Artists who have inspired me
My very first memory of becoming really excited by art was when, as a young child, I was allowed to play with a pair of expensive Vasarely art books with accompanying printed transparencies, that could be overlayed and shifted to create crazy optical effects. I had to be really careful with them, they were very expensive and very precious to my parents - and they were probably two of the most fascinating books on the floor-to-ceiling shelves in our house crammed with architecture and art volumes. I think that got my creative mind going at an early age. . . . this was all way before the internet made everything accessible!
Even as young children we were taken to art exhibitions - of all descriptions. Sometimes it would be openings of exhibitions my mum had work in (she was a weaver), other times it would be exhibitions of family friends. And often it would be someone completely new - I especially remember one interactive exhibition where you had to take your shoes off and walk in socked feet inside a large multi-faceted, mirrored space. I think the newspaper took photos of my brother and I in there, I'll add a copy of the photo here if I ever manage to find the newspaper cutting! . . . This was the first time I had experienced art on such a grand, enveloping scale.
When I took art in school my art teacher was into fairly modern painting, but not so much of the graphic minimal style of art that I really enjoy. My interest was probably influenced by the wall-hangings my mother created as much as it was by the art on the walls at home.
New Zealander Gordon Walters, Bridget Riley, and Joseph Albers (for both his command of colour and illusions of form) were also early influences. And more recently, from visiting overseas art museums and discovering on the internet, I am also inspired by the work of Donald Judd, Richard Roth, sculptors Ted Larsen and Reinhoud Oudshoorn . . . and by Robert Swain’s mastery of colour.
Google their work if you aren't familiar with it, you might see how they have influenced me, and hopefully you like them too.
They all use a wonderful combination of precision, crispness, geometry, and simplicity and many of them play with perceptions of form and volume. Quite often their work messes with your brain a bit, and I like how you sometimes have to puzzle it out to understand what is going on.
Of course there are plenty of others I admire - one day I'll write another post about some more great artists that I love!
Thanks for reading!
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