Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rembrandt and Me

Aristotle with a Bust of Homer by Rembrandt, 1653

I'm no Rembrandt but I do think that I can learn from him.  Some of the things that I like best about him are the formal things.  The heavy light and shadow (chiaroscuro) his thick impastos of paint and the wonderful composition. 

Dissing Harmony in Red, oil on canvas 24"x24"


Henri Matisse, Harmony in Red (The Dessert)
I also dig his content.  The humanity that his work radiates.  In this painting, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer by Rembrandt, 1653, I think Rembrandt nails the idea of an artistic heritage and the dreams of every creative person when looking back at their heritage.  Homer is really the first great thinker of the Greek world from around 800BCE and Aristotle was his heir from the Athenian Golden age more than four hundred years later.  I was thinking of all this when I made this painting.
This is one of my favorite students who was half Italian and half African American and he lived in two worlds.  The heritage he was studying with me was a white Eurocentric one and I wanted to show how he had this background of European artists like Matisse in the background.  

I was also thinking that in his world there was a disharmony between the classical past that I educating him in with the present world.



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