I truly love summer. To be completely honest, I even suspect of people who dislike it. Summer and dogs, of course.
Summer is vibrant, energetic, dynamic, the perfect excuse to wear a bikini all day, sleep in the shade, sip coconut and enjoy the healing effects of a good swim.
I love art too, but this would be much more complex to explain and it is not my real intention with this article. I just thought it would be fun to gather here the work of some of my favorite artists who, each in their own way, also seem to share the same feelings for the hottest season.
Eric Fischl is an American painter and sculptor. His early work was and still is considered ‘disturbing’ by many. The truth is that by touching the taboos of familial understanding of social (and sexual) relations Eric became one of the most important artists of his generation. The psychosexual drama that marked his beginnings as an artist were slowly replaced by some of the most stunning nudes ever made. I personally love the melancholy atmosphere that celebrates the body and its apparent faults, and the summer love sensation it gives us.
Wayne Thiebaud is an American painter widely known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects. Most of Thiebaud’s work is associated with the Pop art movement because of his interest in objects of mass culture as well as his heavy use of pigments to produce vibrant colors and high contrasts. My favorites are the watermelon serie and the ice cream cones. Pop, fun and youthful, to this very day.
Gerald Laing was a British pop artist and sculptor. In 1968 he created editions of his now widely recognized pictures of bikini girls, inspired by clippings found in popular magazines. This vibrant images embodied for him the boundless optimism of post-war America. It was also during this time that he created his now iconic image of Brigitte Bardot, sold by a record sum at an auction in London in 2014.
Frederik Akum is a Swedish artist I discovered a few years back and was immediately amazed by his work. This young artist explores the unpredictable process of snapping Polaroids, which he after translates into watery psychedelic-looking paintings. Some of his pieces feature colorful ladies silhouettes, while others seems to focus on nature and the landscape. I highly recommend you to Google him.
Samantha French is another young and incredibly talented painter. French’s current body of work explores the idea of escape, the tranquility and nostalgia for the lazy summer days of her childhood. "My current body of work is focused on swimmers underwater and above. Using vague yet consuming memories from my childhood summers spent immersed in the tepid lakes of northern Minnesota, I attempt to recreate the quiet tranquility of water and nature; of days spent sinking and floating, still and peaceful. These paintings are a link to my home and continual search for the feeling of the sun on my face and warm summer days at the lake. They are my escape, a subtle reprieve from the day-to-day. At the same time, I am drawn to an idealistic time before my own, where swim caps and wool swimsuits were commonplace. This combination of memory, observation and photography has allowed me to preserve the transitory qualities of water and remembrance."
Cristina Troufa is a Portuguese artist born and based in Porto. She has a very unusual and authentic visual style, which makes very easy to recognize her pieces. With the paintings, she wants to consolidate the idea of a spiritual, emotional, and psychological inner self-portrait. She and her subjects seem to float on canvas, swimming, playing, dancing and discovering themselves through simple lines and the negative spaces she uses to punctuate her compositions.
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