Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where is the Creative Art?

 Gustave Klimt

A couple weeks back, I saw posted on Facebook that it was Gustav Klimt's birthday (July 14, 1862) and it immediately made me think of the countless times that I have recently heard the comparison of contemporary artist Brad Kunkle's work to Klimts. Being very familiar with Kunkles work, I decided to learn more about Klimt to make a comparison for myself.

  Brad Reuben Kunkle

Both artists use gold leaf and oil paint together on canvas, and both focus primarily on the female figure/portrait (which is probably the most common and popular subject matter). So, past this use of gold, I really didn't see much unique similarities that would justify the hype.

The more I looked through the various paintings, the more one major thought came rushing to my mind. Whether you like their works, or think they are similar, I think the greatest point is that they both are doing more than just painting reality, they have gone a step further and added creativity. Design, simplicity, materials, composition, abstraction . . . these are all elements within their work, and also considerations and judgments that they planned for well before starting to paint.

 Gustave Klimt

I am a firm believer that a painting (or "art") needs to be nothing more than a glimpse of the beauty in our world. Whether an exact representation of the subject or the artists judgment on what elements are specifically important. Both of these general approaches encompass the majority of paintings in the "non-modern" art world and I'm happy to spend hours looking and creating them. But I now see that although the majority of these types of artistic works are filled with great brushwork and exquisite renderings, they may lack the creativity or maybe even better said, the potential for creativity that limits them from being ageless masterpieces.

   Brad Reuben Kunkle

This creative touch that is so apparent in Kunkle's work (and so non-existent in most of today's popular representational masters) has really got me thinking, and a bit convicted, that I could go further with my art and pay more attention on the design and concept of a piece. I bet that if artists took the time to be more creative, we would see greater individuality and perhaps a monumental new era that could stand up to the 19th century masters or in some respects the Modern Art age that predominated the 20th century and today.

 Gustave Klimt

The shift to be more creative in the late 19th century (that Klimt was clearly a part of) was taken to the extreme and spawned Modern art. Losing almost all technique and natural beauty, modern art became only creativity and the striving need for something unique and shocking. Maybe this time around, with the right combination of technique and creativity, and maybe with the help of artist like Brad Kunkle, we can actually get it right.

 Gustave Klimt

  Brad Reuben Kunkle

Note: In the late 19th century, Klimt was highly rejected for his paintings. The main cause of this was for his erotic and overtly nude pieces. I am personally discouraged by this strange association with nudity and sexuality to highly creative art. I feel that these additions pushed art toward the shocking and obscene that modernism was hungry for. This ever growing rise of nudity in both modern, and in some cases, classical art is desensitizing our culture and instead of conveying a new and undiscovered beauty, it is stripping beauty away from intimacy and personal relationships and slapping it onto canvases to be shared with the world. This is strictly my own opinion, but for fear of adding to the noise and problem, I err on the side of caution and stay away from it in my subject matter.

3 comments:

Doug Strickland said...

I agree with virtually all you've said here. Although I consider myself to be a fair technician with paint and brush, I frequently recognize in my own work and that of others a shortcoming in the area of creativity. Although I am constantly searching for inspirational subject matter, and sometimes find it, forcing myself to make the next creative step, between the initial inspiration and the initiation of painting, remains very difficult. I feel that doing so might enable me to interpret an interesting subject into a really special painting. Seeing great works such as those used to illustrate the article reminds me to continue pushing myself toward that critical step.

cindy said...

Well put. I would like to add that the sensationalism and 'throw it in your face' mentality has not only desensitized society but also thrown dirt upon aesthetics. Kunkle's work not only embodies the creativity of which you speak but portrays the sensitive reach for quality rarely seen in our forever rushing world.

Stanka Kordic said...

Both Klimt and Kunkle also touch upon the ethereal world. This is the missing piece in much of art today.. it is either concerned with recording what's in front of them, or going for shock value. Where is the middle ground, where is the mystery? That for me, is the creative mind. Thank you for your post.