When walking through a gallery, I always take an interest in how the paintings have been organized. A curator may put the paintings in order of date, country of origin, or even subject matter. However, if you train your eye to look beyond these divisions, the creativity of the curatorial team really begins to shine, as through utilizing their intimate knowledge of art and art history these composers arrange the work in a way that subtly allows the viewer to recognize relationships and narratives among the displayed pieces.
So the work on display in a gallery is mediated to the viewer by the display decisions of the curator. In this way, galleries offer us a path through which we can discover our own perceptions and beliefs that are triggered by the work on offer.
In thinking about this I have decided to curate my own gallery of the wonderful work you can enjoy at WearThatART, considering what correlations exist in the continually expanding collection of artists and paintings.
I have always been interested in iconic depictions of saints, so I find Russian artist Anastasia Chernaya’s piece ‘Ludovique’ very interesting. It appears to demonstrate faith being used as a mediator in the aspiration of the protagonist’s fulfilment of secret dark desires. To my eye, this has correlations to Matthew Wade’s piece ‘Cardinal Land’, which could signify a pre-Christian religious undertone. His work always has the power to inspire viewers to ascribe narratives to his work, and in this case I feel that the protagonist could have gone to the woodland to share her heartbreak with the creatures of the forest (the three red birds that mirror the colour of the sky). This confessional element, along with their similar color scheme contributes to making these paintings perfect companions to each other.
In Ryan Demaree’s piece ‘Luna’s Replacement’, he has cleverly switched imagery from surrealist paintings by Dali and Magritte. He references the revolutionary techniques of that era by intertwining his audience’s intellectual recollections of the original work with his own pleasing, colourful composition, which perfectly highlights the humorous undertone of his work. Similarly, Sladjana Lazarevic’s ‘Don’t take small little things for granted’ uses a love of telling stories to trigger positive emotional responses through the medium of painting. Her love of life beams through every piece, which in this composition balances perfectly with ‘Luna’s Replacement’ making it a perfect companion piece. Each painting shows a different angle to traditional creative humour tropes, and whether shown separately or together they are two wonderful pieces of art.
Finally, here is a correlation not only between the names of two paintings, but also their subject, Mexican painter and feminist icon Frida Kahlo. Her self portrait paintings are a real inspiration to so many artists because of their emotional directness, a feature which she believed distanced her work from surrealism in that it showed reflections from real life as opposed to dreams.