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Image above: Vik Muniz
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.
Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.
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In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.
DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Dog Star Selects Georges Seurat's 'Bathers at Asnières' (1884)
When Georges Seurat painted this monumental picture he was still a young man in his early 20s.
It is a commonly held belief that Seurat ‘painted in dots’, but at this early stage in his career, his painting technique was more indebted to the work of Impressionist painters such as Monet and Renoir. The calm waters of the River Seine at Asnières are painted in short horizontal dashes, while the spiky grass that the bathers rest on is painted using criss-crossed brush strokes.
The huge scale of this work (it is roughly the size of a small van) is less conventional than the way in which it was painted. Works of this size were usually reserved for ‘history painting’, tackling lofty, heroic subjects that were intended to morally elevate those who viewed them.
Seurat has not chosen to paint the classical warriors or athletes traditionally depicted in such grand bathing scenes. Instead, his bathers are everyday men and boys, perhaps on a day off from the Clichy factories in the background.
The bathers sit or recline on the bank and bathe in the polluted river in strange isolation, while the blazing sunshine beats down overhead. The repetition of poses and anonymity of their faces seems to strip the figures of individuality. We can only wonder what their thoughts might be or what faces lie beneath the various hats and heavy fringes.
Only one boy is animated – our attention drawn to him by his surrounding ‘glow’ – as he appears to hail someone on the other side of the river. In fact, Seurat returned to this work some years later (after he had developed his pointillist technique) to repaint the hat of this young boy in complementary orange and blue dots.
However, the work requires you, the viewer, to finish it. The colours have not been mixed on Seurat’s brush. They are juxtaposed and only blend to form the intended colour once viewed from a distance.
Source: National Gallery