As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Thursday, March 4, 2010

#4 Cubism; 31 days of Rhinos

Why? Because I am Picasso!

#4 Cubism; 31 days of Rhinos
Acrylic on Canvas board

Sorry for the crappy photo, but it got late and the daylight got away from me. Alas, I am out of bulbs that will let me take a decent shot! I'll try to fix this one tomorrow, but by then, you'll have moved on!

Why did I paint an abstract Rhino? Because I AM PICASSO!!!

So, about Cubism...If this was a normal post, I would have entitled it "War, and other abstract concepts" Well, Cubism is definitely abstract. In fact, it may well be the first deliberate attempt to create abstract art.

["Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music and literature. The first branch of cubism, known as Analytic Cubism, was both radical and influential as a short but highly significant art movement between 1907 and 1911 in France. In its second phase, Synthetic Cubism, the movement spread and remained vital until around 1919, when the Surrealist movement gained popularity.
English art historian Douglas Cooper describes three phases of Cubism in his seminal book The Cubist Epoch. According to Cooper there was "Early Cubism", (from 1906 to 1908) when the movement was initially developed in the studios of Picasso and Braque; the second phase being called "High Cubism", (from 1909 to 1914) during which time Juan Gris emerged as an important exponent; and finally Cooper referred to "Late Cubism" (from 1914 to 1921) as the last phase of Cubism as a radical avant-garde movement.[1]

In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles, removing a coherent sense of depth. The background and object planes interpenetrate one another to create the shallow ambiguous space, one of cubism's distinct characteristics."] - Excerpt from Wikipedia, again, potentially unreliable source! LOL

Picasso had like 20 words in his name..totally useless trivia, I know! His Dad had him in art school not long after his first word uttered was pencil! Must have been a little like Tiger Woods. He was uber talented, really smart, cute and Spanish, and his ability to paint realism with style and quality got him known. His work is obviously as famous as it gets, ok, actually, he is the Number One Figure of the 20th Century! You would think that abstract art and Cubism wouldn't take any work at all, and it should be perfect for the non-artist. To pull it off well, though, you have to understand your random, geometric patterns; and placement and color or value are important here! (Don't use mine as a good example. HA)
Picasso was a lucky guy, he had fame and money, and an entourage of interns to help him complete his work. It is rumored to be true (if you ask any art historian), that Picasso signed a lot of his students work..he pretty much signed everything he liked in his studio.
Why? Because He was Picasso!

A little about the co-founder, George Braque, that guy got around in style movements! I think he must have been good at everything! He was trained as a tradesman painter by his generations of fathers before him, but had to take off to found a new style! But, it took a while to decide where he wanted to be as an artist. He was an early impressionist, and then took part of the Fauve artist group (no relation to the Quarterback, I think), and made friends with a lot of really cool painters of the day, like Matisse! The Fauves used loose abstract strokes with bright colors to elicit an emotional response from the viewer. Braque was friends with Cezanne too, (remember, one of the great Impressionists), and it was Cezanne's work at the 1907 Salon the most impacted the direction of art in Paris, leading to the birth of Cubism. That seemed like such a great time to be an artist. I wish I had a time machine and lots of handiwipes to take with me!

This rhino was painted in less than 20 minutes. I could do a lot better, and maybe I will, so there! But, I have been trying to create quickly as part of that daily practice I've been talking about. (Jesus Rhino #2 took half the day, believe it or not!)

So, thanks for the great memories Pablo and George, and special thanks to that Impressionist Cezanne for the putting the nugget out there...

ps. again, mostly ripped off from Wiki, delivery modified!

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  1. Thank you for all the info and the art lesson. I love this Rhino, I think it is my favorite so far. I look forward to seeing more.

  2. Thanks, Marlene. This is really not a great example as I haven't furnished more than one viewpoint in this perspective. Mo betta to come!


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