About Me

My photo
Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Pictures call into mind others

James Ensor 1860-1949
For my hockey lover readers I ought to post more on the coming game between Aeros and OKC tonight,
Skeletons warming at a Fire
having seen so recently many photos of snowy scenes on FB pages from around the world,  and truly hating the cold,

I cannot but recall a small painting (Ft. Worth Museum) at right , by the Belgian Painter James Ensor (self portrait left), whose work was rejected initially as scandalous.

From wikipedia: 

The yearly philanthropic "Bal du Rat Mort" (Dead Rat Ball) in Ostend continues a tradition begun by Ensor and his friends in 1898.
Ensor has been paid homage by contemporary painters and artists in other media: he is the subject of a song, "Meet James Ensor", recorded in 1994 by the alternative rock duo They Might Be Giants. The 1996 Belgian movie, Camping Cosmos, was inspired by drawings of James Ensor, in particular Carnaval sur la plage (1887), La mort poursuivant le troupeau des humains (1896), and Le bal fantastique (1889). The film's director, Jan Bucquoy, is also the creator of a comic Le Bal du Rat mort inspired by Ensor. A portrait of James Ensor can be seen hanging in the room of Laurie Strode from the 1978 movie Halloween.

Ensor; Insects
I don't know if Franz  Kafka ever saw this Ensor piece before he wrote "Die Verwandlung"="Metamorphosis" or "The Transformation" A novella, published in 1915,  is seen as the representative fiction of the 20th century. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a monstrous bug. It is never explained in the story why Samsa transforms, nor did Kafka ever give an explanation.

I am drawn to the sarcasm and scurrility of both works, the novella by Kafka and Ensor's skeletal art. and then there were those cinema noir films of the 60's that, too, as it seemed to me then, and even now, had to have been inspired by Ensor. Who surely saw beyond the facades of fashions and make up into the very soul of existence!  Example "Omicron" - Italy (science fiction comedy). Or "Signori e signore"-Italy (sex comedy).
Ensor: Skeletons at billiards

Heroes come, and Heroes go: John Alexander, 

Maybe I am making too much of the connection between Ensor art (as I see it) and these cine noirs.

For sure John Alexander (living in NY, born in  1945 in Beaumont, Tx)
must have been inspired by Ensor, for some of his phantasmagoric and/or grotesque paintings.

John Alexander: Crane
As he undoubtedly was inspired by Audobon for his nature paintings.

No comments: