My heros

Posted by John Patrick Reynolds on

These are a few of my favourite artists, and their influence must often be apparent.

Andy Warhol
Warhol did a lot to popularise and make respectable the medium of screenprinting in art, and he also helped to pioneer the use of comic characters.

Viktor Shklovsky
At university I was introduced to the notions of a crowd of Russian art and literary theorists from the 1910s and 1920s who were referred to (unhelpfully, I always thought) as the ‘formalists’. The label may have been rubbish but their ideas were illuminating – they felt that one of the functions of art was to make us remember how we felt when we were first introduced to somebody or something – an important process if we are to make the most out of our day-to-day lives and experiences. And they suggested that artists, novelists and poets used various techniques to achieve this ‘distortion of the process of perception’ such as repitition, colour alteration, change of viewpoint, change of speed and so on. I found this was a good way of thinking about how much of how works of art affected me. Andy Warhol seemed to be a poster boy for many of these techniques – think of the repeated and re-coloured Marylyns, for instance.

Roy Lichtenstein
An obvious one this – anybody who uses comics or cartoons to make art is working in the shadow of Lichtenstein. I remember a curator at the Haywood Gallery discussing his ‘Wham!’ and saying that its composition and impact meant it was ‘undeniably a successful work of art’ even if you felt the comic vocabulary was unserious.

Julian Opi
I love his deceptively simple outlines and flat colours.

Patrick Caulfield
I love the colours and perspectives. It’s his lamp that I’ve used to illustrate this blog.

If I think of amy more, I’ll add them.

John

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