I love art… mostly of the painted kind. I mean, I love all of it, but I tend to be drawn (hah!) to painters more than other types of artists, like sculptors, let’s say.
This being said, I’m not a scholar. Don’t ask me what era this thing’s from or who painted it, there’s a big chance I won’t know unless it’s someone I already like or something so popular that even a chimp could answer. I also don’t tend to analyze what’s behind the artwork I’m looking at. Do I like it? Yes? Then that’s all I need to know.
Which might be why I don’t really go for things that are too abstract. I mean, I may find abstract pieces very nice, but again it will be a matter of finding it visually appealing. This might explain why Picasso’s cubism stuff does nothing for me. I really don’t get the appeal. What can I say, I’m a simple girl.
I realized a while ago that my favorite era for painters had to be the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. And, over all, I have four that I absolutely love. This being said, only two of them worked in that time period, the other two are (were) more contemporary. And by that, I mean the era, as one of them is still alive today (as I’m writing this, anyway). Maybe their style also would be qualified as contemporary. Honestly? I wouldn’t know. Like I said, I’m no scholar, never majored in art anything.
What I do know is that although I can find paintings of landscapes beautiful, it’s not what does it for me. What I prefer are people representations, hands down. And, apparently, I like them to be stylized, not just to be there on the canvas looking as if we’d just taken a picture.
Don’t get me wrong: I find the realistic type of art very impressive and beautiful, it just doesn’t make me feel anything special. But the painters I’m about to talk to you about? Something in what they do just tugs at my heartstrings. I guess that’s the whole point, isn’t it? And yeah, I don’t think I’ll be introducing you to anyone you don’t already know. Or maybe I will, who knows? I would imagine that the last painter on my list may be a new one for you.
So… let’s get started, shall we?
Oh, and here’s a little warning: there might be some sensitive artwork below. Nothing too graphic, I promise, but there’s still naked body parts. And no, I wouldn’t dare blurring anything or putting a little smiley over nipples or butt cracks. So be warned if you’d rather not see this. Also know that if you click on the links down below, you might be confronted to some of the artists’ less “safe for work” pieces.
HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901)
Okay, even those who don’t care about art would have heard the name of this French artist before. If only because they saw John Leguizamo portray him in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, the 2001 movie with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. And even if someone hasn’t seen the movie, they would surely have come across those advertising posters that can be seen pretty much anywhere nowadays.
Here are some of his paintings… dang, they’re purrty!
Not to worry, I know some of Diego’s work is anything but calm. Like those amazing frescoes he made, filled to the brim with politics, and opinions, and rebellion. I’d love reproductions of those as well, but they were made to be enjoyed on a large scale. My walls will never be big enough. (Source for all Diego Rivera artworks)
FERNANDO BOTERO (1932- )
In researching Colombian artist Fernando Botero, I learned that he’s also a sculptor. Which is great, it gives me a whole bunch of new stuff to look up from one of my favorite artists. Sculptures may not be my go to, I can still appreciate it.
What is it about this man’s work that I love so much? Pretty sure it has something to do with the way he portrays people (are you even surprised at this point?). They’re all plump, and jolly, and so smooth looking. It’s both ridiculous and amazing, and I really can’t explain what it does to me. I mean, every person he paints looks like an overgrown baby. How is that any less than extraordinary?
Is it because I myself have spent my life struggling with my weight? Maybe! Although I like to think it has nothing to do with that. Can’t I just love something because I find it beautiful? I think I can. And as I said earlier, I’m not one to go and analyze everything to death, not when it comes to art anyway. I love it, and that’s good enough for me.
Something I also appreciate a whole lot about him his how he went back to the classics and decided to reinvent them according to his own aesthetics. I mean… a 12-year-old Mona Lisa? When I tell you his portrayal of people makes them look like overgrown babies! (Source for all Fernando Botero artworks)
Now, the sculptures? Also amazing, the forms just as plump and bloated as they are when he paints them. I kind of hope they were squishy, too… they certainly look like it. And… now I’m imagining them as plushies. (Okay, that’s going way to far.)
Mostly, they remind me of those traditional Inuit soapstone carvings, something else I’ve always found very beautiful.
Smoking Man (1976)
PAUL TEX LECOR (1933-2017)
I’ve known of Paul “Tex” Lecor from as long as I can remember. Except at first, I knew him as a radio host here in the province of Quebec. My parents would listen to his radio show, one where he’d call up random people to prank them. It was quite popular back in the days. Tex Lecor wore many different hats through his whole career, but my personal favorite has to be his painter’s hat (a beret, maybe?).
Once more, for me anyway, it’s all about the way he drew people. Not unlike Botero, his style was a bit on the less realistic style, the people often looking thick and larger than life. My favorite paintings of his are the ones with the people drawn with big hands and limbs, as if the perspective is askew somehow. You know, a bit like those fisheye lenses? It’s almost cartoonish, but not really at the same time.
Again, I choose not to overanalyze why I like his stuff so much. I just do…
I have no idea how well Tex Lecor is known outside Quebec, or even Canada. I would imagine that those who know a lot about art would have seen his stuff. As I hope that if he’s known, he’s also appreciated. Anything to the contrary would probably break my heart.
Here’s a bit of his work for you to look at. I really wish I could have found the years for his painting, but I really had trouble finding a complete representation of his work. I think it is sorely missing not to have a website dedicated to this amazing artist, with a complete list of his work. Right now, all I could find were some art galleries selling his stuff. I mean, it’s better than nothing, but I feel like he deserves much more than that. Maybe one day, it will happen. Until then, here’s what I could muster up for you. Oh, and also, I’m including a personal translation of the title when applicable. (Source for all Paul “Tex” Lecor artwork)
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I love many, many more artists… I love Gustav Klimt and I do love Frida Kahlo despite what I said before (I think it’s a matter of mood, how I feel at the moment). Most of the time, though, I love works of art more than I love their makers. I’ll fall in love with paintings as a whole and appreciate them for what they are, not going out of my way to find out how made it.