There are some pieces of art that are created out of the love of pure creation of a work. Then there are some that are born out of the love (or hate) for mankind, the world around the artist, or sometimes their own humanity. The piece I found to share in this post actually does a little of both, as the painting and its motivations are as unique as the painter himself.
Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page
The first of my posts on Non-Western traditional art, I found this work sifting through some larger paintings of the Yangtze River. You can thank me later for not posting the Ten Thousand Miles of the Yangtze River, since that probably would crash any computer you’re trying to view it on its so large. Instead, I found a much smaller depiction of the great river in China, painted during the Ming Dynasty, by Wu Wei.
For this post, I thought it would be interesting and slightly challenging to create a different kind of virtual exhibit. An exhibit of works created in the modern era, but not on traditional canvas or paper. This virtual exhibit will focus on the fantastic and widely popular tromp-l’oeil street painting styles of two of its most influential and famous artists, Julian Beever and Kurt Wenner. Not only do the works shown below show off the different street illusions created by these artists, but they represent a spectacle of being able to watch an artist work publically to create his work, as well as participate and sometimes be a part of the work itself. These six works also show off a kind of melding of the old and new styles of visual arts, sometimes exhibiting traits and imagery of work created centuries earlier, but putting a new spin on them.
We’ll first start with the works of Julian Beever. He started to learn more about street art working on the Punch and Judy Show in York, watching many other artists create works on the pavement (Julian Beever Interview). Since then, Beever has spent over twenty years creating works across the globe, sometimes successfully, but with the occasional hiccup with working out in the public, where officials sometimes put a stop to his work before he can finish.
I’ve seen quite a few performances and media that have cocked my head to the side and stare transfixed back. However, never have I seen such a performance that stemmed as far back as the early 1900’s. When first viewing Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, I was immediately taken aback at both the choreography, coupled with the orchestral accompaniment. As controversial as it was at its premiere, it is impossible to miss how much this work has had an impact on music and the arts today.
The style of Impressionism, which was in essence born in 1874 in France, ushered in a new era of visual arts that changed the way many viewed art and evaluated it. In comparison to the Romantic and Realist painters that preceded them, painters of the Impressionist style took a drastic approach at depicting real subjects with real lighting and effects in a different matter than seen before. It’s this fact alone that I think intrigues me the most about this particular art style.
Critics of the style believed at first that these painters looked unfinished and attributed their worth to little more than a sketch or impression, giving the style its name. (Samu Impressionism). However, after time passed, more people began to look at Impressionistic paintings in a different light. Not only did people look at the subjects in the paintings, typically upper class goings on and other pleasant moments, but at the work and technique an individual painter used to create their work. Detail was not a necessary facet of Impressionism, but the fact that many different painters found different levels of detail shows how versatile and awe-inspiring many of these works are.
In comparison to previous art styles, which I covered in previous posts, I think of the styles together as a camera changing focus. As you focus the camera forward toward something, you see a more detailed image and can see much farther. When we finally focus the image perfectly, we arrive at what most would consider the Romantic/Realist styles. Focus the camera just a little more and we set the focal point past the image, which may not look blurry and not as detailed, but we technically are looking much deeper. This is Impressionism to me.
Firstly, before everyone tries to get into a grammatically-correct uproar: No, I did not misspell ‘affect’. It’s a play on words. Now that we have that out of the way, we’re about to take the aesthetic appreciation beyond the purely visual like my last two blog posts (which if you haven’t read them because of their length, shame on you). For our audio appreciative audience, I have just the piece from the Classical Era to soothe your acoustic ear: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik (or “A Little Serenade” for you non-German speakers, like me).
We’ve all heard of David, the biblical hero who defeated the Philistine warrior Goliath with a well-placed slingshot, whether it be from the Bible story or from the many depictions of him through the centuries. Why David has found so many outlets for artist’s inspiration and depiction is a large task that would cover more than one single blog post. However, we can focus on a portrayal of the young man during the Baroque era. Through this, we can find several different reasons and influences on the work. For Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s representation of David takes such a dramatic turn that the reasoning and inspiration becomes a predominate question.
Applying any adjective to describe the influence throughout culture and history to King Henry VIII does him no justice. Henry is known probably most of all by his knack of taking wives, with numerous documentaries, books and dramas dedicated to the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII. His first marriage to Katherine of Aragon and his infatuation with Anne Boleyn produced one of the most detailed divorces of the Renaissance, deemed “The Great Matter”. However, throughout Henry’s reign, another great matter proves to be Henry’s large focus beyond his marital affairs.
King Henry VIII was schooled by Erasmus, considered one of the greatest thinkers of his time and a close friend to another great humanist who later became one of Henry’s many Lord Chancellors, Thomas More. This instilled in Henry a humanist sense within, which would later prove to be the seeds that would overcome his Catholic upbringings and help to bring about the Reformation of the Church of England. And from this split from the Pope’s authority and the Catholic Church of Rome, the inspiration for one of the greatest depictions of King Henry VIII’s reign came to a German painter employed by the king; Hans Holbein.
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