One of my favourite artists is Gustav Klimt and I am very much inspired by him at the moment. He was exceptional in the fact that he had no real predecessors or followers although the younger Austrian artist Egon Schiele did admire his work greatly. I just love Klimt’s work, it’s breathtakingly beautiful, yet haunting, and so detailed.
Klimt rarely spoke about himself or his art however this statement sums up what he was like as a person and artist. Sometimes words are hard to find and I can relate to this in several ways.
‘I am certain that there is nothing exceptional about me as a person. I am simply a painter who paints everyday from morning till night….I am not much good at speaking and writing, especially when I have to discuss myself or my work….I am very much afraid you will have to do without a portrait of me. either painted or in words, but that is no great loss. Whoever seeks to know me better, that is to say as an artist – and that’s the only thing worth knowing – should study my paintings and try to glean from them who I am and what I want’
As I have been using gold leaf in my paintings more and more recently I thought I would study Klimt in a bit more depth to gain some insight into his beliefs and ideologies. It was a real challenge and pleasure to do this Klimt pastiche and I enjoyed working with some of his ideas and styles in mind. I used his ‘eye’ motif which he included in works such as Fulfilment and the Portrait of Fritza Riedler. I did want to represent female sexuality as he did, but also the eyes of onlookers, peering secretly at this naked female body.
Acrylic and Gold on canvas