Ten Things You Should Know About the Old Master Caravaggio

1 His real name was actually Michelangelo Merisi and he was born in September 1571 in Caravaggio, the town which later gave him the name he was known by.

2 Caravaggio had a tragic childhood due to many of his family dying from the Bubonic Plague. His father, his grandfather and grandmother and even his uncle Pietro had succumbed to the plague epidemic by the time he was only six years old. His mother lasted another four years before also dying of the plague. Some believe that his sense of abandonment and his fearsome temper developed as a result.  

3 It seems likely from historical evidence that he was involved in the killing of a policeman. He left the country of Lombardy for Rome 1592 under a suspicious cloud, and sold his family’s lands never to return. 

4 His first years in Rome were unpleasant and difficult for him. At one point his master and benefactor was Pandolfo Pucci who apparently gave him nothing to eat in the evening but salad. Caravaggio called him ‘Monsignor Salad,’ and left after just a few months.

5 His first public work was decorating Contarelli Chapel in Rome with scenes from the life of St Matthew. He soon became known for his unique realistic style and his bold contrasts of light and shade (later called tenebrism). He painted these older biblical scenes set in the present day, with St Matthew’s calling by Christ being set in a modern tax collector’s office located in what looks like a Roman basement. 

6 There is some evidence that he operated as a pimp to provide extra income as well as female models for his painting. It was against the law for women to pose for painters at the time, so prostitutes were a way out of this dilemma. He probably used the women for casual sex as well. 

7 Not only was he a master of painting, he was a master brawler, not to mention an excellent swordsman and duellist. Famed for having a terrible temper, he killed his rival Tomassoni in a duel (disguised as a game of tennis) by stabbing him to death and had to flee Rome. This was right at the height of his fame and his crime sent him off as a fugitive around Malta, Sicily, and the south of Italy.

8 He was offered a knighthood while he was in Malta by the Grandmaster of the Knights of Saint John. He lost it because he assaulted a higher ranking knight and ended up in prison. He escaped prison and ended up in Sicily where he was ambushed by men associated with said knight and ended up with a permanently disfigured face.

9 In 1609, Caravaggio was seriously wounded during a fight in a tavern in the city of Naples. In 1610 he was pardoned for the murder in Rome, but unfortunately he died from a fever not long after in July of that very same year.

10 His work inspired many artists including Rubens and Rembrandt. Interestingly his influence even extends to the present day with film directors like Martin Scorsese saying that Caravaggio’s realistic and stark contrast of light and darkness, as well as how the settings are often arranged like movie stills has been an influence on his cinematography.

You can find Caravaggio Art Prints here :

http://ebay.us/kkT12K

UNEXPECTED BUT AWESOME ART PRODUCTS YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD OF

Are you looking for some curveball, out of the box ideas for art products? You have come to the right place. Let’s hit the ground running.

Artist Watercolour Paint Set Glitter Solid 24 Colours

This lovely set comes in 24 vivid colours with Artist’s Grade paint. The paint is high quality and absolutely perfect for blending and mixing. It has a pre-mixed iridescent medium which gives a fantastic glittery effect . It’s portable and reusable so you can paint anywhere you like. It comes with a pink portable metal Case and a palette to mix your 24 colours on. It even has 4.7 stars out of 5 from 568 reviews. 

We recommend the Paul Rubens Glitter Paint set. You can find out more on Amazon here:

https://amzn.to/37bzAoN

Mahlstick

A lot of people haven’t heard about this really useful artist’s tool, but it is used extensively by artists to keep their hands steady while painting. It is sometimes called a painter’s rest for obvious reasons, and it comes in very handy at various stages of painting.

Have a look at this really attractive 2 piece mahlstick made of wood and leather on Amazon:

https://amzn.to/37fpweI

A Heavy Duty Paint Tube Wringer

Let’s face it, paints can be expensive and you want to squeeze every last bit of value out of them before having to buy another tube. That’s why you need a tube wringer, and a heavy duty one at that. You only need to make that once-off purchase and you’ll be laughing all the way to the paint shop. It might even work for your toothpaste too.

You can buy them here:

https://amzn.to/37UMKFW

Pebeo Paints

Pebeo paints really are one of kind oil-based formulas which achieve unique effects. When you mix them with 2+ colours you get a wonderful marbling and honeycomb effect. The can be used on most surfaces such as glass, terracotta, ceramic, canvas, acetate wood or metal. You can even use them to create jewellery! They are also great for abstract paintings in particular to create fantastic textures and colours.

Check out this great Pebeo Prisme Studio Collection paint set on Amazon here:

https://amzn.to/2JZFz7q

Set of Palette Knives

Most people have heard of palette knives which can of course be used to scrape and shape different kinds of textures through your painting. What isn’t so commonly known though is that different sizes and shapes of palette knife can really produce some amazing effects. Many artists only have one or two, but a 10piece set isn’t greedy it’s necessary for shaping your individual style and really pushing the boat out in terms of your scraping techniques.

https://amzn.to/37eZZSN

This post contains affiliate links – we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Fujifilm X-T30 Camera Review Worth the Money or Not?

Fujifilm X-T30 The Best Camera for Under £1000?

No-one could suggest that the Fujifilm XT-30 is inexpensive, but compared to its predecessor the X-T3 (£1,699 with the 18-55mm lens) it is definitely a lot more compatible with the average photographer’s budget. So it’s definitely easier on the pocket than its more expensive relative.

Even so, the real question is – is it really worth the money overall? Read on to find out.

The X-T30 can usefully be thought of as being like a smaller X-T3 in shape and features, and it actually uses the same processor and sensor. As a result of it being smaller and lighter it is much better for shooting on the go. The only thing we would say though is that it has a single SD card slot which makes backing up while travelling a bit more of a challenge. 

Thankfully there are still plenty of direct access control buttons and dials which will keep even the most tactile photographers happy. On the right plate you will find two dials for exposure and shutter speed and happily on the left there is a drive mode dial. Unlike the more expensive X-T3 there is a big auto switch which responds well to a quick flick of your finger.  

As you might imagine with Fujifilm the image quality really is outstanding; capturing film-like quality images with a really great dynamic range and vibrantly natural colours. Even in low lighting it still delivers impressively.

The focusing is also quick and accurate in most cases except in very low lighting where it might take a little longer.

The only disappointment for us is the fact that you don’t have image stabilisation in the body, but you can get round this by using quick shutter speeds. If you buy the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens kit option it does have stabilisation. Obviously you can buy the camera with a 15-45mm kit lens which is reasonable but the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens is definitely superior in performance.

If you quite enjoy making a movie on occasion you will pleased to know that you have DCI 4K available in frame rates up to 30p. You also have Standard 4K up to 30p, too, not to mention Full HD and Full HD slow-mo. You can use the X-T30’s USB Type-C port to plug your headphones into, and there is a socket for your microphone.

Conclusion

There are so many plus points here and so little to argue with that it’s hard to resist coming to the conclusion that the Fujifilm X-T30 is definitely worth the money. The pros overwhelmingly outweigh the cons. 

4.9/5

You can buy it on Amazon here:

https://amzn.to/37gI7ah

Or on eBay with just the camera body

http://ebay.us/MSIZpm

Learn the secrets to shooting video on a DSLR camera in this fantastic 6hour course. Sign up here https://bit.ly/39xqa71

The Best Art Supplies to Buy Right Now

Royal and Langnickel Artist Set

Need some great free advice on the best Art Supplies to buy at the moment? We have it for you here, all in one place at Art World Blog.

Castle Art Supplies 40 Piece Sketching Pencils and Drawing Set

This is one of the bestsellers on Amazon at the moment, and with good reason. There is so much included in the set that it will keep beginners, kids and more advanced artists learning and experimenting for a good long time. 

It includes a range of top quality graphite pencils, wood encased pastel pencils in no less than 4 different shades, as well as Willow Charcoal and a Dual Tipped Rubber Blender. A 5 Step Tutorial is also included and a Multifunctional Zip Up Case.

You can’t really argue with 4.8 stars for 4142 ratings. 

We’d advise you to buy it now before your window closes.

You can have a look yourself here:

https://amzn.to/2JVh9Mb

This leads us on naturally to another bestseller with great reviews which just happens to be by the same brand.

Castle Art Supplies 48 Acrylic Paint Set for Adults/Artists/Kids 48 x 22ml Large Tubes 

Again this set really caters to a broad range of artists and would-be artists. The colours are vibrant and the tubes are large enough to contain plenty of paint. The paints themselves are great quality for the price which is why it has 4.8 stars out of 1990 reviews on Amazon.

Find out more information here and don’t miss out!

https://amzn.to/3oHLZXE

Royal & Langnickel All Media Easel Artist Set (104 Piece)

This set is the #1 Bestseller in Painting Kits on Amazon. It covers all media (pencils, pastels and paints) allowing for plenty of possibilities. The wooden storage box it comes in converts into an easel you can use on any table-top. 

The set comes with:

·        12 Acrylic Paint Tubes (12 ml) 

·        12 Oil Paint Tubes (12 ml) 

·        12 Watercolor Paint Tubes (12 ml) 

·        12 Oil Pastels 12 Soft Pastels 

·        12 Watercolor Pencils 

·        3 Gold Taklon Brushes 

·        3 White Taklon Brushes 

·        3 White Bristle Brushes 

·        3 Palette Knives 

·        2 Canvas Boards (A4) 

·        1 Graphite Pencil 

·        1 Wooden and 1 Plastic Palette 

·        1 Watercolor Artist Pad (A4)

4.7 stars out of 3007 reviews on Amazon shows buyers are consistently happy with this product. It really is an excellent all-rounder. 

Get it here before they sell out:

https://amzn.to/3oJaqDS

Graphics Tablet M708 UGEE 10 x 6 inch Large Active Area Drawing Tablet 

This Drawing tablet happens to be affordable (£57.99) and packed with features, taking your digital art up a notch or two. It is compatible with multiple systems, and has a paper-like surface to draw on. It caters for everyone from the newbie right up to the professional digital artist.

Your purchase includes:

·        1×Ugee M708 Graphics Tablet 

·        1×Drawing P01 Pen 

·        1×USB Cable 

· 2×Glove

· 1×Cleaning Brush

·        1×Cleaning Cloth 

·        1×English User Manual

It also has an impressive 4.5 stars out of 339 ratings at the time of writing.

Check it out now:

https://amz.to/3gEdD4J

This article contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

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News from the Art World

Weekly Link Round Up

Overpainted Photograph Mixed Media Seascape http://www.orlagilkesonart.com

News from the Art World 

Weekly Link Roundup

It’s that time again. More fun and fascinating articles from around the Web about Art and the Art World. Click on the links to read more about the topics.

The most expensive artwork ever sold at a German auction house went for €4.3m. A Girl Blowing on a Brazier (La Fillette au braisier) by the French Baroque Painter Georges De La Tour. Read more here:

https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/georges-de-la-tour-painting-sells-for-record-eur4-3m

The pop star Ed Sheeran is donating an abstract painting he painted himself to charity. Read more here:

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/ed-sheeran-art-painting-auction-b1528823.html

A young self-taught artist from Cheltenham has found a global fan base for his photo-realistic drawings of ‘shiny’ objects. Read more here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-55190554

Painter Amanda Williams has an exhibition at Rhona Hoffman in Chicago up until 19thDecember. Read more here:

https://contemporaryartdaily.com/2020/12/amanda-williams-at-rhona-hoffman/

A long lost Flemish Painting by Jacques Jordaens was rediscovered in Brussels District Hall. Read more here:

https://artdaily.com/news/130874/Long-lost-Flemish-masterpiece-discovered-in-Brussels-district-hall#.X9DSAWj7TIU

The Tate Gallery has announced its second round of redundancies. This time they are cutting 120 jobs in an attempt to reduce losses:

https://www.apollo-magazine.com/the-week-in-art-news-tate-to-cut-120-gallery-jobs/

The artist Bosco Sodi has brought 24 giant clay orbs into a parking lot in Brooklyn as part of his ‘Perfect Bodies,’ outdoor exhibition:

https://www.artnews.com/art-news/artists/bosco-sodi-sculptures-perfect-bodies-brooklyn-1234578202/

The Editors at Art News choose the defining art events of 2020 amidst a global pandemic:

https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/most-important-art-events-2020-1234577832/

If you enjoyed this free article please feel free to like and comment. If you really like please share quickly and easily on Twitter here:

https://ctt.ac/f4BMc

Ten Things You Should Know About Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko Untitled 1969

1 Despite being an intelligent and academically minded person, Mark Rothko had almost no training in drawing or painting. He did spend some time with the Cubist painter Max Weber but other than that his artistic skills were largely instinctive. How’s that for raw talent? 

2 He was a part of the first major American art movement recognised by the art world – Abstract Expressionism. The fame that came with being associated with this movement was something he became increasingly conflicted about, and he never really resolved this in his lifetime. 

3 He believed that it was important to find new ways to express our simplest and most basic needs and feelings in art. He painted in a minimalist and almost childish style. As he himself said, “I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” 

4 He was a socialist and had a distrust of money and privilege. He despised the idea of people buying his work just because it was fashionable and popular, and sometimes refused to sell his paintings to people who didn’t respond to them in the way he thought appropriate. 

5 During his early years he was very much influenced by surrealist painters, in particular Paul Klee and Georges Rouault. He was very much drawn to the way that these artists used colour. These ideas were to influence him throughout his life.

6 While he is best known for his abstract style he tried painting in more realist styles in his early career. It took him until he was 44, in 1947 to create the first of the large abstract paintings that he eventually became most famous for.

7 Rothko’s signature style is described as colour-field painting. These paintings were aimed at conveying the full range of human emotion – feelings of ecstasy, despair, and grief. 

8 Like many abstract artists, Rothko really emphasised the spiritual nature of his art (especially in the later period of his life), believing that his paintings could be transformative and bring about a spiritual experience.

9 6 years before he died, Rothko was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil to create a ‘chapel,’ filled with his paintings. It became known as Rothko’s Chapel, an ecumenical place of worship and contemplation for all faiths. Around 55,000 people still visit it today where it stands in Houston, Texas.

10 Rothko suffered for a long time with depression. Sadly he was to take his own life in his studio in New York on the 25th February 1970, at the age of 66.

You can find Rothko Prints here:

https://amzn.to/3ouPNuY

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Christmas Gifts For Photographers Beginner to Advanced

Instant Gratification Polaroid Shot

Just to help you out a little this Christmas we thought we would give you a few ideas for gifts for the photographers in your life. Some of these suggestions will suit kids or beginners and some of them will suit the more serious photographer or engaged amateur.

The Best Camera Accessories For your Phone 

Let’s face it, most of us use our phones for taking photographs and overall the quality is usually pretty good. Let us share some great apps and accessories to make your phone camera take you even further again.

The app ProCam 8 is without a doubt one of the best apps out there, and for a mere £6.99 you can transform your phone into a DSLR camera. While we all hate paying for phone apps this one is really worth it. The quality is top notch and the long exposure facility is a particular favourite of ours. You can control your shutter speed and the Motion Blur, Light Trail, and Low Light facilities are so much fun to play around with. Check it out here on the App Store:

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/procam-8/id730712409

(we are not endorsed by Apple – this is a free and friendly suggestion)

A great accessory for taking photographs on your phone is a Lens Kit which contains a wide angle lens, fish eye lens and a macro lens. This enhances your photographing capabilities no end. A wide angle lens allows you to take pictures of large ranges, like a panoramic landscape. A Fish Eye Lens allows you to take a photo and view it within a range of 180 Degrees left to right. A Macro Lens is best for photographing an object close up in detail.

This lens kit is compatible with most phones. Find more information here:

Another must have accessory for your phone is an adjustable tripod, which allows for smooth movements during shooting. These are surprisingly inexpensive but invaluable, whether recording for YouTube or a privileged audience on WhatsApp. 

These tripods are also compatible with most smartphones.

See what you think of this recommendation:

https://amzn.to/2VMSYCb

If a GoPro camera is out of your budget then go for a good quality waterproof pouch and phone case for underwater footage which will make a smartphone function like a GoPro camera.

Feel free to check out our suggestion here :

https://amzn.to/3mUQwW9

For Experimental Photographers

If you need to buy something for a retro-loving hipster photographer who likes to experiment a Diana Lomography Camera is the way to go. They require 35mm film (although we would recommend 120mm film for a better experience) and produce photos that look a little bit like they were taken in the 1960s.

You can find more information here:

https://amzn.to/2IrRZ7m

Instant Gratification Poloroid Cameras   

There is something so classic and appealing about a Polaroid Camera. You get your photo physically in your hand right there and then. They are also cool and retro and enticing to a new generation of photographers. Have a look at our recommendation here:

https://amzn.to/3guKBoo

4 The Ultimate Christmas Present for the Serious Photographer/Filmmaker – Fujifilm X-T30

This one is not for everyone, as it’s expensive and super high quality but it’s more than worth including for the photographer who wants to knock it out of the park. With specs like these this camera is almost irresistible –

  • 26. 1M Back-Illuminated “X Trans Cmos 4-Inch Sensor
  • Compact And Lightweight Body (Approx. 383 G)
  • Updated Af-Algorithm And Improved Face And Eye Tracking
  • High Resolution Digital Sound Recording

For further specs and information have a look at this:

https://amzn.to/3mVQahQ

Learn the secrets to shooting video on a DSLR camera in this fantastic 6hour course. Sign up here https://bit.ly/39xqa71

Emerging Northern Irish Female Artists

Orla Gilkeson

Orla Gilkeson lives along the County Down coastline in Northern Ireland and is inspired by the changing nature of the Irish Sea and surrounding landscapes. She produces abstract paintings and creates undeniably unique wall art.

Her work is particularly interesting in that she reimagines landscapes and seascapes using textures, brushstrokes and scraping techniques through the mediums of acrylics, watercolour and oils, imbuing them with a slight edge of magical realism. This makes her abstract paintings and fine art photography seem both timeless and yet constantly evolving at the same time. There is the slightest hint of transcendence if you pay enough attention, resulting in some very unique wall art.

‘Wave,’ by Orla Gilkeson

Her overpainted photographs are worth a look also. She uses photographs she has taken of the sea and then adds layers of paint over the top, making the photograph become her canvas, in the tradition of the great German artist Gerhard Richter. The result is a thought provoking interrogation of the idea of what landscapes and seascapes really are, not to mention what art itself is. You can see her collection of overpainted photographs here:

https://orlagilkesonart.com/products/mixed-media-seascape

Her Irish Sea Glimpses Collection (a series of canvases 15×15 depicting the sea in a state of continual fluctuation) is an intriguing and beautiful series of abstract paintings. You can find some of her work on Saatchi Art here:

https://www.saatchiart.com/orlagilkeson

Overpainted Photograph Mixed Media Seascape by Orla Gilkeson

Aly Harte

Aly Harte has become more and more prominent through her mentorship programmes, podcasts, videos and artworks. She describes herself as being ‘passionate about placing importance on everyday moments, objects and places,’ and her brush approach is loose despite having quite a bold style. She produces paintings in quite an abstract style with a particular emphasis on soft pastels.

‘Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge’ by Aly Harte

Having grown up in the Irish countryside has had a huge influence upon her subjects, style and her painterly gaze. Many of her landscapes are from around the island of Ireland, and highlight important Irish symbols and products. 

She is keen to highlight the struggles of women and gender inequality as demonstrated in her 12 Female Portraits which she released for International Women’s Day last year. All of the women in the collection are known to Harte and she had them send photographs of themselves to her to use, rather than drawing from real life. They are all similar to the artist in some way – they are women she has known since childhood or met at the gym, mothers of her children’s friends or like her in that they are also self-employed mums who are trying to build a business at the same time.

One of 12 Female Portraits by Aly Harte

You can find out more on her website www.alyharte.com

Fiona Finnegan 

Fiona Finnegan is an artist working in Belfast who investigates folklore, myths and ideas of the paranormal in her work. She creates a sense of mystery and unease in her work, which is inspired by photographs from the Internet. It is difficult to associate a time or place with her images which gives them a touch of the timeless, as well as a very surreal quality. They could be anywhere or nowhere.

‘Pyramid,’ by Fiona Finnegan

The artist mostly produces images which are set at twilight, favouring the in-between times, further creating a sense of the uncanny. When she includes figures they are often hooded and hidden in shadow, and it is unclear what exactly their purpose might be. Paintings like one below ‘Ancestors,’ or ‘Vigil,’ are a case in point. Finnegan likes to use oil on wood which adds to the dream-like quality of her paintings.

‘Ancestors,’ by Fiona Finnegan

You can discover more about this fascinating painter here:

www.fionafinnegan.com

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What to Buy Creative Kids for Christmas

Get Your Kids Painting Like Only Kids Can

“All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Pablo Picasso

Got creative kids? More often than not that means having to be pretty creative yourself to choose the right gifts this Christmas. Fortunately help is on hand to get you moving in the right festive direction.

1 Arts and Crafts Supplies Kits for Kids

You really can’t beat these for the hours and hours of fun that can be had from them. We’ve all had the bad experience of buying kids really expensive presents that they lose interest in within a few days, if not before. That’s not the case with these kits though – they have 1500+ pieces including; pipe cleaners, pom poms, googly eyes, feathers, and beads. There are so many creative possibilities here to keep kids from 4 right up to 12 amused that these kits border on free childcare. See for yourself here:

https://amzn.to/3lPMoVQ

2 An Acrylic Paint Set

Why not get them started on the good stuff early? These quick-drying non-toxic paints are perfect for kids who love to paint or want to start painting. They aren’t too bad for adult beginners either. They are for using on canvas, cardboard, wood, paper to mention but a few. They are easy to mix and have a very wide spectrum of colours to keep the boredom of creative kids at bay. 

Have a look here:

https://amzn.to/3gfexVp

3 ‘Kids Draw’ Big Book of Everything Manga

Manga has never been so popular with kids, and this book is an all-in-one collection of how-to-draw manga lessons. Your kids can learn to draw manga heads, faces, eyes, and bodies. There are also detailed lessons teaching them how to draw manga fantasy characters and monsters. There are over 1000 illustrations in this book, providing plenty of inspiration. This will keep them amused and off their phones for hours and hours.

https://amzn.to/3mQhAWi

4 Wacom Intuos S, Bluetooth Pen Tablet, Wireless Graphic Tablet for Painting, Sketching and Photo Retouching

For older kids who have proved themselves to be super interested in art, and likely to stay the course you could invest in a wireless Graphic Tablet. It’s perfect for home, school or on the go. This tablet is among the best in its class for digital drawing and the 4096 pressure level stylus included allows for impressive precision. The bluetooth connectivity really takes things to a new level. You really can achieve an authentic looking hand-painted effect, as well as enhance existing photographs with the creative software which comes with it. For kids or teens interested in comic book art you can download Clip Studio Paint Pro which has everything that a young comic book or manga artist could need at this stage.

Find out more here:

https://amzn.to/2JUUcso

5 3D Printing Pens for kids 6-12

We’ll leave you with a particularly creative and fascinating idea – the 3D Printing Pen. You’d be forgiven for not having heard of these but they really do create physical entities using plastic filament which is shaped by using the pen. Then you leave it to dry, and you have a 3D representation straight from your mind into reality. 

Have a look here to check out these brilliant gadgets:

https://amzn.to/36LxnQD

If you want to go the whole way and get an actual mini 3D Printer it could be really worth the effort:

https://amzn.to/3qxiB87

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Featured Artist Blog Post – Gerhard Richter and The Blurring of Certainty

The Dresden-born artist Gerhard Richter is undeniably one of the most important painters of the 20th and 21st Century. He is particularly famous for his overpainted photographs, in which he uses the photograph as canvas. Yet he has also shown himself fluent in a variety of mediums including watercolours and oils. Further still he has produced the painstaking lifelong work ‘Atlas,’ a collection of historical photographs which link in with some of the themes of his other works, and call into question how we interpret art, history and even reality itself. 

There are many who think he is the greatest living artist.

Yet despite all of this, Richter is still plagued by doubt. Doubts about the nature and meaning of art, and of his own achievements. He seems to be forever criticising and interrogating art, believing it to be hugely relevant and irrelevant, or perhaps neither of the two. He has hung on to an honest scepticism and lack of resolution with an almost moral fortitude. 

Richter looks at his subjects with an appraising and ambivalent eye which captures a beautiful sense of uncertainty. This is seen perhaps most clearly in his painting ‘September,’ a small blurred picture which shows a plane flying towards the World Trade Centre. It was created by obscuring a media image from the time. An appalling act of violence is somehow presented as unclear, suggesting the changing nature of interpretations and memories of that awful day.

‘September’ 2005 Gerhard Richter

Even when he paints himself he illustrates uncertainty. His painting ‘Self Portrait,’ (shown above) is a blurred representation which uses dry brushstrokes to produce a hazy and mysterious effect. It is quite unsettling and makes dubious that most important of concepts – the self.

‘Self Portait’ 1996 Gerhard Richter

It seems unlikely that one of our greatest living artist is likely to create much clarity at 88. Yet his work captures so much of the blurring of lines and ideals that he has lived through. It is timeless and constantly open to interpretation, like all great art should be.

You can buy Gerhard Richter prints inexpensively here:

https://amzn.to/3lRcqYS

Or you can have a look at a signed rare print of Richter’s here:

http://ebay.us/J9F4oN

For a more modern nod to overpainted photographs you could have a look at emerging female Irish artist Orla Gilkeson.

https://orlagilkesonart.com/collections/overpainted-photos

Picturing things, taking a view, is what makes us human; art is making sense and giving shape to that sense. It is like the religious search for God.

Gerhard Richter

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