Voltaire, born François-Marie Arouet, was a french author, poet and political activist. Alongside his books, he composed thousands of poems, pamphlets and essays over his career. His most notable, and my favorite work is Candide. Candide is a satirical novel aimed at poking fun at the cultural norms of his time. My reason for choosing Voltaire is that his life was spent arguing for things he believed in. He was a prominent advocate of religious freedom and class equality, and he used his artwork to express this. He was also one of the first public figures that expressed ethnic equality in France, during a time which speaking out on such issues was very frowned upon. Voltaire’s works in social activism, as well as the beauty of his writings has challenged me many times to think about the world in which we live in.
Wassily Kandinsky is a Russian artist and theorist. He was a part of the expressionist movement in the early 1900s. All of his works are known as non-objective abstractions where the subjects and forms are unrecognizable to anything we know in our lives. His artwork only relied on the color and form and their relationships and contradictions. His complete abstraction allowed his art to speak profoundly of his inner experiences. I wanted to share Kandinsky because I do simply find his work aesthetically pleasing. There is great compositional balance in each piece, and I can see the connection to music. Whether your eye dances randomly across the page or you take in each piece systematically there is a sense of movement whether it is abrupt or flowing, a story of feeling is told.
This website goes into detail of what really inspired Kandinsky in his work such as expression of feeling and music. A biography describes Kandinsky’s childhood, when he was first exposed to the expressionist movement, up to his death and how he influenced other abstract artists such and Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
This article explains the relationship Kandinsky saw between music and painting/color. He drew inspiration from this relationship in every piece of his work. This article also goes into depth about the connection Kandinsky saw between color and the spiritual self. Overall it is emphasized that Kandinsky took a very theoretical approach to painting.
This website gives some background behind one of Kandinsky’s most famous works, Composition VII. They explained the planning and work behind the painting which gives some insight to Kandinsky’s artistic process. The website explains how to forms and colors have an apocalyptic feel and express the theme of Judgment Day.
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican
feminist who was beyond her time.Not
only does her artwork embody modern ideas with surrealism, but her subject
matter and unique style is taught in art classrooms across the world.After being immobilized from a tragic
automobile accident in her teenage years, Frida was on bed rest and had
restrained movement for much of her life.She would lie in her bed, staring at herself in the mirror mounted above
her bed, and paint self-portraits of her pain and thoughts on the world.Her ability to see beyond the constraints
of her time grants her immortality.
Frida’s life was often admired for
reasons beyond her art.Her life was
especially difficult, with polio as a child, a tragic accident in her teenage
years, and pain that lasted the rest of her life. She was also well known for a
glamorous life among the famous, including Tina Modotti and Leon Trotsky. Kahlo was also well known for feminism
Frida had a complicated
relationship with her husband.This site
notes, “She often referred to him as her baby. She met him while still a
schoolgirl and later, in 1929, became the third wife of a man who gaily
accepted the diagnosis of his doctor that he was "unfit for
monogamy."They were known to not
be monogamous, as Frida had many lesbian lovers while she was married.Additionally, the accident maimed Frida,
making her infertile, so she was never able to fulfill her lifelong dreams of
being a mother.
Frida was diagnosed with polio as
a child, she hid her deformity from the world with bandages wrapped around her
thinning leg and wore thick wool socks over them to prevent the world from
seeing.Frida saw the good in the worst
parts of life. “My papa and mama began to spoil me a lot and love me more,”
Kahlo told Campos.This source continues
on to say that, “This statement, extraordinary in its pathos, provides one
sorrowful key to the artist’s psyche”.Frida continued on to associate pain with love, with her response to one
Rorschach as, “male genitals with fire and thorns”.
Tags: Andy Warhol, Self-portrait, Photography, Pop Art
Andy Warhol is one of the most well known American artist
and a leading figure in pop art. One can measure this via Google hits – more than
20 million search results. And his work can be easily recognized by the man on
the street. Those paintings are masterpieces that made Pop Art a phenomenal art
movement. For example, you may find the following painting familiar. Marilyn Diptych contains fifty images of Marilyn Monroe.
Half of them are vividly colored and the other half are in black and white with
an effect of fading.
Andy Warhol, "Marilyn Diptych", 1962
Tags: Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Painting, Pop Art
Andy Warhol was more than a painter. He was also a photographer,
a filmmaker and a musician. Warhol worked in great depth in many different
forms of media. He was, in the words of writer, Peter Wollen: “Renaissance
Andy Warhol and Twiggy
Tags: Andy Warhol, Twiggy, Lesley Lawson
Warhol’s native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has the Andy
Warhol Museum, which is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a
single artist. I visited there during my trip to the east coast last winter. It
was an amazing and inspiring experience. I also made my own “screen shot” in
the Warhol manner. You definitely want to check out their website.
The museum holds an extensive permanent collection of art
and archives from Warhol. They also have online galleries including several
levels of his work spanning his lifetime. So you can browse through a large
collection of artworks by Andy Warhol without actually visiting there!
Also, this is a link to Andy Warhol’s biography. The website
is very informative on Warhol’s early life and how his artistic career moved.
It provides the facts that help you understand Warhol’s art work better.
"Why can't I just be a fucking artist? Dudes get to just be artists. They don’t have to be 'male artists'." -Grace Miceli
Grace Miceli is a pop culture artist who bases her work on everyday femininity. She is incredibly inspiring to me because she’s created Art Baby Gallery, an online showing space for her and other underrated young artists’ work to be presented to a large audience. Despite the fact that she had just finished college and was not making money, she found a way to present her work to an audience that understood and appreciated it, and shared her space with other artists. Miceli holds strong views that I agree with about feminism in art: that feminism is an idea that should be present due to the lack of representation of female artists, however, she recognizes that it’s frustrating being labeled as a “female artist” rather than an “artist” as male artists are. The pop culture and nostalgia that Miceli works with is extremely relatable to me, she is around the same age as I am and we grew up seeing the same things on TV, in toy stores, in books, in grocery stores, etc.
http://gracemiceli.com/ is Miceli’s website. It features her work, the clothing and art she sells, and the Art Baby Gallery. The work she presents are drawings, paintings, and photos; she also uses instagram (linked on the website) to promote her art.
https://www.nylon.com/articles/girls-at-night-on-the-internet is a profile of Miceli’s Alt Space Brooklyn exhibit “Girls at Night on the Internet” which is a digital space for unestablished young female artists. It’s meant to showcase art and inspire other young artists to share their work. The art world can be very intimidating and Miceli’s goal is to show other young artists that showing their work in a gallery or other forms is attainable.
"I want my artwork to inspire people and make them feel that anything is possible for them. Help them understand who their true self is and how they are capable of anything they put their mind to."
Dimitra Milan is a 16 year old artist who began painting only 4 years ago. Being the daughter of two artists, Dimitra has been continuously exposed to art since a very young age. Growing up, her parents had a profound impact on her in the world of art, as they have always given her guidance and advice about painting and the creative process. She chose to be home-schooled so that she could focus more time on training, and, when her parents opened an art school, she began taking classes at age 12. Using a combination of classic oil pieces and mixed media oil pieces, Dimitras paintings reflect a dream-like atmosphere, which she does intentionally to make the viewer feel that "anything is possible." Her artwork often depicts women interacting with nature and animals, which is why I am drawn to this artist.
This is the artists website, which includes her bibliography, artwork, gallery listings and ways to follow her through social media.
This is a link to an interview from Anna Gragert. Gragert interviewed Dimitra Milan earlier this year in January. In this interview, Gragert asks about her life, her inspiration, creative process, and setting and the symbolism of her work.
This is another interview done earlier this year in January by BoredPanda staff member, Dainius. This interview gives more information about Dimitra Milan's life, how her skills developed and her parents influence on her artwork.