So, I'm just curious, what kind of art do you gentlemen enjoy?
Personally i'm a fan of all renaissance art, and can't stand 'abstract' art, personally to me it's just an excuse for not being very good. What i dislike more than that is the stuff that just looks like some one splashed a few cans of paint on a canvas.
I have found a book of paintings i thoroughly enjoy called 'Lovers and Other Strangers' i'd love to get some of the paintings out of that.
I've gotten burnt out on Pop Art lately. It's fun to check out what they're up to every now and then though. I like Baroque painting and American Realists (Like "Library Goon's" George Bellows avatar), Winslow Homer, Henry Tanner, and their kind. Abstract can be nice but alot of it seems to be a money grab for the least possible thought and effort, its easy to pick out the posers though. I'm a big fan of street art and sequential art.
I am a huge, HUGE fan of impressionist art. Van Gogh, Monet, etc. While in a photo or on a print they may not seem like much, but if you have a chance to see and admire these works in person, I HIGHLY recommend it. There is a depth of color and relief that makes it equal parts painting and sculpture.
I don't know where you guys are located but my friend in North Carolina is an amazing tattoo artist, if you ever want to look him up his name is Tom Michael. Such well thought-out, original designs, also one of the sweetest guys ever... If I were ever to get a tattoo, I'd get him to do it...
I'm so sick of Mark Ryden now, and even Camille Rose Garcia. Mark Ryden has inspired countless imitators to the point the pop surrealist school is flooded with the whole kitschy big eyed absurdist children doing things children don't normally do. Its so old I can't stand it, I see so much of this stuff now.
Still it is visually disappointing and it has affected the way I view his work. Besides a painting of Snoopy wearing combat boots eating a bowl of spaghetti is as mentally useless to me as some big eyed kid in a pink bunny costume holding a balloon made out of meat or whatever nonsense. It just means nothing to me and its initial novelty wears off of me pretty fast. And those Giger knock offs did the same thing and I suppose that helped me get annoyed by Gigers malcontent biomechanical masturbation themes pretty fast too.
Travis, I'm sorry dude but I really hate Jack Vettriano. It's very fashionable not to like him but hopefully I definitely don't like him for my own reasons. He's tried to donate his work to the Tate but they won't have it. His work's misogynistic, willfully nostalgic, lacks wit or humility... sorry. But I think I'm done venting.
I also take issue (sorry again) with being a fan of 'all' renaissance art. I love the collection at the National Gallery which is early renaissance to the end of the 19th century, but those paintings are the top percent of a percent of what was produced in that time. There has always been just as much bad art produced throughout history as there is today, only we get to see what has survived. I just get worked up when people say that all 'old' art (classical music, paintings etc.) is better than contemporary art (pop music, abstract, postmodern, art installation) because contemporary work is a lot more exposed and hasn't had the filter of history applied to it, and the reason Velazquez is amazing is not because he can paint a thing that looks like a thing, but because he was experimenting with a new medium, oil paint, and seeing exactly what it was capable of. All art is an experiment, and you can see in Velazquez's paintings how he develops, it's not 'safe'. Then people complain about Tracey Emin's unmade bed, saying that they could do it themselves etc. etc. and I'm not a huge fan of her work, but the reason that sold for £1m is because it was done for the first time. She can't now have a career making a series of unmade beds, it was a one-off, of it's time, but do you know how difficult it is coming up with new ideas? It's impossible. I'm definitely not a fan of her work, but what she does or did before she had too much success is more similar to what Velazquez was doing, than say, a painter today who can paint stuff that looks like stuff.
To return to the original question-
Historically, I like the Flemish and Spanish painters for their dourness, and slightly dry sense of humour (Zurbaran, Velazquez, Cuyp, Frans Hals, Rembrandt), and more recently- Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha, Simon Starling, Grayson Perry, Jeff Koons... I have a poor memory but there are more...
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