Saturday, April 14, 2012

a cow inspired by the Stenberg Brothers, and puzzled for IF

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is, puzzled. You might be puzzled about my image until you learn more about the inspiration behind it (unless you area Russian avant-garde movie poster buff). The cow in the picture is puzzled as to why her hooves are in a different part of the picture and why she has two tails! She’s also a bit scared about what that means. The image itself reminds me a bit of a puzzle, in that it looks like you need to rearrange the pieces for it to make sense. Here is my puzzled moo:

This picture is a new version of an old image I did in 2004. When I heard the prompt this week was puzzled, I immediately thought of this image because it’s always reminded me of a puzzle in the way it looks and how I pieced it together the first time. The original image was done February 26, 2004, as part of a year long project. For a whole year (366 days because it was leap year), I drew/painted a cow a day. This image came towards the end of the project, when I was trying to find more creative ways to draw my daily cows. Here’s my first image:

I’ve always liked this drawing … probably because I always liked the poster that inspired it. When I was trying to think of a cow to draw that day, I remembered a movie poster by the Stenberg Brothers and decided it would look cool with a cow instead of a person. Here’s the Stenberg Brothers poster for the 1929 movie A Fragment Of An Empire:

My first image is almost a direct representation of the original, although bovine themed and with English words. The one I did today still recalls the original, but when you look at them side by side, they’re very different. The new image is closer to my style both now and when I used to be an abstract painter.

My style was, and still is, influenced by graphic images in advertising and art. In 2008 I did another series of cows that played with the idea of using a single cow and a simple palette to create multiple graphic images. They aren’t directly related to any art or artist, but the style is influenced by graphic art images. Here’s the first cow:

And here’s a sample of the cows I created off of this one image and turned into my own poster. I actually like them better all together, rather than as separate images. Still need to get this poster framed …

BTW, I first fell in love with the Stenberg Brothers when MOMA held an exhibition of their art. I worked there at the time and would look at the posters every day. I think it might be the only catalog of a show that I purchased. I don’t work there anymore, but if they ever have a Franz Marc exhibition, that might be the second catalog I buy.

What art styles and artists are you inspired by?