Rene Magritte: A very Apt Painting of Wall Street And What You Should Do!

by Bill Hogarth
(West Virginia)

Magritte's Wall Street

Magritte's Wall Street

I came across this painting of Wall Street with the corporate powers that be, hanging unrealistically from a not so compassionate sky.

The Wall Street protesters are vociferous in their protests globally defying the arrogant police force and getting arrested. Great! Keep it up!

Isn't this voicing "We want Freedom" from the corporate world? Looking at this rationally, it appears we ARE basically slaves to Wall St and the banks.

And the Obama Government sits back and does nothing as do many of the state governors.

People—there are more effective ways than protesting this way...it may hurt some people doing this but if we can collectively hit these corporations' bottom line, we can create quite an impact.

How? Boycott their products, don't support Exxon, Wal-Mart, Coke, Nestle and hundreds more. Then you will be able to create a big impact.

Just for a month, buy your gas from any other pump except Exxon and its offshoots. You WILL notice a big difference!



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The Great Andy Warhol and Other Artists

by Eugene
(CA)

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Did you like the early drawings that were created by Andy Warhol?

He created most of these drawings while he was enrolled at Carnegie Tech, now called Carnegie Mellon University. He also went by the name Andy Warhola.

The art Andy Warhol created when he was young (late teens to early twenties) was much less of pop art that made him famous.

These were sketches that he made as he observed the city of Pittsburgh, where he grew up. He would accompany his brother selling produce from a cart in neighborhoods.

Here he would often sketch what he saw. These sketches, many of which are housed at the Warhol Museum on Pittsburgh’s North Side, are a treasure to the city and the people of Pittsburgh.

While Warhol is most noted for his later photographic and silk screening pieces, a lot of people never realized that Andy Warhol was a true artist.

Not to be compared, I also greatly enjoy the drawings of Shel Silverstein. He was a triple treat as poet, songwriter and illustrator. His doodles turned art captivated me as a child and I read all his books, filled with sketches to my children.

Another author, Sylvia Plath, more known for poetry and prose, was adept with the pen as an illustrator. Examples of her art can be found in appendices in many of her published works.

I like the darkness to the sketches that Plath created, not the darkness of the theme, but the heavy use of ink that creates a gloom even in a simple drawing of a pair of boots.

The three artists whose sketch work I admire most were not primarily known for their drawings but like the greatest of all artists, they were adept at more than one area of art, even if they had made a name for themselves in another.

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The Melting Clocks:
Salvado Dali

by Valerie Holmes
(AZ)

Surrealism, which began in the 1920s and was centered in Paris, is a non-sequitur, unusual juxtapositions with surprising elements that may not seem to fit with the rest of the picture.

Surrealism encompasses more than a visual style, but practices a philosophy that explores what happens when you take reason and expected elements out of the art to cause the viewer (or reader—not all surrealism is visual art) to re-examine his expectations and the status quo.

Art from the surrealists is often visually striking, bold and designed to catch the viewer's attention with its robust elements.

Famous surrealists include father of the movement, André Breton, René Magritte, and Salvador Dali. Dali is one of the better-known surrealists especially for his piece "The Persistence of Memory." You may know this picture as the "melting clocks" picture. Set in a stark desert-like outdoor setting with mountains and water in the distance, the lines of this painting are hard and certain with none of the softness or realism of earlier well-known art movements.

Dali expressed strong contrasts between light and dark, and complementary colors blue and yellow, in this painting. Three sagging, wilted clocks are draped over painting elements in the foreground. There is nothing comfortable or familiar about most of the elements of the painting; its starkness evokes a lonely desert feeling that leaves the viewer feeling alone and bewildered, lost without anything known to grasp onto when experiencing the painting.

The familiar mountains are too far distance, and the familiar clocks are melting, one of them teeming with insects.

One of the clocks drapes an indistinguishable object in the center of the painting, and the object is evocative of a dead animal. This object has a few familiar aspects—the outline of a nose, a large closed eye with long eyelashes—but the face is out of proportion and distressing.

While the effect of the painting is very striking and definitely makes an impact on the viewer, it is a classic example of surrealism and definitely accomplishes the surrealist ideal of removing the viewer from that which is traditional and known.

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Drawings & Sketches of The Masters

by Michael Delaine
(Belize)

Crying Spider by Redon

Crying Spider by Redon

The drawings of the renaissance masters are ones that come to mind most immediately, of course. No one can argue with the flawless line of Leonardo's work or the way you can almost feel the mass and power of a Michelangelo drawing.

Some of the most interesting drawings are ones that were done as sketches for tapestries, or as initial drawings to be used to make prints. Even artists who were known for three dimensional work, like the sculptor Donatello, created some interesting studies.

What I really enjoy, though, are artists of a later date, whose work may be less well known. One of my favorite draftsmen is a French 19th century painter named Odilon Redon.

His paintings are filled with vivid splashes of bright color and wild imaginative scenes, but even his drawings are amazing. Many of them look like the work of fever dreams, like "The Crying Spider" —which features a spider with a man's face; or "Spirit of the Forest," an image of a skeleton-man-tree hybrid.

Another illustrator I like from the 19th century is Aubry Beardsley. His work is very decorative, with a heavy line and an exotic style. Much of his work borders on the erotic, but he also created some of the most beautiful of the art nouveau illustrations.

If you move a little later into the early and middle 20th century, you can't dismiss the drawings of Picasso. He's far more well known for other things, yes, but his mastery of line is really superb.

Some of his studies of the human figure seem almost alive, and have an intensity that is hard to describe. It's amazing how simple tools—pen or pencil, and drawing surface, can be used to create art of such great beauty!.

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Toulouse-Lautrec, One of My Favourite Artists

by Marie Saint-Martin
(Lyon)

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, also known as just Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. He was an amazing innovator of the newly upgraded print maker and painter.

I like his art but I also think he had an interesting, dark, sad, and colorful life.

Toulouse-Lautrec grew up in a rich family but had some major health problems. He had rickets so his legs were really small in comparison to his torso. I went to Arles, France a couple years ago and saw his early work.

I really like his vision. He did a lot of work of horses. His eye was really delightful.

The legs of the horse were emphasized to show their movement and power. After his childhood interest in painting, he set up in Paris with a well-known painter of the time. Toulouse-Lautrec is probably most known for his advertising work. He got some fame from his work "Confetti". Most People recognize the Moulin Rouge poster and one of a silhouette of a women called Divan Japonais .

They have a really distinct style. They have an interesting Japanese woodprint look and stressed silhouettes. The colors are really distinct too. There are lots of yellow and reds. I think people like his work because it is different and because there is some darkness in his work. Some of the pain of his life shows through.

Like so much of the time he did not get the recognition he deserved. Toulouse had a dark life like so many of us today in these uncertain times. He was not very attractive and was sickly, so he did not have a classic relationship that he longed for.

He frequented whore houses especially the Moulin Rouge. During this time, being a prostitute was legal, but highly regulated. It made the life of a whore not very glamorous (not that it usually is glamorous, I guess).

My favorite works of Toulouse-Lautrec are his depiction of prostitutes. They show their beauty but not overly glamorize them. He depicts their frequent medical exams to be certified prostitutes to check for sores and the women putting on their stockings. He depicts them honestly but sympathetically. Toulouse-Lautrec was an alcoholic had syphilis and it killed him. IMO I think a painful life contributed to his beautiful art.

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The Persistence of Memory:
Salvador Dali

by Jason Orthman
(Delaware)

The Persistence of Thought

The Persistence of Thought

Surrealism as an art movement originated in Paris in the early 1920s, and later expanded its scope of influence through the international art community.

Surrealist works feature the element of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions, with the purpose of defining thought through unconventional means, and expressing the importance of the subconscious and dream state as the purest form of thought.

Surrealism not only shaped an artistic movement, but it filtered into music, philosophy, and politics around the globe. Perhaps one of the more well known artists involved with the Surrealist movement was Salvador Dali.

Salvador Dali dabbled in many forms of art before he devoted himself to surrealism. In his earlier works he used both classical and modernist techniques, sometimes in separate works, and sometimes combined.

One of his most recognized works is known as "The Persistence of Memory" and portrays an array of melted pocket watches in a wide, barren landscape. This picture epitomizes Dalí's theory of "softness" and "hardness" especially with regards to time, in that he believed time was not in fact a fixed principle, but was fluid.

The orange clock at the bottom left of the painting is covered in ants, which Dalí often used to symbolize death or female genitalia.

The figure in the center is symbolic of a "fading creature" in a dream state, as evidenced by the one closed eye of the creature. This portrayal reinforces the importance of the subconscious in surrealism, as well as depicting time as an unfixed quality—while in a dream state, time becomes fluid.

This picture haunts me with its extremes—the barrenness and hardness of the landscape juxtaposed with the softness of the melting clocks draped casually around the landscape, the ants clustered on one of the clocks representing both death and female genitalia—which makes sense as the act of sex can be seen as a kind of death, as it epitomizes giving up oneself wholly to another.

There is a lingering sadness about this picture; an almost hopeless appeal for time to lose its fixed rigidity and come under the mastery of the subconscious.

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