the struggle between time-bound limitations of the human flesh with the desires of the mind and the phantasy of timelessness.*

*Timelessness of art, which Oskar Kokoschka found perfectly represented in Rembrandt’s “Self-Portrait at the Age of 63” at the National Gallery in London. While bemoaning the bombing of Dresden, visiting the National Gallery at the suggestion of his wife, he found back his inner peace at the contemplation of old skin, “like the skin of a dead chicken”, in the way in which Rembrandt understood to apply his own virtuosity in an inimitably masterful loose yet perfectly controlled application of paint, where molecular structure of the medium and chemical changes taking place in the process of drying and hardening, together with said virtuosity and sheer dexterity of application lead to a lasting and static depiction of a particular stage in a process which in the natural universe leads through life to death and complete disintegration in a matter of only a few years. **

**This anecdote is repeated here not to glorify the artist’s own desires of creating such an effect, but to humble it, as the above painting is not only a very serious effort, but also a typical example of Schlawinertum, as a surrogate to virtuosity and diligence, in contemporary art. It might be even that some hypothetical onlooker would only see the jejune and the would-be where in the eyes of the creator there is at least a glimmer or echo of the inner truth they sought, approached in baby steps which are much too short to reach their goal even within the whole lifetime of a person so encumbered by their own deviant desire for a sorrow-free life, which so often leads in truth to an inordinate accumulation of inner sorrows, often seen and belittled as minor by others, as they are sorrows of the imagination. While someone like Dostojewski, who knew exactly the interaction of sorrows of the imagination and the true sorrow of, for example, hemorrhoids, which so often result from sins of the mind, was so perfectly cognisant of the fact that nobody is entitled to define or judge the difference between imaginary or true sorrow, as their is none in degrees of pain they inflict.

Drawing and text © 2057 by Torsten Slama and the C.O.D

Three Dwelling Houses

December 5, 2021

House for Hunter, art by Torsten Slama
The “The Most Dangerous Game” House, 29,8 x 21,5 cm, pencil and crayon on tone paper, 2019

This, the “The Most Dangerous Game” house, is a lodge for a special kind of hunter, a bearded one, who hunts the most crafty, murderous, cruel animal: the human animal. Which is the only animal with ethics and moral judgment, thus capable of revenge, not humble. Instead of fangs and claws, it has intelligence. Thus, it is the most dangerous game to hunt. The hunter type to take residence in this house has a taste for Eastern European low density dwelling architecture. The actual depicted setting is generic. A type of less dangerous game, a Bruderus Horten Noncaudatus, a flying wing-type ancient animal with an especially small brain, is flying by, unmolested. It is unclear whether the hunter is presently at home.

“Judge Dee” Country House in Carboniferous Setting, 31.5 x 23.5 cm, pencil and crayon on tone paper, 2019

This is a retreat-type home for the more benign, less damaging to the social fabric kind of hunter, the hunter for peace, quiet and solitude which he/she/it finds ideally represented in a dwelling detached from civilization by a certain distance in the fourth dimension. Thus, the person for this country home must be a time traveller to take leave from all that binds them in the now and find what they seek in a geological space and time which gave birth to all fossile fuel reserves which now fire our unpeaceful modern world, the carboniferous era.

The Abductionist’s House, pencil, pastel on tone paper, 29,7 x 21 cm, 2019

This house offers shelter for a very special kind of lover of humans, the abductionist, the John Fowlesian Collector-type. These are mostly male, for certain reasons which are difficult to specify or elucidate or trace back to either evolutionary or civilizational reasons. The collector traps another hapless human being (like the spider the fly in the parlour with the fine edgings), and keeps this hostage-type specimen under lock and key, for fear of abandonment and in the hope of by keeping this other stationary they could by pervasive and tenacious persuasion win reciprocal love. This person, as the chimney smoke indicates, and by general habit, home. The victim lives probably in the cellar. Two dogs are in a playful mood, but would alarm the house owner by raucous barking if anyone should approach. The house shares certain decorational and structural characteristics with the “The Most Dangerous Game” house, which indicates certain interesting psychological links between hunting and collecting.

For a different kind of author-approved viewing experience, you are invited to redirect here.

All depicted house studies © 2019/2037 by Torsten Slama and the TTS®

Co-Operative Cement Plant

June 27, 2021

Cooperative Cement Plant, painting by Torsten Slama
Co-Operative All-Togetherness Cement Plant, 2020, oil on canvas, 51,5 x 71 cm / 20,3 x 28 inches

This is a painting full of problematic content and a problematic history. In fact, the artist has since altered it in the form of adding a new brighter sky, thus completely changing its atmospheric mood, content, and “meaning”. Even this version was not the first version, because the dark sky replaced a former version of a brighter sky (since reinstated). In the end it became clear though that the artist himself had no way of determining which version was in fact bad or good or finished. It is all in the mindset.

The painting features a standard cement plant with a co-operative economic model, which by and large means, a people-centered enterprise, controlled and run by and for their members, with the function of realizing or materializing a common economic, cultural, infra-structural, civilizational goal. The plant, which could also be designated a concrete plant, is augmented by a more or less abstract floating shape which looks to be of artificial origin and crafted from a semi transparent metallic, completely unknown material. If not unknown, this material could also be described as transparent acrylics with a small amount of finely distributed embedded metallic particles. The whole tube-like construction might be filled with air and is big enough with thin enough walls so that the air inside could be heated by the sun to such a degree to ensure floating of the structure, where the metallic particles in the transparent thin transparent film constituting the outer walls of the object are light sensitive (liquid crystels?) which regulate the temperature of the air or gas trapped within in the way of a homeostatic system.

Note also the elongated pyramidical object in the window of the attached control room of the plant. This is a robot sentry overlooking the operation. This detail is also a veiled reference to the dead tram conductor in “The Thing in the Moonlight” by J. Chapman Miske.

A final note: concrete, though useful and aesthetically pleasing, is a thing of the past and present, not the future, As of the year 2070, all newly constructed structures will be made of some yet not perfected synthetic alternative or naturally occurring building materials like wood, clay, natural stone. Like trees, concrete buildings absorb CO2. New calculations show that concrete absorbs roughly 30 percent of the amount of CO2 that cement production emits. That is a non-cooperative, planet-unfriendly balance according to the Instrumentality of SCIENCE.

Optimista bez otce – The Fatherless Optimist

May 19, 2020
Optimista bez otce / Der vaterlose Optimist / The Fatherless Optimist,
Optimista bez otce / Der vaterlose Optimist / The Fatherless Optimist (2020) Oil on canvas on wood, 43,2 x 30,2 cm / 17 x 11.9 inches

From the Czech-titled exhibition: Nové trendy v územním plánování (New Directions in Space Planning) – – – Please note: functionality of presentation assembly on this blog has changed. The author has stopped going with the times. If this painting is a self portrait, it depicts the author much younger and richer and happier than he ever was. Colors are not well reproduced, also, the details of how the paint was applied (loosely, rather thin, on canvas primed with the addition of lots of chalk, thick enough for the canvas structure to be neutralized) are not easily discernible. A detail view of just the face will show how much more interesting it would be to look at that painting in nature, and getting as close to it as no museum would allow for.

The Fatherless Optimist, detail

Note how lips look like either result of a bodged lip job, or as if befallen by herpes simplex and badly swollen. It means that what appears light hearted and almost cartoonish in character is actually realist, or rather, naturalist in nature, trying hard to depict the nature and the rot of actual human flesh. At the same time you find touches of graphics art or the art of illustration, like the hair, scratched in with the end tip of the brush’s handle. Is this painterly?

The 2020 painting is based on a drawing from ≈ 1994. Please see that drawing here: https://sites.google.com/site/wwwdrawings/home

© 2027 by Torsten Slama and The Optimist Society for Czech Heritage

The Abductionist’s House

August 7, 2019
The Abductionist's House, drawing by Torsten Slama

The Abductionist’s House, pencil, pastel on tone paper, 29,7 x 21 cm

Pink, magenta, purple, are the colors most likely to excite consumer interest. Colors of this family have the right temperature, are inviting, and compelling. While this fact was discovered by the comics industry in the 1950’s, it took very long to become common knowledge among mass manipulators. Certain snap judgments stood in the way. As to content, most notable elements besides this house (designed by a real yet long dead architect, not by the author) are the two dogs in the foreground, representing the two owners of this house (a hunter couple), and the unique pyramidic tree sculpture to the left. This is going to be patented and mass produced and sold cheaply to those who prefer a touch of class and artificiality in and on their gardens and lawns. Also, these can be illuminated from withing to become glowing tree shapes in the night. People will say: “Nice touch, we like!”. The house owners seem to be active and in attendance inside their lodge, see the smoke coming from the chimney, a prop element hinting at occupation.

Fore a change of viewing, go here.

Rendering © 2027 by Torsten Slama

The Constitutionalist

August 22, 2018

The Constitutionalist, locomotive drawing by Torsten Slama, 2018Edw

The Constitutionalist, 40 x 29,9 cm, pencil, colored pencil on paper

The Constitutionalist, so-called to uphold the value of a carefully set down list of fundamental values and principles according to which a state is to be run or governed, is seen parking in front of a railway station called “Rheinburg”, symbolically so, as the river Rhine is the traditional geographical border between western civilization and the teutonic netherworld, unconstitutional “Hel”. Serving as a permanent control to the permanent control value of the constitution, a floating device in the shape of a futuristic world-lantern, casting its unreal and otherworldly light on the phallic orange body of The Constitutionalist. Ideas of heliocentrism, constitutionalism, anti-dyslexia, state controlled eductation and indoctrination, etc. are all the outgrowth of a patriarchal tradition, the eternal fight against gynaecocracy.

Dyslexia, a silent deviant, an underminer of understanding
Makes values crumble
The book worlds tumble
More proud than humble, as it is powerful

And knows its power well. But not from books.
It’s eminently practical, pragmatic, 
But also deceiving.

Know your enemy well, the cunning one
Who does not work with strategy,
Whose moves are based on instincts.

Honing in on the weakness of well-read intellectuals
Spineless thinkers who sold out to the written word

Rendering © 2027 by Torsten Slama, “March Against Dyslexia”, poem by Torsten Slama

The Plutonian

July 29, 2018

The Plutonian, pencil, coloured pencil, leaf silver, 39 x 29,7 cm

A compact, strong shunting engine well suited to deal with the adversities of everyday life and hard work. The Plutonian world is the opposite of the cool world. You need to be clad in special alloys and have a powerful yet simple method of propulsion in order to survive the first few meters on your way through life. It seems best not to dwell on further associative stream-of-consciousness writing, but to complement this drawing with a poem:

I did it while suffering
I did it while suffering
Medical complications

I did it while
Facing life
From the perspective of death
Surviving death
Every day

Some elementary truths
I picked up
Along the way
Littered on the wayside
Picked truths like flowers
Some hidden truths
Suppressed truths
I did it while suffering

While suffering
I did things
I lifted things
I saw through things
Elementary things
From the perspective of death
I did it.

So you, who see things
From the perspective of life
All pink, rose tinted
Don’t you dare
To criticize
Or nit-pick
What I did
Because I did it
While suffering.

Rendering © 2027 by Torsten Slama and the Shunting Society, “I did it While Suffering”, poem by Torsten Slama

The Carl Grossberg (The Rift)

April 4, 2018

The Carl Grossberg and rocky landscape with Grossberg motif (by Torsten Slama)

The Carl Grossberg, 48 x 36,5 cm, mixed media on yellow tone paper

A detailed, if slightly crammed drawing with the theme of what our world would and could have looked like if energy independence, chemical independence, transportation independence and true man-nature metabolism had been the goal of industrialization. The drawing could also be an illustration to a treatise on “The Rift” (in the universal metabolism of nature), as described by Karl Marx. Not that the artist is deeply informed on the subject. In fact, any assumption of true literacy in any genre is categorically refuted (in accordance with the law of humbleness and common sense). Embedded in the rocky landscape background are several stylized coal liquefaction plants or chemical factories, tubes and pipelines, and one motif from a painting by Carl Grossberg (Fabriklandschaft im Schnee, 1923). Of course there is no snow here, as in fact the yellow color of the cardboard on which the scene was drawn evokes impressions of a slightly murky,  warm climate (perhaps of the inner earth) with sunlight filtering through a crack in the rocky ceiling, further muted by an emission-saturated atmosphere.  The drawing consists of several layers of pencil, colored pencil, washes of acrylics and different reflective and metallic pigments on a base of human spittle (which are in fact all but invisible.  Note that the “inner earth / Hollow Earth” theme has all sorts of connotations, historical science fiction ones as well as the psychoanalytical/gynacocratic/chthonic idea of earth as a womb. It seems in any case appropriate to annex a quote by Bernard Herrmann, wherein he describes his ideas about scoring the Filme “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959), since that film features landscapes not unlike the one depicted above: “I decided to evoke the mood and feeling of inner Earth by using only instruments played in low registers. Eliminating all strings, I utilized an orchestra of woodwinds and brass, with a large percussion section and many harps. But the truly unique feature of this score is the inclusion of five organs, one large Cathedral and four electronic. These organs were used in many adroit ways to suggest ascent and descent, as well as the mystery of Atlantis.” Drawing and words (except for italicized words by Bernard Herrmann) by Torsten Slama>

The Liverpool

August 11, 2017

The Liverpool (after Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis)
Pencil, Coloured Pencil, 40×29.7cm

This drawing’s slogan:  “The good old times weren’t good, just old”.  Someone said that and it is not at all clear what they meant. It seems to be something you say when you want to be philosophical, maybe nearing the end of your own time. The steam locomotive stands for old values, which are not good, just old. In truth most friends of steam believe yes, the values are good, not old. The steam engine also is something which enthusiasts describe as an object evoking ecstatic feelings of awe when first beheld. It hisses, has pressure, is a promise of good and functional sexuality. The image of the steam engine says more in the realm of culture, symbolism, and pictorialism then in terms of the actual object depicted. It says something about the owner or the creator of the image. Or rather, it used to say something. Today all is possible, or nothing. Please note the unpainted or stripped totem pole which does look slightly cock-eyed, a phallic symbol introducing the element of anachronism and dislocation. The flying object is perceived by some as a pill of  the capsule type, it is rather an oblong paraphrase of something spherical, a type of artistic quote. UFO enthusiasts know the artist referenced. Mostly everybody else also. An anagram: GREATER MIENT.  The creator of the totem in the foreground is an anonymous North American Indian. Or rather, this totem is actually a faux totem, as it has different parts from different totems, rearranged, and an atypical base construction. It is possibly hollow and made from acrylics. The creator (engineer) of the Engine is unknown to the author of this drawing, but surely known to the creator of the original painting this drawing pays homage to. That painter is Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis, who usually knew a lot about the engines he painted, as he was seeing his paintings really as substitutes for colour photographs in his learned books specializing on Edwardian railway lore.
Rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Steam Traction Board “The good old times were not good, just old”

The Engine of Confidence

June 6, 2017

Drawing after the New Zealand railway painter W.W.

The Confident Engine (after W.W. “Bill” Stewart). pencil, coloured pencil, acrylics, 40×29.7cm

This drawing is based on a painting by the late New Zealand railway painter W.W. Stewart. The New Zealand railway station  and the engine was transplanted into a landscape of possibly Triassic character and the people decorating the scenery were eliminated. More specific information about the engine and the railway line could be obtained by a knowledgeable New Zealand railway buff. This artist, in full possession of his artistic prerogative to be weak-suited in terms of research, failed to do so. The copycat artist, having confidence issues, wants to strengthen the impact or poignancy of his drawing by adding the following impromptu piece of poetry (please observe the judicially placed punctuation; a mark of poetry):

Go, Engine of Confidence,
Go your way.
Unencumbered by self-doubt
Say it loud!
You have no capacity for self-doubt.

You are long in the tooth,
wide in the hip
You go on every trip
With confidence.

Engineered to do your best
Not concerned with all the rest
Your path might be crooked
Perspective unsound
Your wheels go round and round
Until you stop.

You are the horse of steel,
A projectile
In fashionable livery
That is your way
Oh could I be
Like you.  Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Steam Traction Board