Thinking back to the dear days of high school (sixth form) art history and the number of times my friend and I would make fun of Picasso and the modernists fills me with joy. That was the most fun we have had in a class during our 4 years at that school. Perhaps, our, at times, dismissive attitude towards serious subjects in art which were expressed in a different stylistic manner is reflective of a wider audience's reaction to such representations now. Even back in the 20th century Paris, Picasso did not reveal the painting above, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, multiple years later after its completion, even though he was one of the pioneers of the avant-garde and was much appreciated for the work he was doing for the art world.
In light of a new lockdown in London all museums have been, once again, closed. I have unfortunately been unable to visit the Turner exhibition before lockdown, so I will proceed with some general thoughts and insights into his art to make up for the missing out on the show.
All the reviews of Titian’s exhibition at London's National Gallery that I have come across have been surprisingly different. As an art historian, I can appreciate the complexity with which those reviewers are approaching and unpacking the subject of the exhibition. However, none of them really focused their attention on an aspect that stroke me as a major focal point - Titian's choice of subjects - which happen to show the duality of beauty and power. So, I shall. Here, there will not be any “shocking” factual breakdowns of why using sex workers as models was meant to mock the patron of those works (Philip II - prince and then king of Spain that is), neither there will be any speculations on the cultural integration of slavery due to the colonialist expansion of Spain. As interesting as those things are, I would like to look at the visual and symbolic imagery of the mythological narratives that Titian chose, which are surprisingly topical.
An increasing number of fine art graduates decide to pursue the career path of an artist in the hopes of reaching the level of success and international recognition of artists such as Banksy, Jeff Koons, Marina Abramović and Damien Hirst. However, the pool of talented emerging or semi-established artists is so vast that even an art-world expert would struggle to keep up with all the names of up and coming talents. After working in a commercial gallery for 10 months and being exposed to artists of all levels, I wanted to share some of the talent that could be the next Jeff Koons.