Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monsters in the night

"Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”

Dark and morbid with monsters creeping in the night, I love Goya. He was the first artist to paint a totally profane life size female nude in Western art. With that, the man was marked for fame and controversy. Originally painting well respected works for the Spanish Royal family he presented the sunny side of life, always a carnival or a sunny day. Eventually his work became more politically charged and he gained fame notoriety. Goya contracted a high fever and cholera mid life, he ended up deaf. During his final years, reclusive and disillusioned, he created some of the most frightening and deranged works ever seen. He looked to fantasy, the mentally insane and darker elements that existed in the world. Goya was one of the first artists to successfully portray the mentally ill without agenda or misrepresentation. He would sit in the locked off courtyard for the mentally ill taking in as much loneliness, sadness, fantasy and madness as he could handle.

Whether his art drove him mad, or his madness drove his art, I'm not quite sure. Goya stopped seeing the world as a bright cheerful place peeling away all the bright colours to find endless layers of black.

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