A SELECTION OF ARTISTS WHO INSPIRE ME
REMDIOS VARO (1908 -1963) SPAIN
Surrealism became for Remedios Varo a means for understanding the Universe, the mechanism by which it broke out of the framework of scientific principles and linear logic. Her works intertwine dreams, “memory of ancestors”, with intellectual curiosity. The fundamentals of mechanics and architecture, attention to the smallest details become philosophical reflections -Sensitive to the natural environment, she believed in the strong connection between the plant, human, animal, and mechanical worlds.
YAKOI KUSAMA (1929- ) JAPAN
A self-described “obsessional artist,” known for her extensive use of polka dots and for her infinity installations, Kusama uses painting, sculpture, performance art, and installations in a variety of styles, including Pop art and Minimalism. Her ambitions led to exhibitions with fellow artists who she says copied her ideas, including Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenberg, and Lucas Samaras. A museum in Tokyo describes her art as a splendor of works and vision of fantasy never before seen. Kusama has been acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan.
ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI, (1593-1652) ITALY
Gentileschi’s oeuvre fell into momentary obscurity as her paintings were often attributed to followers of Caravaggio or to her father. Fortunately, recent scholarly research has reinvigorated the proper attention due to Gentileschi. Contemporary artist Judy Chicago included Gentileschi in her Dinner Party installation from the 1970s, which set a table for significant women in history. Sothebys’
EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944) NORWAY
Though his “soul painting” was met with controversy, Munch refused to give up his emotional inspirations. For a 1902 exhibition, he rolled out Frieze of Life—A Poem about Life, Love and Death, a series of 22 paintings that bore names like Despair, Melancholy, Anxiety, Jealousy, and The Scream. Though Munch earned hard-won acclaim from art critics, the public still found his work discomforting and strange.
Lee Miller (1907-1977) AMERICAN
Who was Lee Miller? A great beauty and a brilliant yet overlooked photographer. A small-town girl who defied convention. A fashion model, an artist’s muse and a war correspondent. A witness to humankind at its best and worst. A biographer couldn’t ask for a more compelling subject, and Lee Miller couldn’t have asked for a more insightful and eloquent biographer. Carolyn Burke
FERNANDO BOTERO: (1932- ) COLUMBIA
Fernando Botero Angulo is a Colombian figurative artist and sculptor, born in Medellín. His signature style, also known as “Boterismo”, depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which can represent political criticism or humor, depending on the piece.
KEHINDE WILEY (1977-) USA
Known for highly naturalistic paintings of African Americans which often reference the work of Old Master paintings. The Columbus Museum of Art: “Wiley has gained recent acclaim for his heroic portraits which address the image and status of young African-American men in contemporary culture.” Models are dressed in their everyday clothing and asked to assume poses found in historical masterpieces. “the ‘old’ inherited by the ‘new’ – who often have no visual inheritance.
Florine Stettheimer (1871 –1944) USA
Stettheimer’s artwork features feminine, theatrical themes of New York City. She painted the first feminist nude self-portrait, and executed work depicting controversial issues of race and sexual preference, along with the leisure activities of her family and friends. A popular salonnière, Stettheimer created stage designs and costumes for avant-garde opera. She is best known for her four monumental works illustrating New York City’s “Cathedrals”: Broadway, Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, and New York’s three major art museums.
CYNTHIA MORRIS SHERMAN (1954_-) USA
Cindy Sherman is one of the best-known and most important photographers working today. She’s recognized for her images—particularly her elaborately “disguised” self-portraits—that comment on social role-playing and sexual stereotypes. Her breakthrough work is often considered to be the collected “Untitled Film Stills,” a series of 70 black-and-white photographs of herself evoking typical women roles in performance media (especially arthouse films and popular B-movies).
René François Ghislain Magritte (1898 –1967) BELGIUM
Surrealist known for witty and thought-provoking images depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, challenging our perceptions of reality. His mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Sambre where allegedly, thirteen-year-old Magritte found her with her dress covering her head. This startling image may have been the source of several of his paintings of people with cloth obscuring their faces. His work has influenced pop art, minimalist art, and conceptual art.
Cover artist for my poetry collections, surrealist Rafał Olbiński is one of the major representatives of the Polish School of Fine Art Posters. His provocative, prolific, and technically masterful paintings and illustrations have been recognized around the world. His work often explores the irony of metaphysics, duality of meaning, and the limitlessness of imagination.
Leonora Carrington (1917–2011)
British-born Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) is one of the leading female figures of the Surrealist movement. After being expelled from several schools due to her rebellious nature, she was sent to Florence to attend art school. In 1947, Carrington became extremely well known almost overnight her work was featured in a Surrealism exhibit at the Pierre Matisse Gallery. As the only professional female painter represented at the exhibition, she quickly made a name for herself as one of the most prominent female painters of the Surrealist movement.