In an effort to come up with creative words to add to the painting I did today, I came across a dispute between James McNeill Whistler and John Ruskin. If you are unfamiliar with these gentlemen, Whistler was an American artist whose most familiar painting is a portrait of his mother called “Arrangement in Grey and Black, the Artist’s Mother” better known as “Whistler’s Mother.” http://jssgallery.org/other_artists/Whistler/Whistler%27s_Mother.htm
John Ruskin was an art critic, artist and poet who influenced and supported the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of artists who created a reform movement in the Victorian era. He later became part of the Arts and Crafts Movement advocating a return to a craftsman base society.
The basis of the argument was Ruskin’s criticism of Whistler’s “Nocturn in Black and Gold.” Ruskin said “I…never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.” That clearly didn’t sit well with Whistler who sued Ruskin for slander. Whistler won the lawsuit but was only awarded a farthing and the suit left him broke. Wonder what Ruskin would say about Jackson Pollock.
Here is a juicy tidbit about Mr. Ruskin (rated pg-13). His marriage to Effie Gray was annulled on grounds of “incurable impotency.” He disputed the charge saying he was willing to “prove his virility at the court’s request.” I am guessing the judge didn’t allow the demostration because Effie was granted an annullment and later married John Everett Millais, one of the Pre-Raphaelites.
You are probably wondering what all this has to do with this blog post. It has to do with imitation. I was trying to find something clever to say about imitation other than “sincerest of flattery” and came across all this which was far more interesting .
Imitation is what this painting is. I came across an artist’s work ( http://www.frankgonzales.net/ )yesterday and so loved it, I attempted to imitate it. The work is my own, the style is an attempt at his. There are bits of my painting I am pleased with, my swirls are painted freehand, I am rather proud of them, and it was great fun and very messy pouring paint on the canvas. Then I took sandpaper to the canvas letting the raw sienna peek thru the blue. I am being brave giving you a link to his work and then putting my painting up for view. There really is no comparision. I am just trying to expand my universe.
12″x12″ acrylic on canvas
Webster’s defines coxcomb as “a conceited, foolish dandy.” Yep, grounds for libel.