This week my friend Regina Krawets and I went to the NSW Art Gallery to see an exhibition of Frida Kahlo's art, along with some Diego Rivera pieces.
I was very glad I went as in 2008 I visited the San Francisco MOMA to see a Frida Kahlo exhibition and saw a lot of her artworks, so I wanted to see what else was being shown here in Sydney.
This exhibition was more about her life with Diego, having lots of photographs but not a great deal of her paintings. There certainly were things I had not seen before and some lesser known drawings of her early work. I am glad I went.
Frida Kahlo is an artist that really inspires me. I guess it is the ethnicity of her work along with her choice of colours and inclusion of pattern in her artworks. Not to mention her own attire. Her floral hair adornments really inspire my beadwork and I love her quotation. "I paint flowers so they will not die"
I can certainly live by that quote when beading flowers.
Another of my favourite artists is Matisse. In particular a period in his artwork where he depicted a person in a room with colourful backgrounds and lots of pattern, one example being Matisse's "The Red Room."
I have done a drawing of a nude with a Matisse influence (on the right)
If you google Matisse you will find lots of his images and it is obvious I am not the only person he inspires with this period in his artwork.
I then remembered seeing some modern day photographs of models in colourful settings with a Russian ethnicity about them.
These images inspire me enormously. I love their vibrancy of colour and revel in the play of one colour against another colour.
Look at that blue in her dress against the cerise of the wallpaper. Look at the lines of yellow, green, hot pink, blue of the eggs in the foreground. This makes me sigh with awe……Wow !!
I love the inclusion of many patterns as it makes my eye travel around and around the image, noticing not just the model's face but what else is there.
Look at all those patterns in the image on the right - too many? - are your senses overloaded? - are you inspired also? - does it work for you? - are your eyes travelling around and around to take it all in?
Here is another image (on the leftt) with an even greater abundance of pattern to delight in. The colours are not excessively bright. The wallpaper is muted in tone, and yet her apparel more rich and lush in colour. The reds of the skirt make it come alive !!
Having said the above I also find inspiration in an image with more simplicity, like the one on the right. Here we have no pattern, just a reliance on the colours and the image itself. The luscious vibrancy of that red against that blue - the Wow! factor for me - set against the monochrome of the remainder of the picture.
This image looks so tranquil and her expression so pensive,
yet the image is pregnant with the symbolism of the eggs. What symbolism comes to my mind with an egg are
Birth, new life, fertility, new ideas, creation continuing, life goes on, sustenance, hard shell, containment, just to name a few. If you google "symbolism of an egg in art" you will get a gazillion explanations…….what comes to your mind?
I wanted to share how something as rich as these images influence my own creativity.
Have you found what makes you go "oh…WOW!!"