One of my early paintings inspired by Yves TanguyIn a way, my introduction to art was much like Tanguy's himself - inspired by the sight of one single painting that intrigued me so much, I just had to begin to paint. And in my case, it was a painting by Yves Tanguy.
As a young child, my mother had taken me to many of New York City's finest art museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, and of course The Museum of Modern Art.
But I was perhaps too young during those first early visits to really appreciate much of it at all, and I had forgotten much about them by the time I was in high school and more interested in music and reading than art.But then one day, I remember sitting at home in my room, browsing through a collection catalog from that MoMA visit years ago. Suddenly I found myself much more curious about the strange and bizarre landscapes, images and patterns in the artwork. As a teenager I thought it all looked pretty "cool." And then, near the end of the catalog, there was one image that just made me stop and stare, unable to turn the page and move on: Yves Tanguy's "Multiplication of The Arcs".
Another of my Tanguy-inspired worksI still can't explain exactly why, but that dense, bleak, uneasy image drew me in completely and I wanted to know more about it. I wanted to understand it. More than that, I wanted to create a world of my own inspired by what I saw in that painting.I started reading more about the surrealist artists, studying their works, wanting to go back to those museums I'd visited before to see them with fresh eyes. I then began drawing and painting my own "surrealist" landscapes and structures. Although my inspiration came from several different artists (including Dali, de Chirico, and O'Keefe), the one whom I always drew the deepest inspiration from was my beloved Tanguy.
I've since moved on to more of an interest in classical realist painting (after finally getting that art training and education I didn't have when I was younger), but I retain a deep love for Tanguy's works and never miss a chance to see a painting by him in a museum or city I'm visiting, when possible. Now I can appreciate not just the strange and mysterious beauty of his fantastical creations, but also the painstaking technique he used in creating these works, and his mastery as an artist even for someone who was entirely self-taught.
Thank you, Yves, for the inspiration - and for beginning me on my own journey into surrealist art!