Георги Баев и Морето

Георги Баев (1924-2007) e сред любимите ми български художници.

Той е роден и отраснал в Бургас, и е прекарал целия си живот край Морето, рисувайки Него. Обичам морето и имам специален интерес към художниците, които също обичат морето. Макар че България е морска страна, тя няма много художници – маринисти.

В неговите работи се усещат мъжка сила и особена самота.

Цветовете са наситени, дори нюансите им са силни. Морето е странно притихнало, застинало, без вълни. Лодките са изнесени на брега. Няма ги моряците. Същите стоят самотни, като напуснати, без хора наоколо. Липсва движение. Няма перспектива.

Има някаква тиха тъга в работите му.

Защо е бил толкова тъжен и самотен? Кой е бил толкова разгневен от тихите му творби? Защо ателието му гори през 1983 година, с толкова много картини вътре?

Въпроси без отговор.

Сули Сеферов – прекрасна и тъжна Балканска приказка

Може би е логично за художник, роден и отраснал в България, сърцето на Балканите, да рисува вълшебни приказки. Всички ние, които принадлежим на поколенията от 40-те и 60-те години на миналия век, отраснахме с вълшебните приказки на нашите прадеди, омесени на тази територия като хляб.

Може би и аз затова отдавна и толкова силно обичам Сули Сеферов (роден през 1943 година) и неговите вълшебни картини. Всяка една от тях ме връща обратно във времето, спирайки моя дъх.

Меки, пастелни цветове. Мистериозни, замъглени форми.

Животните от нашите легенди и животните от старото Балканско ежедневие в едно. Летящи бели коне, магарета, пеещи петли, бухали, свраки, гълъби…

Цветята и плодовете на прекрасната ни Балканска природа, толкова красиви, толкова любими. Гроздове, шипки, слънчогледи, маслини, ябълки (на греха?)…

Децата – прекрасните плодове на нашата Любов…

Отраснах с тези приказки. Спомням си моята закръглена и леко накуцваща баба как сладкодумно разказва на мен и многобройните ми братовчеди тези приказки, докато не отмалеем и заспим. Тя говореше толкова сладко и упоително, че и до днес помня всяка нейна дума.

Дали ще успеем да опазим за бъдещето нашето приказно наследство?

Можете да разгледате творбите на Сули Сеферов на неговия уеб сайт.

Цанко Лавренов и корените на съвременната българска култура

Ние, българите, сме много горди с културните постижения на нашата древна нация. Стенописи, дърворезби, икони, накити и посуда са сред най-известните в чужбина постижения на старото българско изкуство.

За съжаление, не са много съвременните български художници, чиито имена се знаят извън страната, освен ако не са били свързани с предишната официозна система за управление на изкуството и особено пък ако са отказали да поставят изкуството си в служба на културна пропаганда.

Много рядко творби на последните са били показвани на изложби в чужбина. Доста често техни работи не са участвали и в общи художествени изложби в страната.

В колекциите на много малко световноизвестни музеи и арт галерии има картини на български художници от втората половина на 20 век.

Изключение правят художниците, които са емигрирали от страната още в младите си години и дълго време за живели извън нея.

Цанко Лавренов (1896-1978) е творец, с който може да бъде горда всяка нация.

Макар обичан и много известен художник в България, ние все още му дължим много. Той принадлежи на тази група български художници, които обогатиха нашето изобразително изкуство и го придвижиха от състояние на изкуство, фокусирано върху типично Балканска и Ортодоксална духовност до изкуство с Европейско културно измерение.

Цанко Лавренов се вдъхновява през целия си живот от старата българска архитектура, изобразявайки във великолепни картини българските манастири, а също прекрасните къщи и стръмните каменни улици на родния си Пловдив.

Особено много харесвам картината му “Малка нощна музика”, очевидно вдъхновена от едноименното произведение на великия Моцарт.

В двора на прекрасна къща, принадлежала на богата Пловдивска фамилия, в сърцето на стария град, камерен оркестър свири Моцарт на лунна светлина. Годината е 1967.  Какво красноречиво послание!

Можете да разгледате великолепните творби на Цанко Лавренов в уеб сайта на Пловдивската Градска Галерия.

Владимир Димитров (Майстора) – български гений в изкуството

Първото ми арт есе на български език е за един от моите най-любими наши художници, на когото се възхищавам от дете и от когото се уча всеки ден. Това е Владимир Димитров – Майстора, когото смятам за българския гений в изобразителното изкуство.

Каква отличава гениалния художник от останалите?

Геният е безспорен авторитет.

Работите на Гения впечатляват всички – от обикновените посетители на галерии до най-взискателните критици. Това смятам за пръв критерий дали един художник е гениален.

Владимир Димитров – Майстора е признат от всички, и то не само в България. Още приживе, той става най-известният български художник в чужбина.

Геният създава творби в различни стилове и работи в различни области на своето изкуство.

Владимир Димитров – Майстора остави незабравими акварели, графики, маслени картини. Той има свой уникален стил на рисуване, който през различните му творчески периоди може да се причисли към различни художествени стилове – постимпресионизъм, експресионизъм, фовизъм. От всеки стил той взема най-доброто, придавайки му уникална дименсия и духовност.

Геният смесва локалното и глобалното, вечното и преходното.

Работите на Владимир Димитров – Майстора носят цветовете и душевността на Балканите, но всяка от тях е разбираема и близка за всеки човек, независимо в кой край на света е роден или живее.

Те са така лесно разбираеми и близки за сърцата и умовете на хората, защото в тях са смесени вечното и мимолетното. Войната е ужасно и безсмислено зло. Женските очи са източник на светлина, доброта и чистота. Децата са надеждата на света. Спасението на човечеството е в работата. Природата е майка на всички ни.

Геният е различен. Той не може да бъде объркан с никой друг.

Работите на Владимир Димитров – Майстора не могат да бъдат приписани на никой друг художник. В която галерия или частна колекция да стоят, те греят отдалече и се разпознават от пръв поглед. Така е с творбите на Ван Гог. С Пикасо. С Анри Матис. Всеки от нас веднага разпознава кой е художникът.

Благородно завиждам на всеки, който още не е видял на живо неговите картини!

Ако и вие още не сте ги виждали на живо, можете да посетите Художествената галерия с негово име в Кюстендил или Националната Художествена Галерия в София. Негови работи има също и в други градски галерии в България.

Cezanne painted by Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) is the doyen of the French impressionism. He was one of the longest-lived impressionist painters, along with Renoir.

Born on St Thomas Island (today US Virgin Islands), in a jew family of Belgian origin. His father married the widow of his uncle, which is why the couple have been isolated from their religious community and their children played mainly with the local kids. The father dealt with trade and preferred his son to take his way. But the young Camille felt very early his vocation and went to Paris to learn from the European painters.

His talent has been gradually developing, passing slowly through the classical realism, impressionism, pointilism and neo-impressionism. Pissarro left us a huge number of paintings in all known at that time genres – cityscapes, landscapes, still life, flower paintings, portraits and self-portraits.

Pissarro is devoted to plain-air painting. During his life in France and in England, he travelled much throughout the country and studied with his brush nature and people.

In his paintings is felt incredible reverence to the ordinary people and their work. Hardworking, concerned, tired, curious, conceived – they are the focus of his work. I think this is because he was born on a remote island, grew up with local children, and continually watched their parents working hard to survive.

It is curious that Pissarro painted relatively few portraits, but each one of them shows how much he has loved people and how well he has understood the human soul.

I especially like his portrait of Paul Cezanne.

Paul Cezanne was not a big talker. He had a difficult character, one difficult to communicate man. Today we would call him an introvert.

Look at Cezanne – he is sitting to pose reluctantly, wearing a coat and hat, ready to leave at any moment. Cezanne was an absolute negligee in life – no care for his appearance. It is felt how inaction tortures him. We don’t see his hands, but we feel his fingers moving unconsciously, inpatient to take the brush.  Cezanne most probably endured this sitting only for Pissarro. Back to him on the wall there are only paintings, in one of which (with ironic love) a stocky painter with a beard holds his palette, staying like an angel right above Cezanne.

All this in one of my loveliest colour combinations – brown and blue. Marvellous picture of the great painter.

Since Pissarro was an incredibly soft and lovable man,  he also has been a great friend.

You can look at his paintings at Wikiart.

Princess and artist: Fahrelnissa Zeid

Today I will tell you about an amazing artist I found yesterday in the online resources of the Tate Museum.

This is the Turkish Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-1991), one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, with magnificent abstract works.

This incredibly gifted woman has had an incredible life.

A real princess, part of an elite Ottoman family. After the establishment of the modern Turkish state she was one of the first women to study art in the Academy of Fine Arts for Women, in Istanbul.

During his first marriage with a Turkish writer she gave birth to three children. Her biggest son died of scarlet fever very little. During her first marriage she attended a lot of European museums and galleries to study art from the great painters, and attended art schools in Paris and in Istanbul.

Her life went in a completely different direction after her divorce.

She married to the Iraqi Prince Zeid bin Hussein, who was appointed the first Ambassador of the Kingdom of Iraq in Germany in 1935 year.  After the annexation of Austria in March 1938, Prince Zeid and his family were recalled to Iraq and the family began to live in Baghdad.

Being a cosmopolitan, she got depressed and spent the next few years travelling between Paris, Budapest, and Istanbul, attempting to immerse herself in painting. Her first solo exhibition was carried out in 1945 in their home in Istanbul.

The years after the Second World War are full of vicissitudes for the Princess Fahrelnissa and her relatives.

Her husband managed to save herself and his family after the military coup in Iraq when the entire royal family was assassinated.  Prince Zeid bin Hussein and his family have lived in London and Paris. After the dead of her husband, she moved to live with her son in Amman in 1975.

The last decades of her life Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid established the Royal National Jordanian Art Institute, bearing her name. She changed the style of painting  in her late decades and made a few abstract works. She painted a lot of portraits of her family and friends in a very expressive manner and invented a new style of art, experimenting compositions with painted bird bones on canvas.

It is curious that after moving to Amman, she is almost forgotten by the art circles worldwide. The world remembered again her only in 2008 year. Since then, exhibitions of her works were carried out in London, Berlin and Istanbul.

Look at this fabulous picture.

What a iridescent rich colour palette. The warm golden, red and pink of the flowers and the fruits. The vivid green of the leaves and the trees. The deep blue of the sky.

The unexpected vortexes of the wind and the caressing rays of the sun. The intertwined threads of life paths.

Wealth. Abundance. Fertility. Transformation.

The title of the work is Karma bir doğurganlık. The karma of the abundance. What a fabulous karma!

Fahrelnissa Zeid was a true princess both in life and in art.

You may enjoy her works in WikiArt.

Fred Cecil Jones – the painter of the detail

Looking at the works presented on  the Tate web site I was attracted by a very simple and somewhat sad painting. A work of the British artist Fred Cecil Jones, which was painted in 1936.

Fred Cecil Jones (1891-1956) is a very humble and ordinary person who throughout his life remains focused on his art work.

He participated in the First World War when his talent was noticed, and he served as a military painter. During the war, he gained himself a little joking and a little nagging nickname – ‘Detail Jones’.

Then he came back from the war, got married (his wife was an artist, too), and painted a lot. He mostly painted cityscapes and landscapes of Northern England. This I managed to find for him in the laconic British art web pages.

A few things impressed me in his work.

Apparently talented graphics’ painter that uses innovative techniques of work, combining pencil, charcoal and water paints. He manages to truly achieve detail with a photo quality. Extremely attached to the objective reality, to the obvious. Very sparing colour use.

Besides his personal talent, one can feel his human softness. And an innate art intelligence that can be probably explained by the fact that his father and wife have been artists, too.

Look at this picture which name is perfectly found. Chimney stacks and winding ways. So simply and sadly.

The British are very modest in the presentation of their artists.

It is simply said in the Tate site that according to his widow (the exact year of what she has said is given) this is a view ‘from the top of the steps near a passage through the Kyber Pass (a tunnel through the hill side)’ and on the steps is their dog.

The city view is grey. The houses are poorly maintained, with broken windows and thin chimneys with rising smoke, slightly worn by the autumnal wind.

The most colourful detail in the picture is the water colour box of the painter.

Sometimes life paths could be thin and cold like a wind blowing over a grey city. Life could be simple and hopeless like a photo detail. The colours could be only in our heads.

I have also understood from his works two more simple things. The first is that there are artists who are not present in Wikipedia, but this does not diminish their value. How much life in Europe has been changed in less than a century. And together with that – our vision for the fine arts.

You may have a look at his works at Artnet.

Edvard Munch and nature

I am writing about Edvard Munch (1863-1944) cautiously and with fear.

I must admit, I’m afraid to hold my eyes on many of his paintings for long. So much pessimism, despair, and hopelessness are embedded in them that I physically suffer while watching them.

It is understandable – he is the consummate master of the brush and undoubtedly, very brave and independent mind, who has not been afraid to look at the darkest depths of life and the human soul.

Guided by the popular expression “if you are afraid of something, do it” and perhaps to overcome the strong not positive emotions, caused so far by much of his works, I decided to write about him here.

Who was Edvard Munch?

Unhappy heir to an unhealthy, burdened family? Son of a puritan who has grown up his children alone by reading inappropriate books to them and scaring them with ghost stories? A desperate drunk and a bully? An incredible pessimist? A man looking with no fear in the abyss? Or all that in one?

I don’t know the answer…

It remains a secret to me why his painting Scream is among the most expensive purchased art works in the world? Why do so many of his paintings have been subjects of theft? What makes people peep into the abyss, regardless of the fear?

If I didn’t know anything about his life, and if I would have enough money, I’d rather buy some of his landscapes.

I like how Munch feels nature. He seemed to read its soul in his paintings.

The trees have their own role and character and radiate emotions. The sea is a living organism, with its own energy and internal logic. It seems to breathe. The road is sleepy stretching along the sea. The moon talks to the shore. The sky is listening to their talk.

If you want to see some of the works of Edvard Munch, you may visit Wikiart.

Henri Matisse – the path of the olive trees

For two days I have been looking again at the paintings of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), which are available in Wikiart – almost 1000. I can’t stop marvelling at how so many of his works are among my favourite paintings.

I like Henri Matisse works from all periods of his life – his youth entry into the deep forest of art, his fruitful Parisian period, when he created his name of a great artist with an own style, his work from the period in Nice, his unusual and so memorable works with cut paper.

I can stop wondering how deeply his works touch me. They provoke my deepest emotions. Sometimes they make me happy. Sometimes they make me sad. They make me intensively think and ask questions.

Most of his life Matisse spent in southern France, on the French Riviera where he moved in 1917 year. The road of olive trees is painted in 1920 year.

I love olive trees. I love their softness and the flexibility of their curves. I like the way they reflect the wind in their poses.

The road passes through an olive grove, but only the trees near it are on the painting. The trees on both sides of the road are slightly inclined to the left. Probably the sea is to the right of the grove and the wind has blown from the sea for decades.

The trees on both sides of the road seem to be trying to talk each to other.

Do you feel how the trees on the left whisper something to that on the right? Both rows seem to want to touch each other, but they can’t. Even their shadows can’t.

Are the white, yellow and green on the ground reflections of the sunlight or rather, the moon is peeping between the tree branches?

There are many functions of art. One such function is to provoke us to think and feel.

Great artists are therefore great because their paintings seem to perform this function so well that their works make us feel real and bring us back to the roots of ourselves.

You may have a look at his works in Wikiart.

Pierre Bonnard – the painter of intimacy

Some artists live and work long, but remain outside the noise and excitement surrounding the art. They succeed (somehow) to move away from the unproductive, the ephemeral, and to sink into a world of reflections, feelings and emotions from which they build a new artistic world. A world in which we seek and discover ourselves.

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) lived almost 80 years and died months before his jubilee exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) of New Your City. Instead, the museum organized posthumous retrospective of Bonnard’s work in 1948.

Raised in the home of a French minister, he has lived a happy and cloudless childhood that can be felt in all his works. He remained in his entire life a calm big child, watching with widely open and trusting eyes the world and as if not feeling any stress and tension.

Pierre performed his father’s will to become a lawyer and graduated law in Paris, but together with the Faculty of Law he visited much more diligently the prestigious private Academy of Art Julian. Again obediently, he exercised his profession of jurist for some time before dedicating himself completely to art.

In his years spent in Paris he created numerous street landscapes and interior paintings, but from the muted colours and from the obvious lack of mood in the paintings from his Parisian period it becomes clear that Pierre has not been very happy in the capital. Paris has not been his exact place.

Maybe that’s why at the age of 43 he moved to southern France, in a cottage on La Route de Serra capeou near Le Canne, where he stayed for the rest of his life.

Pierre Bonnard experimented in different styles – post-impressionism, symbolism, art nuovo, expressionism. With the years he has affirmed his own approach in each of these styles, which some art critics call intimism.

Intimism in the sense of the focus on privacy, distance from the big societal problems, sinking into daily life. Maybe that’s why Picasso considered Pierre Bonnard a non-decisive (according to Wikipedia).

But is there a greater determination than sinking in the simple life with a few close and loved people? Is there a more secure test for the value of one person and for his attitude to the life?

Sometimes simple is harder. To live every day with your eyes widely open, over and over again. The courage to live is also a determination.

Look at this picture.

This is his wife Martha, who carries a bowl of milk to their cat at night. The cat is waiting for her outside the painting. Martha seems very sleepy while carrying the milk carefully. She is dressed in a long robe, which looks violet in the moonlight. It is cold inside the room. The moon patiently illuminates the world.

Isn’t it simply wonderful?

You can take a look at his artworks in Wikiart.