Tag Archives: painting

Vibrant Textures: The Paintings of Michael Creese

by Michael Creese

Bison Skull

Bison Skull

Himalayan Cat

Himalayan Cat

Horse

Horse

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Panda Reflections

Panda Reflections

Panda Stars

Panda Stars

Starfish

Starfish

Tancho Koi Fish

Tancho Koi Fish

 

Michael CreeseArtist: Michael Creese

Michael Creese was born in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his family at the age of seven. While in school, he developed a keen interest in art and drawing, and was greatly encouraged by his high school art teachers to pursue his passions. Michael’s interest in drawing quickly progressed to a fascination with painting.

After being accepted at several different universities, including the Pratt Institute of New York, Michael began his formal art training at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, where in 1981 he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Michael paints in the oil impasto style, a technique used in art where paint is laid thickly on canvas, leaving visible brush (or palette knife) strokes. When dry, impasto provides a great deal of texture to the finished painting. He also works with several other mediums in addition to oils, most notably watercolors.

Michael’s work has been sold in print form by major art distributors and retailers, featured in the work of interior designers, and sold as ceramic and marble tile murals. His original oil on canvas paintings are purchased by collectors throughout the United States, as well as internationally. He is currently a member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society.

 

Artist Statement

As an artist I find myself constantly aware of my surroundings. Each subject that catches my attention, from the smallest of flowers to the brightest of sunsets, gets recorded and eventually ends up on a canvas in my studio.

I feel very lucky to have a talent to share with others, and I feel deeply connected with nature through the process of painting.

Over the years I have tried my hand at many different art materials and many different subjects, but I have always found myself back at the easel with oils on the palette. Oil paints are a true delight to work with and they seem to express themselves effortlessly, as if on their own!

My particular style of painting is a culmination of my fine art training, my fondness for the Impressionist and Expressionist art movements, and my personal artistic vision. Color and composition are two key elements to my creative process, but the application of paint is perhaps the single most important factor in defining my style, from loose brush strokes and rich texture to an almost frenzied use of palette knife marks. The colors that I use are frequently blended directly on the painting, adding liveliness through visibly distinct transitions in color and shade. I have been told that one of the nicest features of my style, even though it is representational, is its abstract quality. This is one aspect of painting that I truly enjoy and one that I have worked hard to preserve. But apart from all the explanations of technique or style, I think that you will find as I have that art is mostly a mystery … so much more than the sum of its parts.

Website: http://michaelcreese.com/

 

Portraits in Translation: The Multi-Layered Storytelling of Sal Jones

by Sal Jones

You're Heartless

You’re Heartless

You Should Leave Now

You Should Leave Now

You Tell Me

You Tell Me

Why Did You Do It

Why Did You Do It

Without Me They're Nothing

Without Me They’re Nothing

That's a Good Enough Reason

That’s a Good Enough Reason

Okay

Okay

We Can Get Out Of Here

We Can Get Out Of Here

I'm On To You

I’m On To You

I'm Just An Ordinary Guy With Nothing To Lose

I’m Just An Ordinary Guy With Nothing To Lose

Not Really No

Not Really No

Sal Jones-listen-to-me (1)

Listen To Me

 

Sal Jones-a-studio-photoSal Jones is a figurative artist inspired by human interplay, translating visual information into paintings; she develops ideas and themes from photographic sources with an emphasis on the painted surface. A re-interpretation of the portraiture tradition in which she uses colour and mark making as tools to communicate with, producing emotionally charged works, often of fictional personas.

Sal has a BA Hons in Fine Art and has exhibited regularly in London and across the UK. Including: Society of Women Artists annual open exhibition, Mall galleries, London; Id- A Fictional Journey into the Psyche, Display gallery, London; Discerning Eye Mall galleries London; Stopjectify, gallery Different, London. Works are held in private collections in the UK, Europe and the United States.

Website: http://www.saljonesart.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/senojlas/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/senojlas  (@senojlas)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saljonesart

 

Upcoming Exhibitions: 

SOLAR ART EXHIBITION 2016
4th June – 30th July 2016

Nude Tin Can Gallery, 125 Hatfield Rd. St Albans, AL1 4JS
Private View Friday 3rd 6.30pm – 10pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/261986567468567/

 

Summer Salon 2016

10th June – 1st July

Islington Arts Factory, 2 Parkhurst Road, London N7 0SF

Private view Friday 10th July 6.30 – 9.30 pm

 

We-R (exhibition to coincide with Pride 2016)

21st June – 3rd July

Espacio gallery 159 Bethnal Green road London E2 7DG

Opening event Wed 22nd June 6-9 pm, closing event 2nd July 6-9 pm

http://werpride16.weebly.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1754042444832763/

 

Seduction & Desire

5th July – 10th July

Espacio gallery 159 Bethnal Green road London E2 7DG

Private view Thursday 7th July , 6-9 pm

http://www.espaciogallery.com/future-exhibitions.html

 

National society of painters, sculptors, printmakers annual exhib 2016

5th – 16th July, menier gallery 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU 

Private view Tues 5th July

 

The Human Figure – Modern Myth & Storytelling

19th – 24th July

The Gallery, Edwards Lane, Stoke Newington London N16 0JJ

Private view Thursday 21st July 6-9:30 pm

 

Imagine

by Freddy Kirsheh

Angelic thought - digital painting

Angelic thought – digital painting


Concentration - Digital painting

Concentration – digital painting


Dany - digital painting

Dany – digital painting


Herz-Jesu-digital painting

Herz-Jesu – digital painting


Horse by the sea- Digital painting

Horse by the sea- digital painting


Modern global sensations - digital painting

Modern global sensations – digital painting


Moments of creativity - digital painting

Moments of creativity – digital painting


Palettre Spectra - Digital painting

Palettre Spectra – digital painting


Peace Dove - Altered water colors

Peace Dove – altered water colors


Peace of mind - digital painting

Peace of mind – digital painting


Sans parole - altered water colors

Sans parole – altered water colors


The greatest Creation- digital painting

The greatest Creation- digital painting


SHATTERED SELVES - 2014 Mixed media- drawing & digital painting

SHATTERED SELVES – 2014 Mixed media- drawing & digital painting


What Could Be In Woman's Heart - digital painting

What Could Be In Woman’s Heart – digital painting


Why you stone me - digital painting

Why you stone me – digital painting

 

Freddy Kirsheh Profile picsArtist: Freddy Kirsheh

Place and Date of Birth:                Damascus / 19.05.1953

Lives in Vienna

Fine Arts,  BA  degree  in interior design

Working  in  Interior  Design Decoration and  graphic design

His interior design and artworks works  was in: Damascus, Beirut, Cairo, Sharjah, Dubai, Athens, Paris, New York

freddy-kirsheh.fineartamerica.com

https://www.facebook.com/Freddy.Kirsheh

 

 

A Tribute to Walt Pascoe: Savage Uncertainties On The Road Home Reprise

Walt PascoeOn December 21, 2015–Winter Solstice, the day with the longest night of the year–a dear friend and an extraordinary human being said goodbye to life on earth. His name is Walt Pascoe and many of you know of his very human, honest, luminescent, and soaring artwork–artwork that matches his spirit completely. Many of you also knew the man himself–and, if so, feel the loss keenly.

Walt wrote an essay, accompanied by artwork, for Creative Thresholds three years ago–it ran December 21, 2012 (this is uncanny, perhaps fitting)–about his struggle with colon cancer. A searing, poignant, and brutally honest account of his experience. I’m choosing to run it again in honor of this amazing human being and friend.

We miss you, Walt.

Melissa
Curator/editor

Savage Uncertainties On The Road Home

by Walt Pascoe

And but so yeah.

Having recovered nicely from the insult of surgery to resect 10 inches of my large intestine, I was more or less happily bobbing back up to the surface of my murky little emotional pond. It had been disappointing to learn that cancer cells were already frolicking around my lymph system like unruly children, and that the tender wisdom of western medical modalities dictated a course of prophylactic chemo. But after a brief time for contemplation and acceptance I’d come to terms with “stage 3” and prepared myself accordingly. There was the relatively minor surgery to insert a semi-permanent, sub-cutaneous port in my chest for easy access to a major artery, and the inevitable institutional waltz w/ the doctors office and insurance company to pre-approve this gold-plated poisoning. And finally a couple more visits to the various scan-masters for more complete head to thigh reconnoitering of my tender corpus, in order to be doubly sure there were no other cancerous redoubts hidden under a rock somewhere. All this transpired in a relatively compressed time-frame, the doctors and staff proceeding w/ an admirable, if not entirely reassuring, sense of professional urgency. And so it came to pass that my oncologist only received the latest reports the night before I showed up to begin chemo infusions.

The six-month course of chemo for my particular cancer goes by the vaguely militaristic sounding acronym FOLFOX. Essentially it involves kicking back in the coolest recliner you’ve ever seen while various anti-nausea meds and the main chemical arsenal are deployed sequentially for a few hours. (What is it with all the battle metaphors?) One of the meds is more effective if administered in small bursts over 46 hours, so before you’re allowed to leave a pump is hooked up to your port and you wear this home. Its a robust little programmable squirt machine that looks more or less like the FedEx guys’ scanner, and you get to wear it on a belt around your waist or over your shoulder. So much for any shred of sartorial hipness I might have been clinging to in the waning years of middle age semi-decrepitude. On the bright side, the pump makes a rhythmic clicking sound which, while lying on the bed next to me at night, is not without a certain comforting intimacy…

“Incantations on the Road Home” 48”x64” Graphite on gessoed panel

“Incantations on the Road Home” 48”x64” Graphite on gessoed panel

Wait… what?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Turns out there was in fact a further metastasis. Stage 4. Another decent sized tumor wrapped around a bronchial tube near the entry point into my left lung, snuggly nestled next to my heart; a weirdly poetic location given the stressful mid-life transitions I’d been enduring of late, but one that rendered it inoperable. So a second biotherapy (a monoclonal antibody called Avastin) was added to the FOLFOX chemo regimen, all to be administered over a 6 month period…

“Raven Gets In” 48”x60” Oil on canvas

“Raven Gets In” 48”x60” Oil on canvas

“I always put lime on the people I kill. Wait… are you calling 911?” ~ Drunk guy in a Mexican restaurant, as related by my friend Melissa Johnston.

And so it seems that cancer has created the mother of all liminal spaces in my life. And it is from this strangely pregnant territory that I peer out into the… I want to say abyss… but like so many words now it seems inadequate, overused, and worked to within an inch of its word-ly life by the incessant hype culture hum we wallow in. The title of some crappy movie, complete with cross-licensed plastic action figures free w/ your next Happy Meal. And seriously, how many of us ever reach beyond the tremulous shadow of the concept and endeavors to actually process this deep down inside our whirring, buzzing lizard-brains? It crouches at the center of your chest like a cold rock, pulling you down through the turbid water more effectively than the finest cement shoes. Who the heck would want to go there voluntarily? Who…

“Fatal Shore” 48”x64” Acrylic on canvas

“Fatal Shore” 48”x64” Acrylic on canvas

Blaise Pascal wrote in “Pensées,” “We run heedlessly into the abyss after putting something in front of us to stop us from seeing it.”

It’s amazing how emotions flow just like weather.

I can go along doing what I think of as “well”: feeling optimistic, comfortable being alone, celebrating the liminal, accepting the transitory nature of things, handling the chemo, sensing health and wholeness on a walk in Whites Woods, meditating, reading, feeling a measured enthusiasm for the future w/o treating the present like just something to be got through, the master of silver linings, counting my blessings, deeply grateful for the love and support of my friends and family, acquaintances at the Post Office saying “hey, you look great”, relieved by the fact that I haven’t yet assumed the grayish-blue pallor of the wasting.

And then there will be this slow creeping intimation of unease, like a little darkening on the horizon. Just a few clouds on an otherwise sunny day…

Stillness and solitude in White’s Woods, Litchfield

Stillness and solitude in White’s Woods, Litchfield

Willem DeKooning referred to himself as a “slipping glimpser”.

As the storm gathers and starts to darken my interior landscape I can feel the slipping; the accumulation of tension in my heart and body. Fear, longing, and worry… a somatic ache that fluidly transmutes into a profound and painful spiritual dread if not checked quickly by some distraction. This is where it gets tricky being alone. It is so much easier to distract yourself from it when you are with other people. Just ignore and bury it in the cosmopolitan joy of human culture and friendship. Or loose yourself engineering a life.

“[…] almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of ‘psst’ that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer. ”
~ David Foster Wallace in “Infinite Jest”.

I guess this terror has always been present, and is for every human being. We do with it what we will. Tune it out. Turn it into art or literature. Transmogrify the brutal fact of our inevitable decay into infinite varieties of work and the illusion of progress. Am I thinking too much?! This is not always true. There are times when laughter and joy come in solitude and I can revel in it. But the laughter is hardened and forced when you are filled w/ grief at the prospect of loosing all you love… threatened in such an immediate, tangible way… I’m attached to my attachments! A lousy Buddhist if ever there was one! It’s amazing how I can go along feeling buoyant about the possibility of remission… and oh the delirious possibility of “durable remission”, held out there like the most seductive of outcomes. And then just tank for awhile… fall into the dark… gazing up into a night sky perversely ornamented with PET scan constellations of cancerous cells awash in radioactively tagged glucose, collaged all over my chest and neck, blinking out an inscrutable code… exhausted from the grasping after some more universal, ever-present , capital “L” Love. God. Some hopeful bulwark against the immensity of the void surrounding my fearful and trembling self. A glimpse perhaps…

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go

we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(Collected Poems)

And so it goes. Alone with the Alone. It is a choice. A pseudo-monastic exile, punctuated by genuinely caring and helpful visits from my loved ones and the logistics of the chemo rhythm. Simone Weil said “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”…

"Exile Study No.4 ~ Perdita" ink and graphite on paper, 22"x 30",

“Exile Study No.4 ~ Perdita” ink and graphite on paper, 22″x 30″

And what exactly is it that I am attending to now?

Seeking Now through mindful solitude. That word, though: seeking! Seeking itself one of the most seductive of attachments. After the briefest foray into the silence, I flee back into the endless loop of intellectual and aesthetic dialogue w/ the dead. With those I’ve chosen to valorize as artistic mentors for 30 years: David Smith and Charles Olson. And into the radiating web of endlessly fascinating threads that fan out from their volcanic productions. Back into yet another painting or drawing, searching searching searching, always searching… wading through a rich but terrifying uncertainty…

“The Secret Life of Wind” 48”x64” graphite on gessoed panel

“The Secret Life of Wind” 48”x64” graphite on gessoed panel

“Sometimes when I start a sculpture, I begin with only a realized part, the rest is travel to be unfolded much in the order of a dream. The conflict for realization is what makes art not its certainty, nor its technique or material.”
–David Smith

In Alex Stein and Yahia Lababidi’s wonderful conversation, “The Artist as Mystic”, Yahia quotes Heidegger: “Longing is the agony of the nearness of the distant.” This resonates now. Not just a little! The words vibrate in my chest as if I were standing alongside a huge, beautifully wrought bell being rung. Small pieces of the rock crouching there begin to fall…

“The Chain of Memory is Resurrection I” 30”x40” graphite and acrylic on bristol board

“The Chain of Memory is Resurrection I” 30”x40” graphite and acrylic on bristol board

 

Writer and artist: Walt Pascoe

Please check out more of Walt’s art at http://www.waltpascoe.com/.

TRUE COLOR

by María Álvarez

María Álvarez E Image 1

María Álvarez E Image 2

María Álvarez E Image 3

María Álvarez E Image 4

María Álvarez E Image 5

María Álvarez E Image 6

María Álvarez E Image 7

María Álvarez E Image 8

María Álvarez E Image 9

 

María ÁlvarezArtist: María Álvarez

Madrid-based oil and acrylic painter. Born in Vigo, María began to study drawing and painting at the age of 7 in the studio of the renowned painter Mingos Teixeira. There, she inherited the passion for color and contemplation. While developing her painting skills, she also took music and piano lessons through several years. When she turned 18, María moved to Madrid to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree both in Audiovisual and Applied Creativity Studies. This experience expanded her concept of image and opened her the door to other forms of art such as film, photography and graphic design.

Her art is based on mental passages and richness of color, through nature, wildlife and sometimes abstract scenes, where you can find the inspiration of the Impressionist and landscaper painters.

Website: www.mariaalvarezestevez.com

Instagram: @maria_alvarez_e

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariaalvarezeart/

 

 

Beauty of Line

by Jerry Shawback

Jerry Shawback Image 2

Jerry Shawback Image 3

Jerry Shawback Image 4

Jerry Shawback Image 5

Jerry Shawback Image 6

Jerry Shawback Image 7

Jerry Shawback Image 8

Jerry Shawback Image 9

Jerry Shawback Image 10

Jerry Shawback Imge 11

Jerry Shawback Image 12

Jerry Shawback Image 13

Jerry Shawback Image 14

Jerry Shawback Image 15

 

Jerry ShawbackArtist : Jerry Shawback

Jerry Shawback uses drawing as his primary form of expression. He studied communication design in Los Angeles at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of design, a division of the New School for Social Research. Jerry worked as a freelance designer, commercial artist, and animator for the entertainment industry.

After a ten year hiatus from the art world, Jerry returned to painting in 2007,  as a primary focus producing a series of self portraits encompassing various artistic motifs, while maintaining an underlining vision, cohesion and emotional honesty.  The artist’s self portrait series explores identity through multiple approaches to the same subject matter. Stylistically varied, they reveal the strange and vulnerability essence of the human condition. Jerry is now working on a series of paintings and portraits exploring self through images of others.

His affinity for people, observation of life and strong draughtmanship is apparent in his depiction of the human form and informs Jerry’s painting. Other influences include: Rico Lebrun, Egon Schiele, Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud and his mentor Cornelius Cole III.

Jerry has been sharing his works on paper daily on social media, documenting the lives and experiences around him. Exploring the subtle beauty of line through a continuing study of the human form is a common thread that permeates all his work.

Jshawback.tumblr.com

Twitter@jerryshawback

 

A Tale from the Heart

by Tiago Azevedo

Two Sisters

Two Sisters

Aschenputtel

Aschenputtel

The Frog King

The Frog King

Snow White

Snow White

The Praying Virgin

The Praying Virgin

Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood

Rapunzel

Rapunzel

The Evil Queen

The Evil Queen

Little Fairy

Little Fairy

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

 

Tiago Azevedo 02Artist: Tiago Azevedo

I was born in the Azores islands and influenced by that environment. I have
been drawing magical worlds and fantastic creatures since a very young age.

Latter I attended Art School for a period of three years however I decided to
graduate as an Architect.

Even though I was working as an architect by choice, those fantastic
creatures were screaming to get out.

So I finally decided to follow my passion and dedicate my full attention to the
artistic expression of my world.

Consequently my themes always revolve around Fantasy and Religion.

As a technique I use oil painting for its colour richness and jewel like effect.

At the moment I am working on an illustrated book based on my interpretation
of the Brothers Grimm Fairytales. This emerged out of my move to Germany
and my passion for German folk stories.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tg.fine.art

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TG__Art

Instagram: https://instagram.com/tg.art/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+tgoazevedo/posts

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tg_azevedo/

Tumblr: http://tgoazevedo.tumblr.com/

Blogger: http://www.tgoazevedo.blogspot.de/

 

 

Witchery and Thievery

by Yazmin Basa

Anthem

Anthem

Eons It Seems

Eons It Seems

Blue Autumn

Blue Autumn

Outside the Fairy Kingdom

Outside the Fairy Kingdom

Ode

Ode

Portrait of a Lady Amidst A Red Damask Background

Portrait of a Lady Amidst A Red Damask Background

Ennui Hamper

Ennui Hamper

Indigo

Indigo

Invisible Strings

Invisible Strings

Medieval Angel

Medieval Angel

My Breath Quits

My Breath Quits

Be Still Your Heart

Be Still Your Heart

In Good Company

In Good Company

Artist: Yazmin Basa

Art and yoga have been center stage in Yazmin’s life. She hails from the world of commercial art, having produced and art directed various in-house broadcast promotions for top TV brands. She has moved around to work for top cable companies in Hong Kong , New York, and Singapore. The discipline and work ethic in the commercial world keeps her grounded and she appreciates being able to understand the needs of a business to have reliable people to keep promotions alive. Now an executive for Video On Demand space for a Silicon Valley company, she is also setting her sights on worthwhile after hours activities – creating more paintings, dabbling with oils and watercolors and also making decoupage art with upcycled bottles. She also sells her artwork at Fine Art America, Society 6, Red Bubble and will open store in more Print On Demand sites. She has also written for various spa, yoga and travel publications. An active wiccan, she has a profound love for nature, and is often found creating artwork and writing poetry during frequent excursions in the countryside or by the sea. She is now mid-way through her first illustrated poetry book titled “Witchery and Thievery”. All the artworks shared here are her works in progress for this book.

Website: http://witcherythievery.blogspot.com/

FAA link:  http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/yazmin-basa.html

Society 6 link:  https://society6.com/yazminbasa

Red Bubble link:  http://www.redbubble.com/people/yazminbasa

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Yazmin.Basa.Art/

Savage Shapes

by Eleanor Adair

I’ve always been interested in how self-consciousness alters our identity, so my art naturally becomes a way of exploring the different ways we define ourselves through others. I’m heavily drawn towards figurative art, and find the human form the best place to look at the extremities and disruptions that push us beyond the predictable and make the body talk. I tend to be an instinctive painter, so that I work in the moment rather than from plans. I think this means the art is less censored, less concerned, even if it’s more chaotic or absurd. With figurative art, the artist plays a role in filling up space that challenges the contained, precise and predictable forms we’re so often presented with. Once eyes start moving outside of those shapes they become exciting again. The bodies that materialise in my own work are an alternative account of the routine human form; bodies for eyes that like to wander.

Line Dance, oil on canvas 60x75cm

Line Dance, oil on canvas 60x75cm

Line Dance 2, oil on canvas 60x75cm

Line Dance 2, oil on canvas 60x75cm

Line Dance 3, ink on paper 20x30cm

Line Dance 3, ink on paper 20x30cm

Lemon, oil on canvas 100x75cm

Lemon, oil on canvas 100x75cm

Lemon 2, oil on canvas 100x75cm

Lemon 2, oil on canvas 100x75cm

Swans, oil on canvas 100x75cm

Swans, oil on canvas 100x75cm

Angels, oil on canvas 60x75cm

Angels, oil on canvas 60x75cm

Floorboard, oil on canvas 50x60cm

Floorboard, oil on canvas 50x60cm

Head studies 1,2 & 3, felt pen on paper each 20x30cm

Head studies 1,2 & 3, felt pen on paper each 20x30cm

Yellow Evolving, pen on paper 30x40cm

Yellow Evolving, pen on paper 30x40cm

Yellow Evolving 2, pen on paper 30x40cm

Yellow Evolving 2, pen on paper 30x40cm

On Pink, pen on paper, each 20x30cm

On Pink, pen on paper, each 20x30cm

Bluemen, pen on paper 30cmx40cm

Bluemen, pen on paper 30cmx40cm

Blueman 2, pen on paper 30x40cm

Blueman 2, pen on paper 30x40cm

 

Eleanor AdairEleanor Adair was born and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. She has exhibited internationally including London, Paris, Edinburgh and in the US. She has no formal art training and currently lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Postcolonial Thoughts: Frida Kahlo’s Interrogation of Self, Part2

 

Self-Portraits

noun

1.a portrait of oneself done by oneself.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/self-portrait

Self-portrait has just as long a history as painting itself, but often with little note. It is often considered a “stand in” when there is no model available. It’s a way painters keep their skills sharp by using themselves in place of a model. Due to the aforementioned, self-portraits are not really considered worthy of proper analysis and quickly moved aside to focus on the artist’s primary work.

The obvious decision by Kahlo to place the practice of self-portraiture as the primary methodology of her work is very interesting. That she then goes on to have so much revisionary success should also be discussed. For a proper analysis of Kahlo’s work the primary focus should consider her main point of interest. This focus can easily be identified in the relentless interrogation of herself, which is then put on display for everyone to see, in her self-portraits. It is in this simple choice Kahlo reveals a supreme understanding of reality, not fiction. Kahlo’s is unmatched in her unbiased representation of self that is completely honest.

No artist has left a loftier or more penetrating personal testament than Rembrandt van Rijn. In more than 90 portraits of himself that date from the outset of his career in the 1620s to the year of his death in 1669, he created an autobiography in art that is the equal of the finest ever produced in literature even of the intimately analytical Confessions of St. Augustine http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/rembrandt_self_portraits.htm

Rembrandt Self-Portrait 1658 133.67 cm x 10.32 cm. Frick Collection, New York http://c300221.r21.cf1.rackcdn.com/rembrandt-self-portrait-1658-1341032609_b.jpg

Rembrandt
Self-Portrait
1658
133.67 cm x 10.32 cm.
Frick Collection, New York
http://c300221.r21.cf1.rackcdn.com/rembrandt-self-portrait-1658-1341032609_b.jpg

 

It is very difficult to produce more than one self-portrait without becoming super conscious of one’s own vanity. It is then easy for that vanity to be forced onto the viewer as a vulgar statement of the artist’s ego. Vanity suggests to the artist, “you should make yourself look like a king” and it keeps suggesting until it completely takes over. It is not an easy thing to deny vanity for the purpose of internal investigation. Vanity is interested in the external.

Yes, Rembrandt is known as being one of the most prolific self –portrait artists but his self –portraits are vulgar displays of vanity. Rembrandt’s self-portraits are boring in comparison Kahlo’s. They fail to surpass the painted surface and communicate anything other than mastery of skill. Sure his paintings are filled with the bold dramatic lighting which the baroque period praised, but Rembrandt used himself as a study for developing his own technical skill.

This reveals the genius of Kahlo. She only uses the study of oneself as the primary drive behind her work. Her sketches surpass the intent and technique of Rembrandt by focusing on the on the same form and interrogating it, not for lighting or technical expertise.

Van Gogh Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print, January 1889 Oil on canvas, 60 × 49 cm

Van Gogh Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print, January 1889 Oil on canvas, 60 × 49 cm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portraits_of_Vincent_van_Gogh#/media/File:VanGogh-self-portrait-with_bandaged_ear.jpg

 

Van Gogh is also another prolific self- portrait artist. His self -portraits also do not surpass the utilitarian use of the self-portrait. They are mere studies of brush work and color, investigating technique. It is well documented that he was deeply disturbed but these paintings aren’t. They are controlled illustrations of a man in turmoil. This is an artist that is too self-conscious of self to actually communicate a direct visceral response.

Chuck Close in 1968 with his ‘Big Self-Portrait’ (1967-1968). https://beckchris.wordpress.com/people/best-contemporary-visual-artists-the-critics-picks/

Chuck Close in 1968 with his ‘Big Self-Portrait’ (1967-1968).
https://beckchris.wordpress.com/people/best-contemporary-visual-artists-the-critics-picks/

 

Chuck Close has followed the tradition of vulgar displays of ego on an immense scale. Close has dedicated the majority of his artistic career to the portrait and self-portrait. He made a name for himself with these oversized super technical self-portraits. He has used the “study” as the primary focus but only succeeds at communicating technique.

Artist:Frida Kahlo Start Date: 1940 Completion Date:1943 Style:Naïve Art (Primitivism) Genre:self-portrait Technique:oil Material: masonite Dimensions: 76 x 61 cm http://uploads7.wikiart.org/images/magdalena-carmen-frieda-kahlo-y-calder%C3%B3n-de-rivera/self-portrait-as-a-tehuana-1943.jpg

Artist:Frida Kahlo
Start Date: 1940
Completion Date:1943
Style:Naïve Art (Primitivism)
Genre:self-portrait
Technique:oil
Material: masonite
Dimensions: 76 x 61 cm
http://uploads7.wikiart.org/images/magdalena-carmen-frieda-kahlo-y-calder%C3%B3n-de-rivera/self-portrait-as-a-tehuana-1943.jpg

 

Art schools teach artists to look outside themselves for inspiration. They point artists to follow the success of artists that came before, located in the Western canon. Then, once the students have learned the Western canon, they can now think about self. Kahlo used a primary investigation of self as the driving force. There are thousands of portrait paintings made of Frida Kahlo by her adoring fans that do not succeed in more than technique. Kahlo would not want you to spend your time interrogating your own practice. She would want you to spend time interrogating yourself.

 

Christopher HutchinsonChristopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

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