Time has usually been a popular topic for a lot of artists and has been shown in many different views and aspects. The effect of time can be seen in many works of art from depictions of decay to crumbling historic buildings. As humans we are obsessed with time and our own existence and the genre of vanitas painting is a perfect example of this. I chose the artist Audrey Flack due to her vanitas paintings and also Ivan Albright and Keith Arnatt who have also shown the effects of time on people and objects.
Ivan Le Lorraine Albright (February 20, 1897 – November 18, 1983) was an American realist painter and artist, most renowned for his self-portraits, character studies, and still life’s. Albright's mysterious works are some of the most meticulously executed paintings ever made. Albright focused on a few themes through most of his works, particularly death, life, the material and the spirit, and the effects of time. He painted very complex works, and their titles matched their complexity. Albright's haunting compositions are known for their combination of intricate detail, opulent colour, and multiple vantage points. His meticulously rendered images, painted from elaborately constructed sets, often took several years to complete.
Ivan Albright painted a portrait of his face in 1982. I find this painting interesting because of the way Albright has shown the effects of age on his face. He has used a strong light to emphasise the lines and crevices in his face. This is further enhanced by the use of colour in particular the red and green complementary contrast which adds vibrancyto the painting. The red can symbolise the life in the painting and the green can symbolise the decay and death and you can tell this man is close to death because of all the green decay on his face. There appears to be a lot of detail in this painting and although this is true in the face, the shirt is painted in a more impressionistic style leaning the focus of the painting on the face. The use of chiaroscuro further emphasises the mood and drama of this painting.
One of Albright’s most famous paintings was “the picture of Dorian Gray” which was executed for the film of the book by Oscar Wilde. In the tale, Dorian Gray commissions a portrait of himself as an attractive young man and later trades his soul for an ever youthful appearance. As the still handsome Gray leads an increasingly evil life, his painted representation rots and decays, mirroring the extent of his moral corruption. Albright’s famed as the painter of the macabre made him ideal to paint this image of Dorian Gray.
In the film he commissions a portrait of himself and later on, he trades his soul for an ever youthful appearance. As he lives a more malicious and evil life his painting begins to decay and rot like in Albrights painting. This shows another side of decay which is moral decay. The painting has a vast variety of complementary contrasts of blue and orange and red and green. You can see the man’s figure emerging from the background. The figure is the most detailed part of the painting and you can see the intricate detail in the blooded hands covered in boils holding a glove. The other glove has been dropped on the blood soaked carpet beneath him. His face is also covered in mould and boils and decay. His clothes are also decaying with him as you can see they are ripped and worn. There is also a mirror in the background to the left reflecting his ugly appearance.
I decided to choose this artist because of his interest in the decaying of food. Throughout his work he has been able to show the affects of time on different varieties of food. Keith Arnatt was a well known conceptual artists before he seriously picked up a camera. Although not well known for his photography he is one of my favourite and most inspiring photographers.
Much of Keith Arnatt's art has an ambiguity that leaves the viewer in a sense of doubt or confusion about the…