What Inspires Collectors?

August 24th, 2009

What inspires people to buy art and to collect art? True, many artists exhibit work in museums, hotels, restaurants, shows, art galleries, but unless they sell some of their work, they are going to have to look for other career paths. The art collector looks for art for a variety of reasons, and many will say that there are only a few true art collectors, but this just isn’t so.

Claes Oldenburg once said, ” I am for an artist that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum” and the truth is that a real collector is not going to look for that million dollar painting, they don’t even want pieces that are museum works. A true collector wants to choose art that speaks to them, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to spend thousands of dollars for an art piece.

Most collectors may start with an art work that cost them as little as $50 to $100, the important thing is that that work speaks to them and and gives them emotional value.

 Besides when you buy something form an unknown artist, you are supporting someone’s dream, and their inspiration and values.

Photo: Courtesy of JaimeLondonBoy

Turner Before his Time

August 10th, 2009

“Good art is not what it looks like but what it does to us”

At least that is the way Roy Adzak put it so eloquently, and one of the most famous english artists of all time, one that could draw out the emotions of any person with his tempestuous art was William Turner.

Most artists don’t even realize how much their art affects us the viewer, they can’t really understand what it is that makes them so popular. In fact, Turner, on his death bed was known to have said: “So I am to become a nonentity, am I?” With as famous as he was and still is today, how could he have thought that we would forget him and his work.  For more than 6 decades this painter, born to humble parents worked to establish his reputation as one of the best painters in England. Even after all of that he was unsure of the permanence of his work and whether others would understand what the meaning of his work was.

If you ever get to see a Turner exhibit, you can see his capacity for imagination, and innovation. Turner brought to the art world great vision and innovative techniques in light and dark that still influence artists of today. Turners purpose was to bring his painting close to becoming poetry, and he attained that purpose, although in the end, he was still unsure!

The Influence of Jackson Pollock

July 27th, 2009

One of the major players in the Abstract Expressionism movement in the United States, Jackson Pollock produced some of the most recognizable pieces related to this style.  He specialized in the use of liquid paints instead of the more traditional artist’s paints used on a canvas.  Pollock felt a strong draw to the form of paint pouring, creating his work by stretching a canvas out on the floor and dripping or pouring paint onto the canvas from above.  He would use hardened brushes and sticks to make touches on his canvas and due to his unconventional way of creating his art, Pollock’s paintings were considered by many to bring a new layer to the world of art for, as an artist, he could view his painting from multiple directions and be able to create in ways that a traditional, upright canvas would not allow.

One thing that Pollock did toward advancing the Abstract Expressionistic movement was when he started to refuse to name his pieces, giving a number as a name instead.  This, he felt, would stop the viewer from trying to find dramatic symbolism in the title and would instead make them focus on the painting itself and what it did for them.  This approach, to his art and his life, vaults him into the pantheon of great American artists.

Art Teaches Children Critical Skills

July 13th, 2009

The art classroom is a great place for children to learn a number of skills which will benefit them greatly in their later lives.  Many people will automatically dismiss art class as a place not worth a serious effort because all that kids do is enter the art room and have fun, so they surely must not be learning anything important.  This is far from the truth, however.  Just because the children are having fun, it does not mean that they are not learning anything.  On the contrary, because of the level of fun, the children are perhaps learning even more than they would in another subject.

Art classrooms teach children many skills which traditional classroom settings do not.  Children learn how to tap into their creative side to make something without judging the outcome before it happens.  They learn coordination and motor skills, making their hands reproduce either what their eyes see or their mind envisions.  They learn the satisfaction of completing a job in a satisfying way, as well as taking the initiative to finish that project.  This is a huge benefit in today’s world, the work ethic that many people lack.

Children will also learn the important skills of learning to critique projects.  They can analyze something they are presented with and through that, they will learn how to look at the good and bad aspects of any work.  This teaches children the important skills of analysis which will come into play for the rest of their lives.  Art can bring all of these skills to children and these are important cognitive skills for success in one’s entire life.

Photo: Courtesy of Beija Flor

The Most Representative Painting of the Baroque Period

June 29th, 2009

One of the paintings that best represents the Baroque period would have to be the Flight into Egypt, which was painted in 1597 by Caravaggio. The Baroque period distinguished itself by adding modern images to biblical historical scenes and in this painting Caravaggio demonstrates his great ability to do just that.

This painting does not represent just one biblical scene, but a combination of many of the bibles stories that involve the fleeing of the Holy family into Egypt, to avoid the ire of Herod, who was trying to kill the Christ child.  In the painting Caravaggio chose to paint Mary asleep with the baby Jesus, and Joseph stands holding a manuscript that is given to him by the angel. The manuscript represents the modern man.  The angel stands to the side and is singing a hymn to Mary on the violin, the violin being an instrument of the 1600s and non existent during Christ’s period.

By adding features like the violin and the manuscript Caravaggio has managed to make this biblical story more modern, something that the Baroque man can identify with. This was Caravaggio’s first large scale work, the painting epitomizes the Baroque period because of the nature of the work, the tones, the shift in dark and light shadowing, and the realistic modern subjects. Much of Caravaggios work ranks among the highest as representative of the Baroque period. It is a shame that he was only able to work for about 10 years before being killed.

Why Do Artists Create?

June 22nd, 2009

John Opie was once known to have said,”Art is more godlike than science. Science discovers but art Creates.” This quote tries to answer the question that most artists are asked. What is it that gives them their inspiration? Sometimes we can easily see what the inspiration is. Sometimes the answer is as simple as the people and situations that surround the artist become his inspiration.  But other times we don’t really know how the artist got his idea.

Most artists use people, surroundings, and areas they are familiar with, even for works that are abstract, or ar fantasy art. Sometimes the people in an art work are even a composite of many different people. Some artists are inspired by their dreams and even their life goals, that’s why I say that each piece is a part of the soul of the artist. So to really understand what inspires the artist, you need to know about the artist, his history and what interests him as a person.

It is really difficult to understand what inspires creativity, and that may be what makes it so interesting. Artists use many things to inspire the, a conversation, another piece of art, nature, and many different things.

Photo: Courtesy of Stephenpoff

The Genius of Edvard Munch

June 15th, 2009

Perhaps one of the most striking Expressionist painters in all of history, Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter who lived from 1863 to 1944.  He began painting in 1880 after leaving engineering school and in 1881, he enrolled in the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania.  While he studied under the influence of Post-Impressionists, Munch felt that the style wasn’t very representative of his reasons for painting.  Instead, he focused more on creating situations within his paintings which were filled with emotional content and expressive imagery.

His most famous painting, The Scream, was painted in 1893.  It is a good representation of his classic style of work, which focuses more on a shallow backdrop which is a minimal space for his frontal figures to grab attention.  Munch wanted to produce convincing images depicting states of mind and psychological conditions.  The characters in his works of art often embody a certain psychological condition, appearing more symbolic than realistic.

In the late 1930s, the Nazi occupation of Germany declared much of Munch’s work to be degenerate and they removed it from German museums.  This offended Munch deeply, as he felt that he had close ties to Germany throughout his youth.  He retired to Oslo and spend the rest of his life there, producing art up to his death in 1944.

Art Therapy for Children

June 8th, 2009

Children often do not have the words to be able to define some of the feelings and even trauma that they might be going through.  They do not have the vocabulary to articulate feelings that they might be having.  Yet, this does not stop those children from feeling those emotions.  Not being able to express these emotions can lead to various problems for the children as they grow and the need to express these feelings can manifest themselves in potentially harmful ways.  Teaching these children to express themselves through art could end up being a great way for them to not only explore their creative individuality, but to express these potentially traumatic emotions as well.

Art can be a good indicator of what a child is actually feeling in their life as well.  If they choose to make paintings and drawings of scary events and images, it is often a way to express fears that they have and feel.  It is a way for them to explore this scary event in a safe way.  By the same pattern, drawing images of happy images that they like can help to indicate some of the safe emotions and areas of their life which they might feel comfort with.  This art can be a great indicator of not only what the child is feeling, but of things which the child might want to express but not know how.

Photo: Courtesy of Beija Flor

Jasper Johns a Pop Artist?

June 1st, 2009

Another strong contender in the world of Modern Art would be the famous artist Jasper Johns, who challenged the way that Americans looked at many commonplace items in our iconography.  For the fact that he often used many images from popular culture, Jasper Johns has often been classified as a Pop Artist, although this is not exactly the best classification for him.  A more appropriate label might be one of Neo-Dadaism, for the use of popular images, modern materials, and absurdism.  Johns, in his work, often aimed to make us look at the absurd qualities of many things that we as the American public took for granted.

Jasper Johns is potentially most well known for his painting Flag, which simply depicts a flag, painted heavily over found materials, such as crumpled up newspapers.  Found materials would play heavily into Johns’ work, as Johns would make a point of incorporating the world as it is into the pieces of art that he would produce.  Jasper Johns would commonly paint different maps and flags that were richly worked and detailed and often-evoked conflicting emotions in critics.  The art world seemed to be looking for something with the same emotional vulnerability and honesty as Abstract Expressionist works produced, yet having more subject matter and substance than simple painting which evoked an emotion on its own.  The work of Jasper Johns would provide that, both to the delight and the wrath of many.  His attention to detail and painting form was much more involved than the work of Abstract Expressionists, yet his subject matter was presented in an absurd way, making people feel that the process of painting the portrait conveys some of Johns’ thoughts on the matter.

His work has always been simple yet refined.  Johns has always carried the ability to inflict strong emotions in the viewers of his paintings, largely because of his unerring emotional honesty.  His work has clearly earned a place in art history.

Giorgio Chirico – Metaphysical Art

May 25th, 2009

Out of the dark we came, into the dark we go. Like a storm driven bird at night we fly out of nowhere: For a moment our wings are seen in the light of the fire, and lo! We are gone again into nowhere – Quoted from King Solomon’s mines.

When exploring what inspires artist, I came across a very short movement that lasted for about 20 years. This movement was the metaphysical art movement of which Giorgio Chirico was considered the father. This painter born in the later part of the 1800’s who died in 1978, was  the founder of the metaphysical art movement, but what is more interesting are the concepts that inspired him. Giogio Chirico was not only a great artist, but also someone with a keen interest in philosophy and he metaphysical.

He first studied art in Italy, but for a time he moved to Germany, and while studying art there he read works by philosophers, Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Arnold Bocklin, and Max Klinger. When he returned to Italy, his work began to reflect his religious beliefs. Chirico is best known for putting his poetry into his art work. For a time his metaphysical work was only done with cityscapes but later Chirico began to do his Metaphysical art with humans.


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