Weekly Challenge: Some of My Favorite Artists

While normally I write about traveling, write about writing, or even write about writers, for the Daily Post Weekly Challenge I’d like to focus on something that equally fascinates me: art.  Before I ever took a liking to literature, I loved drawing, painting, and expressing myself with colors.  Being an artist was my childhood dream.  So while I have (for the most part) abandoned my pencils and brushes for pens and keyboards, visual art has always held a special place in my heart.

Salvador Dali

This eccentric, clock-melting, leg-stretching absurdist from Spain draws me into his world like Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland on acid (or is that an oxymoron)?  The following piece reminds me alot of Life of Pi– Richard Parker, anyone?

Salvador Dali’s “One Second Before Awakening from a Dream Caused by the
Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate”, 1944

Os Gemeos

Os Gemeos, or “The Twins” are two, um, twin brothers hailing from Brasil.  While they focus mostly on graffiti art, they also present their work in exhibitions and installments.  They consistently use yellow, wide-bodied, thin-legged, round-faced characters to express their polemic views.  The following piece questions the motto on the Brasilian flag, “Ordem e Progresso”, that began in the 1960s during the 20 year military dictatorship.

Os Gemeos, “Ordem e Progresso?” or “Order and Progress?”

Camilla D’Errico

I first stumbled upon D’Errico’s art while wandering aimlessly at the San Diego ComiCon a few years back.  I had the opportunity to meet her and briefly discuss our mutual fascination with Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger No. 44.  Her style is much anime-influenced, focusing on female subjects, and  displays a strange obsession with animals, which I love.  The following piece is the print I purchased from her and have hung on my bedroom wall.

Camilla D’Errico’s “Helmet Girl”

Leonel Gongora

This Colombian artist spent most of his time living in Mexico during La Violencia in Colombia, but still produced work reflective of his native country’s struggles for peace.  His style was simple, often child-like in technique, yet the theme of his work borders on the erotic.  He presents his subjects as deformed, ugly, and oddly enticing.  The following is one of the works I included in my Master’s thesis, “The Lasting Impacts of La Violencia on Colombian Art and Society”.

Leonel Gongora, “Ceneida”, 1974

The last artist I will write about here is Ray Caesar.  I discovered him flipping through a Brasilian art magazine while in Sao Paulo.  He grew up in London, and worked many years in a children’s mental hospital, where he was witness to various traumatizing medical devices and practices.  The result in his art is a beautiful conglomeration of female youth, machinery, fetishes, fantasy, and striking imagery.

Ray Caesar, “Bride Study”

These five artists are a mere sample of my taste in art, but they all demonstrate important aspects of my beliefs and personality.  I love all that is absurd, bends the rules, challenges authority, embraces the weird, celebrates the world’s beauty, and exposes the ugliness of humanity.

REFLECTION:

In writing this post, I enjoyed delving into another passion of mine aside from traveling and literature.  It took a few minutes to change the gears of my mind in order to choose only five artists, and thereby reflect on pieces that appropriately demonstrated why they spoke to me.  The challenge was a fun change of pace, and I will definitely incorporate more art into my posts from now on.  After all, art and culture are inseparable.  One piece of art can sometimes tell a much larger story about a region than could be said in words.

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