Saturday, August 28, 2010
No Time to Be a Muse
"I didn't have time to be anyone's muse... I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist." --
Leonora Carrington, 1983
Now that my blog rhythm is returning, I am continuing to ease back into writing by falling back on the yahoo writer's prompts. Sundays are Art Sundays, a chance for me to delve into the visual arts and visit inspirations new and old.
My natural medium is writing, so my natural thought patterns lean to metaphor and simile and finding the points of commonality and uncommonality between me and my subject. To find irony or magic is a bonus. It may be somewhat natural then that I find myself intrigued by the surrealists, the visual counterpoints steeped in symbols and meaning.
I intended to blog on Frida Kahlo, a particular favorite female artist whose self-portraits are imaginative, colorful and above all symbolic. Instead, I stumbled on Carrington.
Carrington, born in England to a well-off family, was reared by an Irish nanny and developed early on the rather Celtic inspirations from fantasy, the dark woods and otherworldly creatures. Rebellious, she left home to pursue her art and moved to Paris where she married Max Ernst and rubbed elbows with the prominent surrealists of the day. When Ernst was arrested at the onset of World War II, she ended up being institutionalized in a Spain following a breakdown and eventually made her way to Mexico. They eventually went their separate ways.
Her paintings, like Kahlo's, intertwine animals and other symbols, often within the feminine domain to use the surrealistic point of view as a means of expression. With its juxtaposition of fantasy and reality or other unlike elements, its often dream-like symbology and the primacy of the subconconscious, it is a very personal form of art.
Viewing her art is like eavesdropping on her dreams - at once startling and insightful. Enjoy this mini-tour of the art of Leonora Carrington - artist and woman.