Friday, June 7, 2013

In the abstract: Black and white art

As a teenager I was obsessed with Renoir's sugary images of rosy-cheeked beauties. As a college student my attention turned to the 16th century Venetian masters like Giorgione and Titian and the great Dutch masters of the 17th century. In fact, I wrote my master thesis on the subject of courtesan portraiture in Venice and Amsterdam. After several internships at auction houses like Bonham's and Christie's in London, followed by a segue into the world of finance, I worked as a curator for a private modern and contemporary art collector. As I've grown and aged, my taste in art has evolved from the pretty and figurative to the paired down abstract. While my taste in interiors has become decidedly more colourful (what, you hadn't noticed?), my preference for abstract forms, often a careless shape executed in black and white acrylic, has grown.

There is something about the apparent simplicity of a black and white canvas, particularly in combination with a somewhat classic interior, that really gets my blood pumping. Since my budget won't allow for any major investments, I have been thinking of heading over to my mother's studio (she does a mean portrait and one of her rare abstracts has pride of place in my living room) and creating my own version. However, for anyone who thinks this process is just a matter of slapping a bit of black paint on a white canvas, think again! It's about layering the paint, and believe me, it's really easy to mess up a blank canvas. 

Aerin Lauder's family study

Source: Lonny Magazine