Sunday, January 11, 2009

Art -Old School

While I've been laying around fighting a cold virus, I've been looking through some art books I have. I thought I might talk about works that I've always liked, and some new ones I've discovered.

Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' has always been a favorite. The colors grab your attention, and though the style is simplistic and stylized, the emotion of the piece comes through. There is feeling and mystery here...are the people in the background just passersby, outside of the main figure's world of pain, or is there a more sinister intent ? And, honestly, another reason I like this painting is some days, I feel like this guy.

On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum we have Claude Monet. His expressionistic paintings have a serene , almost dreamy feel to them. To me, his works have an almost calming effect. His work has always been my favorite of the Impressionists.

For a a much darker work, it's time to go to Brughel's macabre masterpiece the Triumph of Death. Brughel also painted warmer works such as scenes of peasant life, but this particular piece has a power that his homier works lack, in my opinion. I first saw this back when I was in junior high, on an imported Black Sabbath Greatest Hits album cover. In college I did more research on the artist. There's a lot going on in this painting, none of it happy or reassuring. There is one guy down in the lower right corner drawing his sword in defiance, maybe realizing that it's a lost cause, but wanting to go out fighting, which is a very Robert E. Howard way to approach the situation. This is the equivalent of a horror movie on canvas...which is probably why I like it so much. It isn't happy or reassuring in any way, but there has always been a part of me that likes the darker side of things...and this painting more than fits the bill.

Ok, so as not to end this entry on a totally bleak note, here's one of my all-time favorite classic paintings-Starry Night by Van Gogh. Looking at this painting always makes me happy for some reason. I have always liked looking at the night sky, and this is a beautifully stylized view of the night. This is just a great work of art, simple as that.

You can almost feel the cool breeze and the night air around you when you look at this picture. There are some paintings that I look at and wish I could step into and be there...and this is one of them( This actaully happened in the film Akira Kurasawa's excellent film, if you've never seen it).
These are just some of the works of the old masters that I admire. I also like Degas, Lautrec, Manet, Renoir, etc. This is a sample of my favorites. Later i'll post on some more modern artists I like. See you then!


Charles Gramlich said...

"The triumph of death" is a personal favorite.

Heff said...

Hell, I'm diggin' all of those paintings.

Scott said...

Charles, we seem to have similar tastes...not a big surprise,lol!

Heff, glad you like them!

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Scott,

I sure hope you feel better soon! Love the paintings, especially Triumph of death!

Scott said...

Michelle, thanks! Glad you liked the art.