WebSite: Piet Mondrian
Mondrian was a Dutch painter who liked straight lines. He liked them so much that they were pretty much all he drew; Mondrian is most famous for a series of compositions that are nothing more than black lines on a white canvas with a few red, yellow and blue rectangles tossed in for good measure. He referred to this approach as “neoplasticism” and it proved to be influential, despite the fact that he pretty much just rearranged one theme a whole bunch of times.
Well, that’s not entirely true. As the years went on his black lines changed width, sometimes they faded out instead of stopping abruptly, and other colours started to get phased out. He was particularly excited by his exploration of double black lines, a fact which suggests that Mondrian needed to get out of the house a little bit more. Despite the apparently simplicity of his paintings he worked hard on them, often hours at a time until his hands were blistered and he had broken down in tears. It’s impossible to deny Mondrian’s influence on the world of art, but it’s also impossible to deny that him taking his straight lines so seriously makes him a pretty bizarre guy.
Vincent van Gogh
WebSite: Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh was a 19th century Dutch painter whose work had an remarkable influence on pretty much every artist that followed him. This will only be news to about three people reading this, because he’s also one of the most famous artists of all time. Pretty much everybody has seen one of his paintings at some point, because to this day they’re among the most recognisable in art history. Most people are also familiar with the story of him cutting off his left earlobe in a fit of passion, but that’s just the tip of the crazy, crazy iceberg.
Van Gogh’s life was pretty much a constant streak of poorly thought out romances, hallucinations and stays in mental hospitals. In fact, he produced some of his most famous works after he committed himself to an asylum in France. As for his love life: he first proposed to his cousin (seven years older than him), who shot him down, then he shacked up with an alcoholic hooker, and the third woman in his life attempted suicide after their families disproved of their plans to marry. You can’t really blame the guy for giving up on women after that run. Van Gogh is the classic example of a troubled genius; his work was brilliant but his life was pretty rough. His poor health, constant debt and depression caused him continual problems, and van Gogh became a pretty strange man as a result.
WebSite: Andy Warhol
Warhol was an American painter who led the pop art movement. Again, his fame and influence are fairly well known, in part because his work was so often in the mainstream but also because he was a pretty controversial figure. Much like Duchamp he challenged notions of just what art was; among his most famous paintings is that of a Campbell’s soup can (which first sold for 1500 dollars). That’s right, somebody paid 1500 dollars for a picture of something you can get for a couple of bucks at the local grocery store. Whether Warhol actually thought he was making a commentary on commercialism and the meaning of art or he just discovered a way to make people pay tons of money for any stupid thing he slammed out on a lunch break has never really been determined.
But what really makes Warhol stand out among other artists was his love of cold, hard cash. Warhol did pretty much anything to make a buck with his art, a unique approach that angered a lot of people. He mass produced his work, and to help him do so he hired “Warhol Superstars”, which was a nice term for a group of people who ranged from porno producers to drug addicts. Warhol’s Superstars tended to have drug filed orgies as often as they actually helped him with his art, which didn’t help his reputation much but did make his studio the greatest workplace ever. It’s no wonder he’s right up there with Dalí as the most offbeat and controversial artist of the 20th century.
- - H. R. Giger: http://beinart.org/artists/hr-giger/gallery/hr-giger-6.jpg http://www.hrgiger.com/
- - Salvador Dalí: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dd/The_Persistence_of_Memory.jpg http://science.kukuchew.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/salvador-dali-three-sphinxes-of-bikini.jpg
- - Marcel Duchamp: http://www.sfmoma.org/images/artwork/large/98.291_01_l02.jpg http://wmuphoto.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/marcelduchamp1.jpg
- - Piet Mondrian : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/72/Mondrian_CompRYB.jpg http://www.artcyclopedia.org/art/piet-mondrian-gray-brown.jpg
- - Vincent van Gogh : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/VanGogh-starry_night_ballance1.jpg http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/early-paintings-by-vincent-van-gogh-11.jpg
- - Andy Warhol : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/95/Warhol-Campbell_Soup-1-screenprint-1968.jpg http://superflygallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/turquoise-marilyn_andy-warhol.jpg