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ART at its BEST

I have always been a great fan of art and I am constantly inspired by works of various artists, whether it be paintings, sculptures or even graffitti. I will be showing some of my favourite pieces on this page during the next few days.

I will start with 'BANKSY', probably the only household name amongst the many excellent street artists, but non-the-less the best ever in his field.

Maid in London - Banksy's Graffitti could once be seen in Chalk Farm Road, Camden. Is there another version out there as this was scrubbed out leaving only a faint trace behind of its existence.

Night Hawks

Banksy's vandalic version of Edward Hopper's 'Night Hawks', an indoor piece.

Not all of Banksy's work is graffitti based, but all have a running core of humour clashing with politics. The man has a brilliant mind together with real artistic talent. Of course controversial, but isn't all works by geniuses?Banksy should be recognised as being as such in our midst now and not wait until he receives this status postumously. An anonomous artist whose works speaks for itself.

www.banksy.co.uk 
Click on link above to go to banksy's website.

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The next up must be Leonardo Da Vinci,
not so anonamous but just as intriguing. Another household name, but unfortunately mainly through his painting of the 'Mona Lisa'.  He was/is so much more, his genius reached so many levels , I think he will always be my number one icon. An inventor, a philosopher, a scientist, a mathematician, an artist............ pure genius.


The Last Supper painted on the walls of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie near Milan.



I was priveleged to see and touch The Madonna Litta, hanging in the Hermitage, St. Petersburgh way back in 1986 (then known as Leningrad.)

Okay we will include the 'Mona Lisa', after all she did introduce me to Leonardo's work.

Interesting facts about Leonardo Da Vinci :-

He was left handed

He was a vegetarian (unusual for anyone during the 15th century)

He performed autopsies to help him understand anatomy better.

He was was opposed to wars despite once employed to design weopanry.

He often wrote in mirror writing as a way of protecting his ideas.

He was publically charged with having a homosexual affair with his model, but the charge was not proven.

After being commissioned to paint the Mona Lisa he couldn't bear to part with it and it remained in his possession until his death.

The Mona Lisa once hung in Napoleon's bedroom. It was also stolen from the Louvre and after being recovered 2 years later, it was  returned, but later had acid thrown at it. This then took another 2 years to restore.

www.mos.org/leonardo

Click on link above to find out more about this unique individual.

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Next is my favourite of all artists, Salvador Dali. Who needs drugs when you can soak up art like this?  

The Hallucinogenic Bullfighter. A picture worth studying. The more you look at this picture, the more you'll see, fabulous, absolutely fabulous.


'The Burning Giraffe' typifies Dali, it begs more questions than it gives answers. So many intricate inuendoes and forces the viewer to think.

Salvador Dali is another artist whose work goes beyond 2 dimensional imagery. 'The Lobster Telephone' which demonstrates this point has be seen in several Art Museums including the Tate Modern and the Dali Museum, both being London based galleries, I believe I have also seen this exhibit in the Walker Gallery, Liverpool. (I am sure that someone will let me know if I am wrong on this point.)

http://www.seven7.demon.co.uk/dali

Click on above link to see more work by this eccentric artist.

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My earliest childhood memory of appreciating art was that of local artist John Constable, the painting in question was of course is the Haywain.

What I liked about Constable's work back then, was that it had that brief moment in time quality, almost journalistic but with a calmness, a serenity within everyday life .

http://www.langham.org.uk

A local painter whose less formal details can be found at the above website.

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More recently I have been entranced by the works of Edward Hopper. An American artist whose images make uncomfortable viewing, they make me feel as if I'm a vouyer, intruding upon peoples' private moments, but at the same time being unable to look away.

Apart from the well known 'Night Hawks', 'Automat' also has that same superb vouyeristic feel with  an added sense of sympathy for the figure within. You can feel the loneliness  emanating from this image. 

To see more superb low light &/or clandestine paintings by Edward Hopper go to:-

www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/hopper

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Quoting Monty Python, "Now, for something completely different!" But also containing a dry sense of humour inspired by the peculiar way folk behave, is the work of 'Beryl Cook'. A good well known female artist is a rarity in itself, but Beryl has also broken the mould by adding humour to her paintings. I love her work and it's instantly recognisable. Unique and fun and why not!

If your'e in need of a bit of a giggle then check out:-

http://www.berylcook.org

------------------------------------------------------------Next is the French Artist 'Augustus Rodin' well known for his exquisite sculptures. 'The Thinker' & 'The Kiss' being two of his beloved iconic 3D masterpieces.

Visit

www.southern.net/wm/paint/auth/rodin

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Doing this page has made me realise that there are so many works of art that have had a lasting effect on me, some are individual pieces, some complete works by authors that I so admire, which hopefully I have covered here. So reluctantly I come to my last iconic artist. Last maybe, but by no means least is Caravaggio, another Italian painter but totally different to Leonardo.

Caravaggio was a known murderer and lived a rather rough and notorious life. Quick tempered and rebellious, and died aged only 38. So it is hardly surprising that his paintings often depicted grotesque and gruesome stories, perhaps his own personality being portrayed within his historic or biblical story lines. Visit:-

www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/caravaggio

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