Why I like art...(well, a lot of it)
|The Fall of Icarus by Bill Hammond|
|Fish by Constantin by Brancusi|
With sculpture, I often get the sense that all the smoothing and rounding and hollowing of great, abstract sculptural forms, even their facelessness, has a point. There is a sense of great gravity and rest. The sculptures slow time down to a full stop, and us with it.Critically, the artist needs to let the material do the talking and respect its nature.
Whilst in painting, an exaggerated use of colour or form often conveys an emotional response to a subject rather than a faithful representation of it that in some way is so much more impactful.
- The Last Judgement by Hieronymus Bosch
- The Fall of Icarus by Bill Hammond
- Tangata whenua by Baye Riddell
- Sfera con Sfera ("Sphere Within Sphere") by Arnaldo Pomodoro
- The Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as "The Bean" by Anish Kapoor
- Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
- A painting I can't remember the name of by Ben Nicholson ;-)
- Composition VI by Wassily Kandinsky
Why I love photography...
"Dépaysement" means to "decountrify oneself" and is defined as the experience of re-seeing. "One leaves one's own culture to face something unfamiliar, and upon returning home it has become strange – and can be seen with fresh eyes."
Brancusi (1876-1957) was one of the founding figures of modern sculpture and one of the most original artists of the twentieth-century and one of my favourite artists. His groundbreaking carvings introduced abstraction and primitivism into sculpture for the first time, and were as important as Picasso’s paintings to the development of modern art.
Brancusi was born in Romania in 1876. His parents were poor peasants who earned a meager living through back-breaking labor, and from the age of seven he herded the family's flock of sheep. He showed talent for carving objects out of wood and often ran away from home to escape the bullying of his father and older brothers. At the age of nine, Brancusi left small village and went to work in bigger and larger town.
Of course, there was a precedent. A decade before, Rodin had made a stone sculpture, now very well known and loved, called The Kiss. Its pair of over-lifesized figures grapple mightily on a Promethean rock, bodies surging with Michelangelo muscle. And what is Brancusi's reply? An object about a foot high, in which two little cuboid figures are pressed together in a childlike hug, face flat to face, arms wrapped round each other's backs.
The Cock is nothing much like a cock to look at. Its zigzag edge rising to a pointed tip suggests, but can't really be read as, the cock's comb. What it summons up is the cocky stance of a cock, and the jagged piercing cry of a cockcrow. Which way is it pointing? The sharp point at its apex; do we take that as the creature's raised head, or the tip of its stuck-up tail feathers? Or both?
Bird in Space is the supreme example of an ambiguous object. What does this swelling vertical boomerang evoke? The flying wing of a bird? The upright stance of a bird? The trajectory of a bird's flight? Soaring, or touching down? Windswept motion? All of these things at once. And it's a piece like Bird in Space, so breathtaking, so piercing in its sudden shimmering presence. Bird in Space. The whole point of this sculpture is that it almost isn't. It teeters on the brink of being just a shaft of upright stone. It soars.