I don’t know all that much about art, but I do like going to museums from time to time. All I know is what I like, or what I don’t like. I usually have no clue about the rest. So what I know is, through trial and error, that I mostly like art from the late 19th century till roughly WWII. And that’s a very broad scope. It’s probably the reason why I don’t have just one favorite painter, but three: Hieronymus Bosch, Wassily Kandinsky and Salvador Dalí.
1.) Hieronymus Bosch
Dutch painter from the Middle Ages. He is best known for his depiction of hell and strange imagery. His work is clearly made along the lines of art in the Middle ages: darker colors in the front, lighter towards the back, to give an illusion of perspective and set in an ecclesiastical tradition. Yet, the images are unique in paintings of this time. There are demons with fish heads, people being tortured and the paintings are very detailed: the longer you look, the more bizarre things you’ll discover. It’s almost like those Where is Wally books I read when I was little!
2.) Wassily Kandinsky
Russian painter, who started off with impressionist type art, but then became convinced that art should be abstract. He was influenced heavily by music and was of the opinion that painting and music went seamlessly together. He was part of art groups such as Der Blaue Reiter and Bauhaus. The longer her worked the more abstract his art became. The flowy lines from earlier work were later replaced solely by abstract geometric shapes. He fled Germany during WWII and went to the United States. Here, he befriended the Guggenheims. Hence, why so much of his can be found in the Guggenheim museum, which is where I first saw it and fell in love. For some reason each pen strike makes sense and the composition is amazing.
3.) Salvador Dalí
I knew about Dalí for ages, but his work just struck me as odd, until I went to an exhibition on Dalí and film in the MOMA in New York in 2008. It was extremely busy, but it blew me away. I was especially intrigued by how much thought and process lay behind his works of art. The man was a genius. Perhaps that is also the reason why he was so extravagant. A good number of his works is on display in Rotterdam in a museum called Boijmans van Beuningen. The curator who worked there in the 60s and 70s knew Dalí personally and the artist donated some of his work to the museum. I went there in February and was again taken by the absurdity of his work.
Later, I read somewhere that Dalí listed the above mentioned Bosch as one of his influences. It can’t be a coincidence that I like both of them!
Who is your favorite painter?
Image credits go to their respectful owners.