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Some artists that influence my work:
Jean–Michel Basquiat was an American artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican decent. He first gained recognition as SAMO, a graffiti duo. SAMO was known for writing enigmatic epigrams in the lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1970's, where rap, punk, and street art came together to form early hip hop culture. Basquiat's art focussed on the dichotomies of life, such as wealth versus poverty and integration versus segregation. He found great meaning in contrasting the inner and outer experience. I also find great meaning from this contrast in the inner and outer experience, and also like myself - he appropriated poetry, drawing, and painting, joined text with image, and blended figuration with abstraction to convey his thoughts. Jean-Michel Basquiat has and always will be a very important influence on my work. I admire his natural gritty style. I believe he was his true self. He wasn't a fake.
'I start a picture and I finish it. I don't think about art when I work. I try to think about life.' -Jean-Michel Basquiat
Rose Wylie is a British painter, whose work I have recently been introduced to and found deeply inspiring. Like myself, she is known for working in a loose, spontaneous, aesthetically simplistic style, combining cartoonish figures, flattened perspective, and text. She paints large colourful compositions that are uniquely recognisable. Again, like Basquiat -I feel she is her true self, and I admire that. She's a force to be reckoned with.
'I don't like arty.'- Rose Wylie
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter, who has always been of great inspiration to me, with his unique free-flowing psychologically-themed pre-expressionist style. His transformative work, that has sometimes been labeled as "soul paintings," have been a great influence on my thinking process and my understanding of the human experience. To me, Munch is legendary, one of the greatest painters of all time. I'm drawn to his melancholic landscapes like no other, and have always been intrigued by his iconic painting, "The Scream."
No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.' -Edvard Munch
Milton Avery was a modern painter, known as the American Matisse. His work has also greatly influenced my style. I particularly
like the way he focussed on colour relations, and like myself, was not concerned with creating the illusion of depth, as most conventional painting has since the Renaissance. I also enjoy his bold use of arbitrary colour and his innovative landscapes.
I admire the way he was not afraid to break from traditional conformities.
'Nature is my springboard. From her I get my initial impetus. I have tried to relate the visible drama of mountains, trees, and bleached fields with the fantasy of wind blowing and changing colours and forms.' - Milton Avery
The CoBrA art movement, a group of avant-garde artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, with it's vibrant colours, wild biomorphic creatures, and gestural freedom has also influenced my work. I am particularly drawn to the artist Constant Anton Nieuwenhuys, better known as Constant, who was a Dutch painter, graphic artist, writer, and musician. He was a founding member of this avant-garde artist group. For Constant, art had to be experimental, and he believed art springs from the experience of the artist, and is continuously changing. In his manifesto, he stated that the process of creation is more important to the experimental artist than the work itself-it is a means to reach spiritual and mental enrichment.
Creation and revolutionary struggle have the same objective: the realisation of life.' - Constant
I feel I must acknowledge the former American painter Cy Twombly, as well- he is also an important influence on my work. I admire the deliberate childlike expression in his work, the way he is free from traditional formulas and ideas of composition. His loose chaotic style, composed of lines, scribbles, and lettering, allows forms and images to emerge, and spark the imagination.
'My line is childlike but not childish. It is very difficult to fake... to get that quality you need to project yourself into the child's line. It has to be felt.' - Cy Twombly
Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realise its purpose through him.'- Carl Jung