Trompe l’oeil, or trick the eye in English, has always fascinated me, and I’m struck each time I see an example that we cannot depend for truth on the evidence of our senses. Witnesses of the same event will give differing accounts of what they have seen, not merely because each has a differing visual viewpoint, but because each has his own way of evaluating what he has witnessed depending on his own particular worldview and frames of reference, according to his background, his life experiences, and his adopted, inculcated, or self reasoned attitudes.
I happened upon the work of Alexa Meade on facebook, and in looking for images was astonished to find the artist, whose painting seems to me to have the quality of maturity seldom found in young artists since the days of the Renaissance masters, a very young woman of twenty five.
Testing the bounds of credulity she forces the eye of the beholder of her installations to question the reliability of his perceptions as the real and artifice are interexchanged, spatial dimensions misappearing to confound the intellect of the observer.
As we stand before the great paintings of the expressionists and the impressionists we marvel that though close up we see loose and bold strokes of coloured paint, as we retreat from the painted surface the image seems to conform itself to a true reflection of reality. In accustoming our perceptions to receiving a painted image on a flat surface as essentially a representation of the real, confusion occurs when we confront the real painted as though a representation of coloured paint on a flat surface.
Visit this Wikipedia page to read about the artist.
Willard Wigan spent his time in utter obscurity and penury creating these amazing works until he and some of his miniature masterpieces appeared on the net. Now his works command an enormous price. Is he anomalous, eccentric, a little crazy? Of course he is. You surely wouldn’t expect someone who’s caught in the world’s agenda to be so completely “out there” as to eschew the confining of his daily life to the struggle to find work in the marketplace to make a buck, or in his case a quid, doing something prosaic and mundane. No, it takes crazies to produce this sort of thing. Thank God for the wonderful crazy creative people among us who lift our lives out of the focus on the ordinary.
There are very terrible things happening in the world, and unless you just crawled out from under a rock you’d be aware of some of it. In desperation to somehow block it out most people naturally turn to entertainment of some kind, and some people think entertainment is all there is. They’re not terribly discriminating; so long as it’s packaged, whether irritatingly or seductively, it’ll do to pass the time. There seems to be an increasing fascination in the minutae of other people’s lives, regardless of how dull, perhaps as a reassurance that yes, everybody else is just as bored and really quite tedious, irrespective of position or fortune.
I have always marveled that the kind of parlour games which would bore most people were they themselves involved, become to them of enormous entertainment value when broadcast on their television screens. Witnessing “celebrities” being just as dull witted and unentertaining as they themselves would be in someone’s aunt’s living room on a wet weekend appears to rate surprisingly highly in television land.
But some people choose to live their lives differently. When they appear on the scene almost no one can comprehend them. Their context is alien to the world, and the world to them. Here is the extraordinary Salvador Dali on a popular television show of the kind mentioned – a first class example of a person who cannot see himself confined to a category and therefore confounds the world. Having said that though, there is one person on the panel who momentarily and astonishingly abandons reason and leaps to the truth…
And now Andy Warhol, perfectly demonstrating the fascination of the mundane for the banal…
As a child I loved the paintings, drawings and etchings of Australian artist Norman Lindsay, his apparent preoccupation with a world of fantasy and legend, and his quirky buxom women. And I’d had his children’s book The Magic Pudding, unaware that its author and illustrator was one and the same as was responsible for the aforementioned artworks until quite later on.
I forget how it was that I first came upon the atmospheric paintings of Trevor Chamberlain – possibly I took out a book of his colour plates from the local library, and was enchanted by his painting in his car from a pochade box whenever it was raining, rather than miss an opportunity to paint an evocative scene. Brilliant…
Coming from a dark and troubled past I was attracted to the work of Aubrey Beardsley when I was young. Here are a few of his ink drawings, which I still like for their masterly balance of positive and negative shapes, and light and dark.
I just discovered these wonderful watercolour paintings by Duane Bryers from his Hourglass Country Girl Pinups and had to share them (only a few) with you. I’m in love with Hilda….