Posted by: mkl325 | November 28, 2013

Is it possible to have a favorite piece of art?

A while ago, I asked a bunch of friends and family members to tell me their favorite artwork and, if they wanted, to explain why. While a few friends were able to answer this question, most weren’t able to settle on a favorite artwork and were only able to identify their favorite artist, a lot of which overlapped. I picked my favorite example of these artists works to display underneath. When I tried to answer the question myself, even though the majority of artists mentioned came to mind, I found that I was stuck as well. The fact is, I don’t think that it is possible to have a favorite work of art, just ones which you emotionally connect with. That connection is one of the reasons I chose to study art and is my favorite aspect of it.

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

This was by far the most chosen artist amongst those asked, in particularly The Starry Night.

Gogh-Starry-Night

“The Starry Night”, 1889
Oil on canvas
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Eileen – “Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh has been my favorite piece of art since I was very young and saw it while looking in an art book. The swirls of the night’s sky always transported me to a different time and place, and whenever I look at it, I still imagine being a small child staring up into a night’s sky full of stars…and trying to count them all. The first time I saw the piece in person, I stood across the room unblinking, unable to move. Then, standing closer, the majesty of the painting brought tears to my eyes.”

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

"Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose", 1885-6 Tate Britain, London

“Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”, 1885-6
Tate Britain, London

My mom had posters of this painting up in her house for as long as I can remember.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

"The Kiss", 1882 Marble

“The Kiss”, 1882
Marble

This was taken at the National Gallery of Scotland this past year. It is one of those works that gives you chills when you encounter it.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903)

"The Peacock Room", 1877 Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC

“The Peacock Room”, 1877
Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Having grown up in Washington DC, this was one of the best places to go see as a kid. I even had a children’s book about Whistler creating the room. Funny thing is that it was done in retaliation for the patron not appreciating his decorative painting on the expensive leather walls. It was a bit of a dick move but the results are gorgeous.

Andrew Newell Wyeth (1917 – 2009)

"Christina's World", 1948 Tempera on gessoed panel Museum of Modern Art, New York City

“Christina’s World”, 1948
Tempera on gessoed panel
Museum of Modern Art, New York City

There is something quiet and haunting about Wyeth’s work. He supposedly mixed his pigments with his own hands, which I believe has something to do with the impact his works have.

Mark Rothko (1903 – 1970)

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Morgan – “My favorite work of art. I’d have to say something by Rothko. I like the one that has some purple and red. The painting reminds me of my grandmother and her style. I like the simplistic way about the work, but the fact that they look of an abstract sunset or sunrise.” (I couldn’t find the information for the image she  sent me)

rothko-mark-blue-and-grey

“Blue and Grey”,1958

My favorite Rothko.

Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992)

"Three Studies of Lucian Freud", 1969

“Three Studies of Lucian Freud”, 1969

I am not a Francis Bacon fan, but I can see the interest some would have in his work. The triptych portrait above of fellow artist, Lucian Freud, sold for a record-breaking  $142,405,000 at Christie’s Auction House just this month. It is now the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.

Banksy

2005 Afganistan

2005
Afganistan

Matt – “I like street art, especially stuff from Banksy. A lot of it is really in-your-face, and some of it is politically motivated. It’s really hard for me to choose favorites, but I like this series- they are all related and created around the same time (his same trip to the area, I believe).”

2005, Afganistan

2005,
Afganistan

2005,  Afganistan

2005,
Afganistan

My Favorite Artists:

Georgia Totto O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986)

"Ram's Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills", 1935

“Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills”, 1935

There are no words to describe her work.

"The Black Iris", 1926  Oil on Canvas The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

“The Black Iris”, 1926
Oil on Canvas
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

Paul Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956)

"One: Number 31", 1950

“One: Number 31”, 1950

One of the best things about Pollock is the debate that he brings to art. There are a lot of people who think that his work is not art and state it furiously that they could throw paint onto the canvas too. As a result, those who advocate for Pollock have to really get to the core of what they think art is and how Pollock’s work fits into that. It is the best thing to come out of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Joan Miró i Ferrà (1893 – 1983)

"Dancer", 1925 Oil on canvas Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, Switzerland

“Dancer”, 1925
Oil on canvas
Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, Switzerland

Miró is wonderful at portraying emotion and movement at the same time. This painting makes me think of a friend of mine, who is indeed a dancer, but from more than just the title.

Katsushika Hokusai ( 1760 – 1849)

“Boy sitting on a tree branch playing a flute in the foreground, Mt. Fuji in the distance”, 1839

“Boy sitting on a tree branch playing a flute in the foreground, Mt. Fuji in the distance”, 1839

I love everything about this painting.

John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917)

"Miranda -The Tempest", 1916 Oil on canvas

“Miranda -The Tempest”, 1916
Oil on canvas

This is a gorgeous painting but it is also the depiction of a scene from The Tempest and, as I have a slight Shakespeare obsession, is one that I have always loved. In particular, I enjoy seeing the scene of the storm from Miranda’s point of view, who is obviously distraught over the sinking ships in front of her.

Camille Claudel (1864 – 1943)

"The Waltz", 1899-1905 Bronze Musée Rodin, Paris

“The Waltz”, 1899-1905
Bronze
Musée Rodin, Paris

Her work is very emotional and usually play off of situations that took place in her own life, making them very personal. Much more talented than Rodin, whom she was having an affair with as he mentored her, Claudel was dealt a bad hand. She spent the majority of her life in a mad house after Rodin ended their affair.

Antonio Canova (1757 – 1822)

"Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss", 1787-1793

“Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”, 1787-1793

Favorite Artists that I know:

Margaret Boozer (1966 – present)

"Dirt Bowl", 2013 Stancill raw clay (Perryville, MD)

“Dirt Bowl”, 2013
Stancill raw clay (Perryville, MD)

Margaret’s work is fascinating. She uses materials which she has excavated herself and usually makes landscapes paintings with the clay and soil. I love this bowl, and I could not explain exactly why. I have always loved her work, but one thing that drives me crazy is that I can’t figure out what I love about it. It’s just good art – a rarity, but there it is.

Christopher Scott Brumfield

"Jesus on the Radio" Artist's Collection, New Orleans

“Jesus on the Radio”
Artist’s Collection, New Orleans

Another ceramist, Christopher’s work always has an element of cheek to it. However, behind the initial smile that his work undoubtably brings to your face is a more serious issue or concept. One of the reasons I love the piece above are the shadow patterns created by the different Jesus busts.

So there you have it. I think it isn’t possible to pick one favorite artist and the list continues to grow everyday. There are some, such as Frida Kahlo, who I considered putting on my favorite artists list and who I was surprised did not show up on anyone else’s. However, the list had gotten pretty long – so I decided to cut it down.

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