Archive for Painters

Surreal Thing Happy Birthday Dali!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by echostains

Dali is a superb draughtsman.  Some years ago I visited the Dali Universe, County Hall, London. salvador-dali-quotes-famous-best-sayings oneThis 3,000 square metre space housed sculptures, (1935 -1984), lithographs, drawings and wonderful  furniture inspired by Dali: gold and glass objects and  even copies of the famous lobster telephone and the Mae West lips sofa!

There were no major paintings on display, apart from the oil he did for Hitchcock’s ‘1945 film ‘Spellbound‘.  I took great delight in looking through Dali’s drawings which are simply exquisite and show not only his draughtsmanship skills, but how exacting and precise his execution of drawing was. His imagination may have been wild, but his skills struck me as very honed and precise, not something I associate with Surrealism.  Surreal, I know!

 

Dali and his wild cat Babou

 

Too much has been written about this famous Spanish artist: some by myself (please see my earlier birthday posts here and for further Dali eccentricities here ).

Dali loved wild animals.  His favorite pet was a wildcat, an Ocelot, called Babou whom he would take to restaurants, tethering the animal to a table and causing alarm to fellow diners.

The surreal image below shows Dali emerging from the Paris underground taking two Anteaters for a walk (1969).  Andre Breton, (Founder of the Surrealist movement) who was known  as ‘le tamanoir’ – ‘the anteater’)  used this image as bookplates for several books and Dali was to depict the style of the anteater in his famous 1929 painting ‘The Great Masturbator’

Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets

 

One of Dali’s famous stunts was staged at London’s International Surrealist Exhibition, 1936 when he gave a lecture whilst wearing a deep-sea diving suit. He very nearly suffocated.  His wild exaggerated gestures were mistaken for his usual amusing form of eccentricity.  Luckily for him a poet, David Gascoyne rescued Dali – with a spanner!

The Great Masturbator 1929

surrealism1938

A mysterious fire broke out in the artist’s bedroom in 1984, fortunately Dali was rescued by a friend, Robert Descharnes.  Dali was returned his beloved  Figueres , Spain (his birthplace), where his friends and  artists looked after him. In November 1988 he went to hospital with heart failure.  On 23rd January 1989, the artist died of heart failure at the age of 84.  He is buried in the crypt in his Teatro Museo in Figueres, much loved and much admired by most artists and non artists alike.

 

Images, with thanks are from here and here     the Ocelot image here, others from here    and here   

For historical characters with unusual pets here

Here’s some stuff you might not know about Dali here

 

Art Discovered and Recovered – Morwenna Catt

Posted in ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED with tags , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by echostains

Morwenna Catt

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog has probably guessed that a lot of my posts are spontaneous and that the subject can be prompted sometimes by anything and everything.   Sometimes it can be the date of an artist’s birthday, or the subject of a poem or something I’ve seen or heard in the media and want to investigate.  Sometimes (like todays post) it is influenced by a comment someone has made.  The comment was made on artistatexit0’s great blog.  The post was about found objects – a lot of them being toys.  This brought back a childhood memory of the artist’s lost toy and I began to rifle through my mind for an artist whose work I either saw or studied a while ago, who used stuffed toys in her work which she x rayed.

Phrenology 111 Morwenna Catt

Further investigation revealed that the artist was Morwenna Catt.   She is an artist whose work confronts the emotional scars of childhood through a storytelling narrative via stuffed toys.  The toys are found objects which the artist has opened up – secreted with a ‘message’. sewn back up and then x rayed.  The results are startling and sometimes a bit disturbing.  Catt invokes a lot of childhood memories anxieties and trauma in these pieces using  the dog eared beloved soft toy  to convey this.

Morwenna Catt horse

Messages lie within these mute childhood toys – like the  horse which hides a key and padlock in its belly:- the message ‘betrayal’ is revealed in this x-ray photo on light box.  As well as the textile work, (the artist hand stitches these animals) Catt also works in 3D installation, paintings,  drawings and with light boxes.

Heel

The ‘wounded textile heads in her ‘Phrenology‘ pieces are based around drawings.  They show vulnerability and dysfunction, yet have a disturbing pathos.  this is what the artist has to say about her work:-

Childhood is a recurring theme in my work, I try to dispel Fairy Tale mythologies, stripping back to the bare bones of experience and uncovering some kind of underlying truth using personal narratives alongside subverted imagery. I use the familiar and the nostalgic as a trigger, but disrupt the reading. In recent works the family unit is transformed into animals, either drawn, painted or constructed as 3D textiles; malformed, battered and bruised to evoke the darker side of family life. I am preoccupied with our relationships to trigger objects, memory, nostalgia and psychosis.

 collective memory. The type from my old battered type-writer reminds me of discovering my mothers secret poems. The pattern of simple animal shapes on the Phrenology III head is taken from a 1970s toy pattern book and has that bitter sweet nostalgic quality. Modern life requires that everything is clean and shiny and safe, kitemarked and numbered, my work is the antithesis of this – its slightly grubby, pitiful in its hand-made grotesqueness, the threads hang loose and needles project dangerously from stitched mouths.” peoplesMy work is very ‘hand-made’ – it can look laborious and clumsy, scrawled with hand written text and the faded words from an old ribbon typewriter. I want the work to have a wounded ‘authenticity’ and try to use evocative image and text/process to tap into

Shot painting Morwenna Catt

There is  much, much more to this artist and her work.   She has undertaken many interesting  projects and is always coming up with new and creative ideas.  I’m so glad to have finally found her again!

Morwenna Catt website and gallery here I  Artist statement  excerpt from here.   Images from here and here
Interesting interview here

 

PS.  THE  VAN GOGH POETRY CHALLENGE IS STILL GOING STRONG!  TO SEE THE POEMS AND TO PERHAPS ENTER YOUR OWN PLEASE CLICK VINCENT!