My work has been called naive which at first I thought was a bad thing as I had never heard the term before but the more I looked into it I realised that it wasn’t and I had heard of some of the artist associated with the term, Henri Rousseau being the main one who I will discuss in another post.
Naive art is a classification of art that is often characterized by a childlike simplicity in its subject matter and technique. While many naive artists appear, from their works, to have little or no formal art training, this is often not true.
I always knew my painting style wasn’t realistic enough yet i still tried to make my animals as realistic as i could, but it never seem to work. Now i know that there is nothing wrong with the way I paint, I have accepted that my work right now isn’t going to look realistic in the way I would of wanted it to. My work has a child like feel to it but i have no come to like the way my paintings look, yet you can still tell what each animal I’ve painted is.
These two images are examples of naive art from two naive artists, Hoosick Falls, N.Y. in Winter is by an artist known as Grandma Moses (1860 – 1961) and Holly Mountain II is by Horace Pippin. I like them, they are simple yet you can tell exactly what the artist has done, I like that about some art, it doesn’t have to have so much detail to get the point across, I feel that about my work, even though before I tried to get so much detail in my work I realised I didn’t need to do that and have found that I am liking my work more.
I discovered the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto who is a photgrapher. His photos of the dioramas from the Natural History Museum in New York, inspired me. I Love the way the animals look alive and even though i like working in colour, the black and white make the photos work better. Sugimoto has done other photographs but its the dioramas that link in with the work that i like to do, as i like working with the animals from museums and the concept of his work i like.
“Upon first arriving in New York in 1974, I did the tourist thing. Eventually I visited the Natural History Museum, where I made a curious discovery: the stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake, yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed, all perspective vanished, and suddenly they looked very real. I’d found a way to see the world as a camera does. However fake the subject, once photographed, it’s as good as real.” – Hiroshi Sugimoto.
I like the way he has changed the perspective of the dioramas, from the animals looking fake to making them seem alive but just taking a photo, i find that incredible.
When I went to the Oxford museum I wasn’t expecting to see such a wide range of animals, but the animals they had where beautiful. My favourite was the American black bear they had, he was out in the open so people could touch it, I noticed that it was mainly kids that touched the bear and the adults found it a bit gross, they saw the bear as something dead but the children were intrigued by the bear, wanting to know what it would feel like and being able to get so close to it. There were other animals out in the open as well, such as a fox and turtles. I got a lot of photographs of the different animals for me to work from and create something for my degree show.