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Fine art research…

For my next piece of research i am going back towards art and am going to look at the pieces of two well-renowned artists with which i have never ever really looked into.

Salvador Dali

Dali is a Spanish surrealist painter who is considered the most famous artist of all time even after his death in 1989.  He has worked in many forms of subject matter such as with cubism, realism and surrealism, and also in different forms  through photography, video and sculpture. 

One of Dali’s sculpture pieces (As seen on the head of Lady Gaga…maybe)

I was first drawn to look at Salvador Dali through a long sustained intrigue to actually look at the artist with which i had never really knew much about except for his wild moustache!  One of his pieces that i looked at relates to one of the themes with which we have been given-Memory.  The painting below is entitled ‘The Persistance of Memory’ and is the most famous out of all his other famous masterpieces.

‘The Persistance of Memory’

There are many interpretations as to what this particular piece symbolizes and it seems everyone has a different view as to what it means.  I personally don’t look ‘deep’ into meanings or a full dissection into a piece of work as i find it ruins the mystery of the piece if you give it a full dead meaning and not allowing yourself to see or feel something different each time you look at a piece. From first viewing of this piece i saw the aspect of time being irrelative to the surrounding of which it is a part of.  Dali often used basic locations such as beaches and other landscapes with which he would use for the base of his eccentric pieces.

I researched into other people’s interpretations of this piece and to be honest some of the comments seem really bizarre such as Dali himself describing this particular piece as – “Perhaps the images of the melting clocks are nothing more than ideas influenced by the Camembert cheese left for too long of a period of time on the table on a warm sunny day” (quote courtesy of authenticsociety.com)  Dali himself never revealed any meanings behind any of his pieces and when he did, it was often to mislead people into thinking it was what it was-which was often nothing but a trick on his part.

‘The Temptation of Saint Anthony’

I looked Salvador Dali up on youtube and managed to find this interesting documentary which is in 7 parts (with which i won’t post all 7 videos up) and looks at Dali himself and the bizarre life that he led as well as what inspired him.  Most of his inspiration came from his own personal memories and reflections, such as his childhood. 

The inspiration that i can definately take from looking at Dali’s pieces is to not limit myself creatively when thinking of an idea for a project.  If you give yourself limits to what you can do then you can’t fully explore and experiment with the idea and make it into something brand new.

The next artist i am going to look at can be without a doubt considered to be in the totally opposite direction to that of Dali. 

Edward Hopper

Hopper is an American realist painter whos pieces mostly revolve around a kind of voyeur view of people in certain places such as the picture below entitled ‘Night Hawks.’  This style of realism really gives a sense of catching subjects alone and in particular a certain environment with which we can interpret why they are there and what they are thinking by their body language alone.  He was always meticulous with how he placed his human figures in ‘proper balance’ with the environment.  Hopper uses the scenary of 1930’s and 40’s America as the background for the figures with which we know nothing about but can make up our own assumptions as to what they are doing within the scene.

‘Nighthawks’ (1942)

Hopper is quoted as saying with regard to how he comes up with ideas: “It takes a long time for an idea to strike. Then I have to think about it for a long time. I don’t start painting until I have it all worked out in my mind. I’m all right when I get to the easel”. (Sheena Wagstaff, Ed., Edward Hopper, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, p. 98, ISBN 1-85437-533-4

Most of the themes and subject matter within Hopper’s pieces are a lot less crpytic than that of Dali’s.  Hopper uses human emotions such as loneliness, boredom and desire for a majority of his pieces and this is reflected upon many of his pieces. 

‘Office at Night’ (1940)

Apart from his paintings with lonely figures such as the Nighthawk piece, Hopper uses couples to give the viewer a voyeuristic view into the interaction between the two figures.  The piece above entitled ‘Office At Night’ is a particularly intriguing piece as we do not know whether the man and woman in the piece are an actual couple or whether this is a piece that is along the themes of desire and sexual tension between a secretary and her boss.   

I looked up Edward Hopper on Youtube and mostly found tribute videos, but the video below gives a good insight into the inner workings of what Hopper produced.

Categories: Summer research
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