Imitating the Masters part1

Today's postings are all self portraits done in the style of an influential artist or movement. When I first took on this assignment, I didn't have a beard, so the bearded pics are more recent than the shaven ones.

My first piece is inspired by Chuck Close, a highly respected artist in today's art world. His technique of making marks or little tiny abstract paintings that are combined to make a nearly photo-like representation is something I wouldn't have appreciated a few years ago. I might have dismissed the technique as being equivilent to one of those photo montages of Yoda they used to sell, or maybe still do- a novelty, but not worth thinking too much over.

Further study has taught me the errors of ignorance. If you look back at his early work, the faces are huge and confrontational, with almost photo realistic tones on a stark background. Over the years, his work evolved and he began experimenting with mark making, combining several individual elements to make unified compositions; still huge and usually of a face confronting the audience. He's brilliant. I encourage you to look him up.

The elements of this picture will come together more and more with increased viewing distance.
Please click any image to see the larger version.
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The second piece goes back a few hundred years to the Renaissance; or, at least that was the idea. Try as I might to do DaVinci justice, I didn't fully succeed. Oh well, I can't draw as well as Leonardo DaVinci yet. At least I'm in good company with almost every artist alive today. I like the way the pic turned out, though. DaVinci was the master of a technique of modeling that involved using light and shadow gradations. My effort.... well, like I said, I like it so lets not ruin it by examining my modeling too much.
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The last piece for today was inspired by an artist by the name of Francis Bacon, who passed away in the early 1990's. Bacon was fascinated with flesh and colors, using paint to make almost gross exagerations of the human anatomy. He was very much a painter, not even laying out his compositions beforehand because he wanted the purity of the picture to exist on the canvas. Bacon also maintained that he painted reality. Here's my piece:

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Studying and mimicking these artists has taught me a lot; it has really affected the way I work in my personal pieces. If you look back at the piece I did about my Dad and his hearing loss, which can be viewed by clicking here, you can see the influence of Bacon's paintings and Picasso's drawings. The imitation, particularly in the case of Picasso, was unintentional, but we tend to absorb things we see.

That's all for this time. I'll do a part 2 of this installment and also post some other non-self portrait oriented stuff.

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