Saturday, June 23, 2007

Give me dusty paintings and marble dreams...

Amanda's been thinking about art, and as a result she started a meme wherein you can show off your ten favorite pieces of art.

Surprisingly, as I started thinking about the most affecting pieces I've seen--those that evoke the strongest reactions and render me incapable of looking away--I realized there's a disproportionate number of sculptures and religious pieces. Whoda thunk? Here we go....

Woman in Flames, by Salvador Dali -- I particular love this one for the texture. The flames are sculpted right into the figure. This angle doesn't do it a whole lot of justice, but it's a beautiful piece.

What the Water Gave Me, by Frida Kahlo -- Kahlo's work is disturbing and raw. I admire her work for its looseness and freewheeling, gruesome style.

The Ancient of Days, by William Blake -- It's ridiculous for one man to be so damn talented. It's almost impossible for me to tear my eyes away from Blake's work. This is how I imagine God.

Piss Christ, by Andres Serrano -- And just as it sounds, this is a photo of a crucifix photographed through urine. It's gross, I know, but Serrano does an amazing job jarring the viewer out of his or her potential indifference toward the image of Christ. This simple, often mundane image, when taken out of its normal context comes roaring back to life. It is a beautiful image.

Nude Descending a Staircase, by Marcel Duchamp -- I just can't get over the movement in this painting despite the fact that it's all geometric shapes.

Pieta, by Michelangelo -- There's something about my favorite sculptures that renders me almost desperate to touch them. I would give a kidney to run my hands over those billowing piles of marble fabric.

The Ecstacy of St. Theresa, by Bernini -- Another beautiful, touchable sculpture. This one is oddly erotic and my first inclination has always been to turn away from images of it. But at the same time it's so alluring and beautiful. Especially with the bronze rays in the background.

The Dinner Party, by Judy Chicago -- I implore you to do a Google image search for this piece and look closely at the individual place settings. This is a room-sized installment with individual place settings for important women throughout history. Each setting is meticulously crafted with an individualized dinner plate, mat, etc. Just lovely.

Cathedral, by Jackson Pollock -- I have a religious sort of moment with this painting every time I go to see it at the Dallas Museum of Art. The energy in Pollock's paintings is the magical part for me. I can just imagine him crouched over the canvas feverishly dripping paint. Pollock's work really captures the rush of the artistic urge.

Beginning of the World, by Constantine Brancusi -- Perhaps my favorite of the lot. This one lives at the Dallas Museum of Art, too, and it's almost impossible for me not to touch it. The silky egg is almost too much for me to resist. I could stare at its glassy surface for hours.

Book with Wings, by Anselm Kiefer -- I love this one for obvious reasons. Besides the fact that I want to ruffle those feathers and flip through the book, it's just a beautifully rustic piece.


  1. I almost put Dinner Party and the St. Teresa piece. And I love the book with wings. It was hard to pick 10. I went with the first 10 artists that sprang to mind.

    I love that Blake piece as well, I always thought it would make a wicked tattoo.

  2. Here's another instance where I question at what point my cultural education failed me. I don't believe I could come up with 10 favorite pieces of art. In the same way that I couldn't come up with 10 favorite books. I wouldn't know "good" art if it came up and bit me on the ass.

    But I can easily name 20 pieces of classical music that "everyone" should know. I'd like to think I'm somehow less shallow than that...

  3. I has always admired the Pieta. Os, I think that is a good idea to challenge everyone to name some classical pieces. Perhaps fodder for next post.

    one of these days I am going to do a google account, right now I am just too lazy.

  4. oops, type-o I have alway...

  5. Piss Christ is unbelievable. I've not seen that before, it's incredibly powerful. Wow.

    Even without knowing how it was made, you're right, it takes an image we all take for granted and gives it a real energy, a new life.

  6. Did you see the Anselm Kiefer exhibit when it was at the Modern in Fort Worth? It was so awesome. I still would like to know how he makes those sculptures. I'm a huge Frida Kahlo fan - I think my favorite of hers is one in which she's got her hair pulled back and is wearing a red dress. I'll have to look for the name of it.

  7. It is hard to pick 10. I picked the first 10 I thought of with the exception of one Jeff Koons piece that I decided wasn't quite up to par with the rest. And I like that tattoo idea!

    Os, I don't think your cultural education is too far off, art just isn't your bag. I could probably name 20 pieces of classical music that everyone should know, but I probably couldn't hum any of them. ;)

    LOL, Fem, it's ok. I'm just glad to have you around.

    Badgerdaddy, very glad you like Piss Christ! It's my pleasure to share the artsy love.

    Iliana, no, I didn't see it! Crap! I would've loved to. I've been looking at his other works online. So. Many. Books. Yummy! And I like that Kahlo you mentioned, too. It was hard to decide which of hers I like best. They're all soooo powerful.

  8. Serrano's a weird guy. He did a few album covers for Metallica. The cover for "Load" is a picture of his come and blood mixed together. "Load" we get it. He also did the "Re-Load" cover, though I'm not at all sure what the picture's supposed to be. It's probably something nasty.


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