There is this new phase of Art Attack on Facebook, the idea is to fill Facebook with a little art. The game is easy. Suppose it’s my Facebook wall and I have uploaded a picture. To anyone who “likes” that picture, I will be assigning an artist. All one needs to do is upload a picture of that artist’s work on one’s wall, and so on!
This is not only to fill Facebook with a dash of art but also to learn and know about amazing artists and their paintings.
The flow of art posts on my homepage reminded me of that chocolate ad.Where a kid pressed this button on a vending machine and then all the chocolates gushed out, one after the other.
Okay. Bad imagery.
What I mean to say is, the Art Attack was an instant hit. Simply.
What started with just artists and their paintings, gradually expanded to music, films, photographs etc.
And the notifications.
Ping! Ping! Ping!
This led to some research and a few more feathers in the knowledge hat.
Strictly sticking to painters and their paintings, these are the artists who intrigue me the most:
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who is best known for her self-portraits. My favourites are her ‘The Two Fridas’, ‘Diego and Frida1929-1944’ and ‘Self-Portrait – Time Flies’. Drawn from personal experiences, Frida’s works often depict her suggestions of pain. She created 140 paintings, of which 55 are self-portraits which often incorporate symbolic portrayals of physical and psychological wounds. She said,”I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”
James Whistler, an American-born British-based painter, was a leading proponent of “art for art’s sake”. His most famous painting is ‘Whistler’s Mother’, 1971, an artwork in oil on canvas. It is an often parodied portrait of motherhood.
Grant Wood was an American painter, best known for his ‘American Gothic’, an iconic image of the 20th century. ‘American Gothic’, 1930 is one of the most famous paintings in American art. Wood was inspired from a cottage in Eldon, designed in the Gothic Revival style with an upper window in the shape of a medieval pointed arch. Wood decided to paint that house along with “the kind of people I fancied should live in that house”. Thus, the painting shows a farmer standing next to his spinster daughter. A few of his other works are ‘Spotted Man’, 1924, ‘Appraisal’, 1931, ‘Daughters of Revolution’, 1932, ‘Death on Ridge Road’, 1935 and ‘Iowa Cornfield’, 1941.
Edvard munch was a Norwegian painter whose psychological themes in his artworks greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. His well-known works are ‘The Scream’, 1893, ‘Madonna’ , 1894-95, ‘The Dance of Life’, 1899-1900, ‘Village in Moonlight’ , 1903 and ‘Self Portrait: Between Clock and Bed’, 1940-1942. ‘The Scream’ is his most famous painting and has been interpreted as the universal anxiety of modern man.
“I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous infinite scream of nature.”
In May 2012, ‘the Scream’ sold for $119.9 million, becoming the most expensive artwork ever sold at an open auction.
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath who is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time. He has been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man. His ‘Mona Lisa’ is a half-length portrait of a woman which has been acclaimed as the most visited and most written about piece of art in the world. His other famous works are ‘Annunciation’, 1475-80, ‘Virgin of the Rocks’, 1480s, ‘The Last Supper’, 1490s and ‘Virgin and Child with St. Anne’, 1550s.
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter who had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. A few of his notable works are ‘The Potato Eaters’ 1885, ‘Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat’ , 1887/88 and ‘Starry Night’, 1889. Starry Night, for instance, is beauty beyond words. It depicts the view from his sanitarium room window at night. He has influenced generations of young artists worldwide since his time. “It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to…. The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.”