Thursday, 8 November 2012

Fauvism in the blood

I mentioned to my father last week that I was reading a book about Fauvism. He immediately blurted out the name "André Derain". This was apparently the only artist name he could remember from his school education, in the dim midsts of the twentieth century. There must be something distinctive about Derain, because he is probably my favorite artist. I particularly like his 1906 painting of his friend, Henri Matisse.

There are other reasons I can identify with Derain. He initially trained as an engineer, before dropping this in favour of a career as a painter. He seemed to be a person who led by his heart and his head, finding painting sometimes a stuggle, a lengthy cogitative process. I rather like his 'warts and all' attitude to his subjects. Like several other of the Fauves he did not shy away from painting 'reality', for example the clutter and jumble of traffic on the River Thames.

But judging by my father's selective memory, maybe my enchantment with Derain has been passed to me in my blood!

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