Standards of Beauty
Musings of the Artists Mind
I came across these Coca-Cola ads from the 60s that showed a bikini clad beauty lounging with her drink. As far as I know, this “Coke is Sexy” campaign didn’t last long and was mainly aimed at a Western sensibility. They eventually switched to a more nostalgic approach with global appeal. I was amazed by this and so many ads that want people to believe they are as sexy as their products. It reminded me that standards of beauty are very subjective and that is one of the qualities of art that makes it so rewarding; there is always someone who shares out visions of beauty.
I decided to incorporate these fading photo-reproductions into the oil painting, to contrast the point that beauty is not only subjective, but changes over time. I chose my figure, painted in a Picasso-esque, Africanism style, to show that beauty can be cross-cultural.
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What inspires an artist?
“All they see” is the first and most literal answer.
For me, that is literally hundreds of gallery & museum exhibits, thousands of books, and tens of thousands of images online.
When asked where to start a book collections, I almost always recommend these art bibles: Janson’s “History of Art” OR Phaidon’s “The Art Book” Both give a nice overview with good pictures. Once you’ve discovered what you are attracted to there most, you can then dig deeper into that area.
If you have the time, you are free to visit my GoodReads library to see a fraction of the books I’ve read. These are the ones I remember, that is. Or you can visit the ever growing collection on my Pinterest account.