Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grotesque and Mockery

My Anthropology professor said that humans don't like reality, especially in their art. So they tend to exaggerate real proportions, distorting figures in desired areas, and they probably interpreted real as something like that. Well, I know it is still open for an open debate, but for me I interpreted grotesque as something more than just real, and they are not just mirrors of the real but something to discover with.
I've seen so many artists that they rely their works on grotesque. One of my favorite is the ones who are not much recognized; the artists of Gothic cathedrals.


Perhaps I spent a couple of minutes just staring at the pictures of gargoyles in a book in our library, thinking how did they manage to establish such beautiful and mysterious works. Although they are largely influenced by secular matters, they had freedom to unleash their imagination that is almost incomparable today. I heard a legend about a sculptor of gargoyles in Notre Dame who set the faces of his works from his appearance. His works are filled with sorrow, and so as the artist because he was left by his beloved girl. Somehow, these grotesque creatures portrayed from their infinite imagination, where for them there was a thin boundary between real and unreal. And I salute them for their immeasurable imagination and strangeness.

I also saw from a book in our library about Pieter Bruegel. They had a picture of Bosch's illustration of quite strange creatures
The book also had a picture of a flying buttress in the cathedral of St. John in Flanders. They are quite interesting to observe.




Picasso's blue period is my favorite works of him. It just reminds me of El Greco's Burial of Count Oegaz. He portrayed decay-like skins, thin, almost androgynous people.
Since I illustrated my works inspired by medieval art, I illustrated this picture of my youngest sister, cracking her fingers while laughing exaggeratedly.



Done in watercolor on board, this is one of my little works last summer, before the this semester started. Although this is not her actual portrait, most of the features are based from her. From her tangled hair to her bony arms and legs.

1 comment:

Kitty said...

There are lots of fantastical shapes and figures in churches! I'm always amazed at how the artists managed to get away with putting some of them in churches (or religious texts) - but then, the figures are sometimes hard to spot and I like to think that the church/cathedral dignitaries weren't paying enough attention to their workers :)

And I'm so happy you've found some of your creations come to life! That forest is one of my favourite places - I love it for its darkness and gentleness and the animals that live there.