Monday, November 30, 2009

Henri Rousseau

A few years ago, I learned that Rousseau was a complete "amateur artist." I don't really know how anyone can be a "professional artist" anyhow, but Henri never really touched a paintbrush until the middle of his life. He lived a pretty ordinary life (He was a toll collector or something!) How cool is that? (That is not to say that I think toll booth workers are dull, only that it's a very defined, instructionalized career... whereas I think the arts are the opposite of having a career, with little or no definite end points and no rules.) What a turnaround.

Anyway, I'm a super picky poster buyer, but Henri Rousseau's "Sleeping Gypsy" made it on my wall. It's one of the few paintings in which Rousseau depicts a desert landscape, as opposed to his regular lush jungle scenes. A gypsy sleeps happily while a roaming lion curiously sniffs her/him. The gypsy is androgynous and not eroticized which emphasizes the mood instead of the individualized character. I love how the gypsy's feet upon close inspection, appear to be inflated like balloons.

No comments:

Post a Comment