Tag Archives: Painting

African Art

I am very excited to be able to introduce you to the very talented, young Senegalese artists Momar Seck who now finally decided to expand his scope into Europe and the United States. He studied at the Dakar Graduate School of Visual Arts as well as in Switzerland at the University of Strasbourg to explore the studies of fine art in addition to purely plastic art.

Working in Dakar, Momar Seck clearly reflects the impression of his surrounding in his work. His pictures are characterized by the bright colors typical for African art and the idea many have of Africa in general. Upon closer inspection, one realizes, that the materials the artist uses are all recycled. In his personal statement, Momar Seck explains that he wants to show the interculturality of our modern, globalized world, where every good undergoes a cycle and in the end ends up, where it started.

The first painting below exemplifies this perfectly. The painting is dominated by the warm yellow and red-brown tones of the background as well as the warm orange of the greatest object in the center of the painting which creates a harmonic and snug atmosphere. The small individual rectangles which are arranged in three long vertical stripes show batik patterns in bright pink, blue and yellow and other fabric with very special, diverse structures or patterns. Being so different and extraordinary the singularity of these elements paradoxically is also their binding element, their lowest common denominator. Because of this characteristic, every rectangle seems like a window to a foreign world, a world that is so azure blue, so free, so Jamaican-chill, that it seems so far away from our western European lives that it gets a paradisiacal character.

The largest rectangle is in the center of the picture with a dark red line closely bisecting it, which makes the whole image appear symmetrical, although it clearly is not. This work shows the spirit of Africa, of Senegal with all its different facets and colors that cannot be felt this way in our world, which is what makes the painting so thrilling and fascinating for me.

The background of the upper third of the picture is kept in black, covered here and there by orange and yellow streams of paint that lead to the middle part of the painting, which includes this dark color into the picture, as it would otherwise stand apart and in contrast to the bright orange and yellow shades that dominate the rest of the painting. Still, in its darkness it suggests peril and doom, posed by the Western culture? It seems as if the orange streams fight against the dark, which adds another tension to the picture.

The background colors constitute the Belgium flag. Momar Seck thereby takes up his intention to show interculturality of our world, linking Belgium as a European and EU country with the Jamaican flag in a piece of art that is in its composition African.

This image is only one example of the wonderful work of Momar Seck and surely his other pictures all say equally much about our world, which is why I strongly encourage you to have a close look on them!

 

Zuschneiden

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Zuschneiden_3

 

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The glorious Edvard Munch

Dear Readers,

last weekend, the last weekend of my vacation, I was in NYC- the big apple- visiting the Museum of Modern Art. It is by far the museum I enjoy visiting the most as it has classic but also a vast exhibition of contemporary and very diverse art! At this point I must admit that I prefer contemporary art because I can identify with it more. Still there is one artist whose paintings I truly love: Munch.

The Norwegian who lived from 1863 to 1944 is in my opinion the greatest expressionistic painter of the modern time. His most known work by far is “The Scream” which he painted an re-painted several times and worked over it many years. There are four paintings in different colour schemes and a number of lithographs (also extremely fascinating).

I had the possibility to see one of them in the MoMa.

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Now, what is it, that fascinates people all over the world?

As many expressionists Munch does not see colour as a part of reality but more as a tool to express certain feelings. The wavy body and background stand in extreme contrast to the straight bridge. The body, which can be also found in his painting “Madonna”, seems ghost-like and surreal. Not only the colours are contrasted vastly. The scenery in the background shows a ship which is clearly suppose to swim in the water. But unlike in nature, Munchs’ sea is yellow, the soil is blue. This enhances how Munch does not believe in a naturalistic depiction of his scene but rather  in colour as a media of emotions.

What I found most striking is the following: He painted the body and also the background and the bride with very thick and strong and layered strokes, but the suffocated scream, the most desperate and important element of the painting, is just drawn by one, perfect stroke. You cannot see this very well one the photograph but it seems so light and real and unearthly that it takes you into its spell. I could have stared at it for hours if I weren’t always so hungry…

Beneath I included a lithograph of ‘The Scream’ Munch painted for a German fellow, I think it was an artilleryman but I am not quite sure. At the bottom it says “Ich fühle das ganze Geschrei durch die Natur” which can be translated as “I feel all the screaming through nature”

Wonderful line, really makes you think…

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These are some of his other works

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Thank your for reading, comments are appreciated!!

Vanitas [lat.invalidity]

heyheyhey,

as you are reading my blog I assume that you know something about art but if this would not be the case, one basic thing at this point: “Vanitas” is a way of art mostly connected with still live. In a vanitas artwork the artist wants to depict evanescence of life by showing something dead in his painting like a dead flower or rotten food or some kind of an insect with negative associations like a dung beetle.

So far. Now I am writing about Alexander James today who copied the still lives of the renaissance with one decisive difference: He put the installation underwater!

There is a very extensive explanation of the meaning of his work and how it should be interpreted and what effect the water has one the installation and I would really entrust you to read that because I think he wrote it very well thought and with lots of information included which makes you see the paintings from a new perspective. Illuminating.

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