A Life in Paint
One thing people routinely ask me is what artists I, myself, like and admire. I've never really discussed the answer before, not in a blog, so I figured I'd write about that. I started this post a couple hours ago, but the day has been fraught with technical difficulties. Nothing like frigging around with modems, networks and all that crap to get the blood pumping! As a result, I am seeing an adult beverage or two in my near future, maybe tonight.
But I digress. Back to the matter at hand. I'm sure you're all expecting me to name Monet and van Gogh as my faves, but you'd be wrong. While I do appreciate them and am honoured to have been compared to them, they don't rank among the artists I like best. And, no, while we're playing this guessing game, Picasso and Dali don't make the list either. So who does make the cut in this artist's favourite artists?
Well, Francis Bacon would be one. I've shown you his work before. He's the guy that did those "meat" paintings, for lack of a better word. My favourite is his 1946 piece simply titled, "Painting". Here it is:
What do I like about him? Well, first, his work was raw and honest, it was emotionally charged. It may not have been pretty, but you can't deny that it made you feel, and art should be more than a mere decoration, it should make you think and feel. To me, if it doesn't, it simply isn't art.
Next up is the Swiss painter Arnold Bocklin. He was another fiercely original artist that marched to the beat of his own drum. I really dig his symbolism, the mythological and fantastical subjects in his work. As a fan of mythology and fantasy, I suppose that makes sense. My favourite piece by him is called Isle of the Dead, a piece that he actually created several versions of between 1880 and 1886. I'll show you the 1880 one here:
Again, it's original and it makes you think. You may think, "What the hell?" Or you may think, "what on Earth is this supposed to mean?" Either way, it makes you think, thinking is good. We need to think as a society, and by think I don't mean just sitting around pondering the latest political news of the day, I mean really think, use your imagination, let it run away with you for a bit, think critically, don't just take what's spoon fed to you as gospel truth, evaluate things for yourself, maybe you're right, maybe not, or maybe, just maybe, you're the one cat who was just enough outside the box to make the change we need. That's what these guys were, outside the box, way outside. Without those who are willing and able to step outside the parameters of "how its always done", to make you think and feel, to challenge your assumptions, we'll get what we always get - nothing exciting, nothing new, no growth, no progress.