Figurative Art - An ObsessionSaturday, September 16, 2017
Figurative art, sometimes written as figurativism, describes artwork—particularly paintings and sculptures—that is clearly derived from real object sources, and is therefore by definition representational. "Figurative art" is often defined in contrast to abstract art:
Since the arrival of abstract art the term figurative has been used to refer to any form of modern art that retains strong references to the real world.
Recently in this nice essay in the NY Times about Manet I found out that he had a favourite subject called Victorine Meurent who appeared in at least five of his paintings. The most famous ones were Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe and the other Olympia.
While I am not a painter or an artist this was comforting as I have a photographed a few women in my life who were my steady subjects (some of them for years).
On Friday I attended an opening of new paintings by Thomas Anfield at the Gallery 7 (on 14 West 7th Ave). While there I did not notice anybody from our moribund media, but I did notice at least three artists, Allan Storey, Richard Tetrault, and the artist formerly known as 12 Midnite. Also there were , Kokoro’s Barbara Bourget , Jay Hirabayashi, and jazz singer Kate Hammett-Vaughan. Also there was dancer Ziyian Kwan and bookseller husband Rod Clarke. For me this represented a distinct comfort in what to me seems like a declining art scene in our city.
It does not take too much noticing to understand that Thomas Anfield, a fine figurative painter who is flirting with cubism, that his inspiration (and I would use the word, in a nice way, obsession) is his strikingly beautiful wife Melo. In fact when I asked Melo if her nose was the most famous in Vancouver she smiled and nodded positively.
Below you will read a personal opinion of mine. Note that I am not an art critic and of art I know nothing.
My conclusion in noting that Richard Tetrault, Thomas Anfield, Neil Wedman, Angela Grossmannand Tiko Kerr (some of my fave local painters) are not overly rich and famous perhaps because they do not have overtly obvious painter’s block. They paint and paint. They have lots of stuff.
It would almost seem that in Vancouver we want our artists to suffer and have long shallow periods of uncertainty.
My guess is that Pablo Picasso would have failed in Vancouver. If you are prolific you cannot be of any consequence.
|Barbara Bourget & Jay Hirabayashi|