I discovered this week that Andy Warhol created a series of colourful cat paintings in the 1950s. Andy Warhol was born in 1928 and died in 1987. He was one of the world’s most influential artists and was a leading figure in the pop art movement. His art style consisted of bright, clashing colours and a repetitional images or motifs. In 1954, Warhol published a book of artworks titled ’25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy’, containing lithograph portraits of his 25 cats, all named Sam after the first. I think that this series is really sweet, as it shows the love that Warhol had for his cats as he spent so long capturing each one individually. I like how the series still reflects his typical style, with each cat being a different vivid colour but also shows the personality of each cat through the use of different expressions and poses, making each painting special. This relates to my own project as I have also chosen to create a series of paintings of my seven pets, to capture them as they are now and to manifest my appreciation for them through the time and effort I put into painting them all.
Peter Fischli and David Weiss
In 1981, Peter Fischli and David Weiss began creating a sculptural series titled, ‘Suddenly This Overview’, in which they planned to record in clay the entirety of human knowledge and history. Although unfired clay is not a typical medium for Fine Art, Fischli and Weiss felt that it was the perfect material to record ideas quickly and to be able to change them if they so desired. Currently, the Guggenheim museum in New York displays around 600 of these sculptures, and I think as collection they are a fascinating. The fact that the collection is displayed on separate plinths gives the sense of connection when viewing from afar, as you can tell that all of the sculptures are made of the same material but not yet see what each one is representing. When you look at each piece individually however, you begin to see the complexity of the collection and the intellectuality of the men who fabricated each scene. I love the power that the sculptures have when they are displayed in this way, and want to bring this concept into my own project by creating stands for each of my paintings and displaying them on a lit platform, where they can be thoughtfully arranged and rearranged to my desire.
My Purple Project Update…
This week I began painting my pets in purple. I was initially going to paint another purple object first, but I could not decide which one and so came to the conclusion that it would not be worth spending all that time on a painting that I wasn’t completely sure about. I have been taking photographs of my pets (or trying to… the rats hardly ever sit still!) and I had a go at editing them to make them purple. This wasn’t purely for reference when painting, as I enjoy adding my own purple hues to wherever I see fit, but more so I could envision the outcomes of the series more clearly. The edits also look quite funny. I first chose to paint my Syrian Hamster, Cherry (also known as Cherubael), as I had a really sweet photograph of her from when she was out running around on the bed and it really inspired me to want to paint her. It is quite a small Gouache painting but this is purposeful, as I wanted her to look somewhat proportional when the painting is stood upright next to my cat and goblet paintings. I am really enjoying using gouache for this series, as you get the soft, easily-blendable effect of watercolour whilst also having the ability to layer the colours and create depth. I’m very pleased with the finished painting as I feel it looks realistic, despite the obvious unnatural purple-ness, and I am looking forward to seeing all of my finished series displayed together.