Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Expressionist-Beatnik Connection

My latest drawing is of a sculpture by the Austrian Expressionist artist, Oscar Kokoschka titled, "Self-Portrait as a Warrior". It currently resides in the Boston Museum of Fine Art. I chose to draw this piece for several reasons.

First, I love the shape and power and emotion of this sculpture. Even though it's suppose to be a "Warrior", rather than looking fierce, I think he looks frightened. The second photo is of the original work (Courtesy of a blog called "Tall Tales From the Traveling Thornberries"). The second reason I picked it was it reminded me of the  underground comix artist Mark Marek who did a book called Hercules amongst the North Americans. The third and finally motivation was I think there is more then a passing resemblance to Jack Kerouac's running mate, Neil Cassidy; hence the "Beatnik Connection".
The coincidence is a bit uncanny as Kokoschka's sculpture was done decades before Cassidy was even born. Beat writing certainly have an expressionist feel.

This drawing finally completes a sketchbook that I've been working in for way too long. Here's the full shot of the drawing.