|All artists have a unique style. |
The beholder will decide what is good.
Conviction of my own vanity
I’m no authority on art by any stretch of the imagination. There are paintings and various types of artwork that captivate and compel me. But then I think there are artists who are revered and held in high regard for little reason. I'm saying that some artists do nothing to inspire me at all. Sometimes it vexes me. Why is adulation wasted on so many? It’s the same with music. There are famous musicians that I like. There are famous musicians that I can’t stand. I suppose it boils down to the eye of the beholder. So long as one can get an agent to find a platform, then potential beholders will follow. Even if, in my opinion, they are not that good.
I readily preach that some modern exhibits are beyond me. They are nothing short of despicable and fraudulent. It often frustrates me when some pretentious pretender gets a platform that is not rightly deserved. Little displays of controversy or dubious patterns. I’m sure every individual can say the same thing. Obviously for different works of art that I may not be revolted by.
I thought Vincent Van Gogh was nothing special and even decided his paintings were awful. But only for a limited period. Eventually, I found myself warming to his colours and brush strokes. It gave the artist his unique signature. I could tell when a painting was by him. Even if I had not seen the particular painting before. After a while, he grew on me and I changed my mind. Vincent Van Gogh is now an artist I enjoy. Therefore an artist can grow on anyone. Specific artwork can develop in one’s own opinion. Opinions that change with time.
Bernard Buffet has that wonderful French presentation.
My twisted view.
When I was younger, my impression of good artwork was completely different from the opinion I have today. Some of the Italian artists had a style of work from the Renaissance period that used to motivate me. The people within many of these paintings looked real. Almost like a photograph. This, I decided was good art. I obviously had a narrow perspective of things. I thought some of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches were very detailed. Especially one of an old man’s face with all the wrinkles and furrows. Then there were the portrait artists that painted Kings and Queens across Europe. I put great credit on these artists. Again, because the paintings looked so lifelike.
As I went through secondary school my bad opinion developed. Our teachers presented us with a wider range of artists. These individuals who had very different signatures. This is where I first saw Van Gogh and thought his artwork was unrealistic and therefore not worthy of praise. Also L.S. Lowry with his matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs. I had no appreciation for the artists’ developed style. This was during my adolescence. If one painted people they had to look real. Like in a photograph. Not swirling brushstrokes or surreal infantile presentations. I was flabbergasted that artists were getting grand recognition for doing immature paintings. My perspective was narrow and simplistic. Needless to say, I did not exceed in art. I thought American and British comic book art was realistic and therefore good. Cartoon power was the order of the day.
Even to this day, I don’t get the thing about Pablo Picasso. I know people love and revere the man. His paintings sell for multi-millions of pounds. I just don’t like his work. I think Salvador Dali could paint things that looked very real but then distorted and ruined his topic by putting nightmare additions to the well-proportioned subject matter. Like an elephant's body looking real, but with a giant trumpet head. I accept that these surreal images are, in a strange way, clever. But I just can’t warm to the artwork.
Bernard Buffet Pictures scream 'Bernard Buffet Picture.
The armchair critic
I have brazenly said all of these things as someone who is in no way, an artist of paintings. I’m only an impudent observer. However, I have recently come across a French artist whose signature I liked immediately. His paintings of people are unrealistic by the photographic type of presentation I liked during my younger days. But each of his paintings has that amazing French feel. In every way, he has that je ne sais quoi. I liked the clarity of his work. The colours are rather drab yet compelling. There is an ambience about each of his presentations. He even painted some pictures of London and Tower Bridge. Yet still one could see it was done by a Frenchman. I read that this French artist was part of an anti-abstract art group.
What on Earth an anti-abstract art group is, I cannot say. I don’t think I even care because it all sounds very political with labels and all. However, this Frenchman, in my opinion, is an absolute peach of an artist. I honestly enjoy all of his paintings. There is a slight infantile quality to the expression of his work. Yet there is also a pristine type of neatness. I can’t say what it is from an art critic’s point of view because I’m a rudely drawn man with my own ‘Devil may care’ opinion.
I had never heard of the man before, but most lovers of art would know him. I am presuming this because during his life he won great merit and his many works were displayed across the globe. I believe he is an icon of French artists but then France has so many iconic artists to boast of. The man lived from 1928 to 1999. At the age of 71, he is believed to have committed suicide because of the onset of Parkinson’s disease. He was unable to paint or draw.
The man’s name is Bernard Buffet. I had never heard of him. But then I'm ignorant of so many famous artists. In many ways, this was a joy. Especially when one stumbles upon Bernard Buffet by accident. It was like all one’s Christmases happening at once. Like stepping up a notch to the joys of life’s odd little charms. One that slaps you in the face and says, “Hey! Grab a load of this!”
Bernard Buffet and his alluring pictures are a breath of fresh air to me. He is wonderfully French and I enjoy his work immensely. I am sure so many other observers do too. Not just learned art critics who get to decide what is, or what is not; a work of art. In this case, it is me. And I say in my English way; when it comes to great art, this Frenchman certainly knew his onions. That is an English way of saying he had that je ne sais quoi.
The Great Bernard Buffet's signature is apparent in all his work.
Bernard Buffet 1962
Retro France of the 1950s and 1960s enjoyed a revival of many types of art. From music to acting. It was a boom time. There were also the developed artists like Bernard Buffet who captured these decades of progressive French arts. His splendid paintings are numerous.