Friday, October 21, 2011

A Game of Connect the Dots

Adele Bloch-Bauer's Portrait

Oil and golden and silver foil on canvas

Hope everyone is having a terrific day, I know mine has been pretty peachy. Let’s dive into some art, shall we?

As a child I used to doodle every day, cover my walls with huge crayon scrawlings to cover the overwhelming white space, see pictures and images in wood grain. This active search for similarities in our visual world and the need to interpret them through more images has grown into my love of painting and my need to connect all the information I learn in a day. In class I enjoy nothing more than building my knowledge of an object or idea from various sources. This happened once as I was learning about the physical formation of oxbows in Geology and then seeing View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow, 1836; the beautiful oil painting of Thomas Cole.

It’s a simple idea, but I enjoy this game of mental connect the dots.

This late summer I went on a brief road trip to Flagstaff, passing through Jerome and Sedona. All three locations are a haven for artists and if you need a little rest I highly recommend taking a trip through some of Northern Arizona. While exploring some of Downtown in Flagstaff I spotted a great mural.

It is on the wall outside of a small bar called Speakeasy which is just a small space fashioned after Roaring Twenties speakeasy. The character that caught my eye though, was the lovely woman in the golden gown. I was just tickled that someone had recreated Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.

Klimt had a way with images that simply burst on the canvas. Apart from the glittering gold that catches the eye, the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is wonderful for the mix of reality and design. Her soft face and hands have a pale, but life-like color and appearance. She is placed within a very stylized gown that is only created with strong golds with a few small color additions. Klimt’s use of a limited palette and repetitive shapes creates a flow through the gown that contrasts the person of Adele as well as the spiral designs and textured background. The use of white to draw attention to the figure and face of Adele Bloch-Bauer is beautiful as well.

Klimt’s paintings are heavily stylized and utilize repetition create something very different than other artists. His abstracted images surrounding more realistic figurative painting has always struck me as almost collage like or even with a mosaic feel like golden tessera seen in San Vitale. These are the reasons I will always love Klimt; beyond his haunting imagery he created pieces that appeared something beyond a two-dimensional painting.

If you want to learn more about Thomas Cole, Gustav Klimt, or art in general check out our website. For a barrage of cool images follow us on Twitter and be sure to get chatting on our forums! I will be to sure add a thread about the above mural so we can see who’s been to the mural and maybe decipher all of the characters of the wall. See you all there!

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