Tuesday, January 24, 2006

In the presence of masters...

Lost in a Monet

A friend of mine was in town this weekend and we had a great time hanging out and dreaming a bit about animation possibilities. Saturday we decided to do something special and headed down town to the Chicago Institute of the Art Museum. After locating some parking, slipping on the black ice in the parking lot and paying our entry fees, we stepped through the portal of the ordinary to that of the illuminating. I was unprepared for the breadth of the collection of the museum. I just had no idea they had so much amazing art. Apparently they have one of the largest collections of impressionism in the world here- how sweet is that? Here are a few pics that my friend was so kind enough to send. This is the first piece that really grabbed me. I don't recall the artist's name and I vaguely remember seeing it in one of my art books but the use of color is just passionately vibrant and I made my buddy take a picture of it. My friend admiring what I believe is a Rodin if I remember right. Yet another amazing Monet. This was my favorite of a series of studies of the same scene he did. His work feels so "soft" to me - if that be a usable descriptor. The palette sings the coming of dawn and the rising sun light bathes the ground in brushstrokes of warmth. Saving the best for last. Van Gogh is probably my favorite painter of all time. This was the first time I had ever seen one of his paintings in person (much less multiple ones). Everyone has their favorite artists, but Van Gogh, for me, paints in a way I don't see in other works. He paints not with pigment, but with colored passion etched on a canvas of deep reflection. Every brush stroke is alive with energy and the whole painting vibrates with purposeful gesture. This is a "still life" that is anything but still and is pregnant with life.

What a day.

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