“You’ve got to realize that influence is not influence. It’s simply someone’s idea going through my new mind.” ~Jean-Michel Basquiat
This quote defines my feelings of Number 4 on my list of artists currently inspiring my artwork. In my first years at the University of New Orleans I enjoyed the art history courses. From the cave paintings of Lascaux, ancient Egyptian and Roman sculptures to the Christian art of the 16th century, Dutch still-life paintings, and the work of the Impressionists, artists have been passionately pursuing concepts resulting in collections of art sharing a common theme. Old ideas going through new minds.
I fell in love with the work of the Impressionists just as I began attending the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art in addition to my studies at UNO. Besides the color and compositions of the work, I liked how the artists supported each other in their endeavors. During this time the Museum of Fine Art-Boston had a large exhibition of Claude Monet paintings that I went to see. Viewing the famous large-scale paintings of water lilies was a disappointment at first because I was examining them much too closely. Turning to visit another room the canvases became sunlit twinkling ponds full of water lilies as I looked from a proper distance. The effect was so remarkable that I felt quite overcome by their beauty.
The other lasting memory of that show were the multiple studies Claude Monet painted of the Rouen Cathedral and the haystacks. These were my favorites because although one subject was complex and the other so simple- his goal of capturing the impressions light made upon objects was the same, and I loved his obsession with them.
The idea of repetition became a part of my creative expression and results in series of paintings examining objects from various angles and compositions. I enjoy the familiarity that develops from reproducing my subject on multiple canvases. Despite the differences, each subject takes on it’s own mood and character as the painting, and the series, evolves.
The art that decorates my home is varied, but there are several themes that are displayed together: fish, birds, masks, chickens, the moon, Pop Art, transportation, figurative, and functional objects that look like other objects. In the Mondo Masks series, I was studying my collection of masks from around the world. The idea of my art being the result of visual exploration began with the Monet exhibition and has continued through to my current series in progress.
What ideas drive your need to create? How has this idea changed over time?