Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Our Debt To Monet

In life, its funny how we get caught up in one fad or another. In art it can be a Andy Warhol, the resurgence of Peter Max, an icon of the 60's & 70's, David Hockney in California and a plethora of other artists, new and old alike. Its the same for authors or singers even movie genres and stars. Everyone seems to have their day in the sun. However, even if you don't care one bit about the arts, it influences us in so many ways, ways that we usually are not aware of.

Monet - Under the Rose Arbor
Poking through my Pinterest "pins" and seeing what everyone was pinning. one of the people I follow had "pinned" this painting of Monet's, one that I really wasn't aware of. It struck me as post modern and reminded me of the pattern's I had seen on women's clothing and in fact the colors that are the rage this spring. I believe this painting was painted before WWI. I wonder if Monet ever thought what his paintings would do to not only the art world, but the world of design and how these colors would change our lives, forever.

Rather than the Expressionist's harsh and primary colors, or the classic colors that colored our world in the Victorian times that the Impressionists rejected, Monet chose what we now associate as spring colors painted in a way that seriously borders on the abstract. Its too bad he never had a chance to see what the art world was to bring forth. Or how after WWI, color and design would change forever. It would be interesting to know what he would think of Braque or Picasso and how they turned the art world upside down. Yet, like Van Gogh in his final paintings, they themselves had planted the seeds of what was to come.

Monet- Water Lilies
It is interesting that these paintings show no fear of color. Friends that I know that have been to Giverny, the garden that Monet created,  have told me that the gardens he created are amazing. The colors at certain seasons are beyond description and that it wasn't much of a stretch for Monet to paint what he saw. Those colors really are there. What amazed them was how well he could capture the spirit of the setting if not the truth of it.

Of course, not all of his paintings are this colorful or striking. He captured many scenes from everyday life but even then, there was always the tension of color, even in the most gritty scene. He used flashes of color that added interest and depth to what could have been a boring scene. It was his injection of color that made the entire scene so immediate both then and still today.

Look at these two paintings. The vibrance, the depth is mesmerizing. Never before in the world of art had anyone dared to use color this way. I remember seeing a Gauguin exhibit and was struck by how his Polynesian paintings had the colors all wrong and yet, they looked so right. Red sea, green sky, purple sand. Yet, somehow you knew exactly what he had created and only on closer examination did you realize he had it all wrong...or did he? We are taught many dictums about how things are "supposed" to be. Yet, in every advancement man has achieved, it is those who break or bend those rules that lead us to a new advance.

Never be afraid of color. Mother nature certainly isn't. If you are into color be sure to check out the colorful items on my store: KrugsStudio.etsy.com


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