For the past few years a big part of my life that has been missing is art. Don't get me wrong I look at A LOT of visual inspiration from the fashion, design and art world everyday - but what I am craving is a little more discussion and intellectual stimulation. From Tumblr to Pinterest the way images are digested now is so non-chalant - there is no discourse. There is just so much out there there is this feeling that you need to see ALL OF IT, AT ONCE, so the endless, thoughtless, scrolling just goes on and on.
When I finished high school I studied art history, film and architecture at university on and off for about 6 years (I took a break midway through to complete my fashion studies). When I started my business I was filled to the brim with excitement and knowledge from all those years of study, and the intention was always to put it into use as I designed. But working alone is a really tough gig, and complacency is my worst enemy. I feel like lately there has been a little 'resting on my laurels' so to speak, and I miss being challenged. Being made to think, really just learning. I am angry at myself for wasting hours online just looking at images, but not thinking. Not applying all my years of study into what I create now. Don't get me wrong I do still put a lot of thought into what I make, but it is leaning towards a very different angle. That being marketability, sales, costs. All important things of course - but the spirit and love of the art world is something I want more of in my daily life and in Hopeless.
So without further ado - and following on from the regular 'Knicker of the Week' posts - I am introducing another regular feature here at Spokes 'n' Daggers - Art School.
Once a week I will share an artwork, a movement or an artist, and share my thoughts. I would LOVE more than anything for some keen commenters to share their opinions, their knowledge and their feelings. I don't care if you know nothing about art or you've just written a PHD on Picasso - I would love to hear from you.
Jean-Honore Fragonard The Swing 1767
I remember one of the first film lectures I attended at uni was a discussion about how the film 'Face/Off' was representative of modern day excess, exaggeration and drama, as previously seen in the Baroque and Rococo periods of the 17th and 18th centuries. I will never forget that lecture, and how it taught me to see patterns in history and really look at film and popular culture in a whole new way. The thought of comparing Nicolas Cage and explosions to Bernini and Fragonard seemed so ridiculous. But there are so many similarities in our modern lives to the frivolity and decadence of this era. Madonna's recent half time show is a prime example of utterly pointless excess, most of what Lady Gaga does too. I wonder if people will look back at these pop stars as romantically as we look back at these artworks in 200 years time?
The main theme of this painting is well known - the love triangle between the girl in the swing being swung by her husband, while she flashes a bit of leg to her lover hiding in the bushes. Pretty raunchy for 1767, but now it is something so innocent. Compared to what we can see with the click of a button nowadays, the romantic innocence of this painting is such a joy to look at. I hope that the spirit of this painting is something I can give to the things I make - lingerie that is a little more innocent and whimsical rather than in your face.
Going to keep this one short as I've already written quite a bit! Look forward to hearing what you think.