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Archive for February, 2011

Artist-Hieronymus Bosch

 

What kind of drugs was this guy on? Bosch is someone I’d like to meet, some very strange stuff going on in all of his paintings. It’s one thing to have bizarre thoughts or dreams but to hold on to those images long enough to get them on a canvas is amazing. The common reading of Bosch’s paintings is that he is showing the horrors of sin. But there was a biographer of Bosch’s that claimed that he belonged to a faction of Christainity that believed that Jesus message was, “if it feels good, and doesn’t hurt anyone, do it”. No anal retentive behavior, no sacrifice, no restraint, no denial, no judgement, no eternal punishment, just have fun.

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I am an atheist. I know it’s considered polite to say that I respect the beliefs of “people of faith” but it just doesn’t make sense to me why an adult would believe in these fairy tales.

However it is impossible to study art history without picking up some biblical stories along the way. I’ve chosen stories that through history are frequently the subject of art, and tried to add a cynical or irreverent twist.

“Jesus & Moon” shows the moment that one god died and the other took over. Worship of natural phenomena faded when people turned their faith towards the Jesus myth. The painting illustrates the moon’s last night as a god.

“Priests” and “The Pope” show one of my greatest peeves with religion, shown to excess by the catholic church: wealth while preaching poverty, intolerance while teaching love, perversion while teaching morality.

“Annunciation” is one of the oddest stories..Joseph is married to Mary, but she’s a virgin(?) and one day she goes to Joseph and says “I’m pregnant, god did it” and he bought it?? Imagine how that conversation would go today.

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“Still Life with Cocktails” I don’t work in water color that often, I don’t paint still life either. I think this one came out OK but it was boring to paint. I don’t think you’ll be seeing too many still life’s in the future.

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Artist-Edward Hopper

Whether it’s a city interior or a rural landscape you can’t help but feel lonely when you look at a Hopper. Check out the people in his paintings, no one looks at each other, they are in groups but still alone.

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Lawrence Alma-Tadema added the Alma to his name because the shows he was entering were hung alphabetically. Just because you’re an artist doesn’t mean you can’t make smart business moves.

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Artists-Comic

Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Frank Frazetta, Will Eisner Just a few examples of great comic book artists. My first exposure to art was through comics (graphic novels, fantasy art, whatever the current term is). Considering the budget and time constraints and the volume of comics produced, especially during the fifties some amazing work was produced. Definitely not all gems but who’s work is?

A sideline: Lichtenstein was a thief, a hack stealing the work of these artists, enlarging them and selling them as his own. What a creep.

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I leave the painting and go back to sketching master paintings every winter. It’s a good way to re-tune your methods…plus my “studio” isn’t heated.

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