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Monday

Contemporary Art - Michael Carson, American Artist

The American contemporary artist Michael Carson graduated from the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Design in 1996. After having worked a while as a graphic artist, he started painting full time in 2001.
His work is primarily figurative, the artist says:“I like the fact that the face can be such a subtle subject and one brush stroke can be the difference in the feel of the entire piece. That gives me the ability to work in one subject matter and still find that I learn something new in every painting. "

The artist has had several solo shows, his artwork can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States.





Tuesday

Victorian Times: British Painter Richard Dadd (1817-1886)

Richard Dadd, one of the most promising young artists in England in his day, was the 4th of nine children. He was admitted to the Royal Academy in 1837 at the age of twenty.

Dadd won three medals for draftsmanship and regularly exhibited at the prestigious gallery on Suffolk Street. In 1840-42, he worked on Shakespeare illustrations and was commissioned to illustrate Samuel Carter Hall’s Book of British Ballads. Dadd was particularly famous for his paintings of fairies and exotic landscapes - in 1850s spiritualism was tremendously popular in Europe and America and many were interested in mythology and believed in fairies, as the prominent Spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote a book "The Coming of the Fairies".

He was 25, when his friend and patron Sir Thomas Phillips invited him on a tour to the Middle East and Egypt to document their journey in drawings and paintings.
The journey was long and difficult. While on trip, Dadd joined a group of old Arabs smoking hookahs, an arabic waterpipe, and spent five continuous days and nights smoking, and after visiting the City of the Dead, Dadd became convinced that Egyptian God Osiris had power over him, devils and monsters began assailing his imagination. (In Egyptian mythology, Osiris is killed and dismembered by his brother).


At first, his sudden disorder was attributed to this intake of narcotics and even to simple sunstroke, although in Rome, Dadd intended to attack the Pope during a public appearance.
Upon his return to London, Dadd became withdrawn and unpredictable in his behavior and very eccentric in his actions: he never removed his goatskin gloves and, for some reason, kept a cache of 300 eggs in his room.

His father, concerned that his son suffered from the effects of "sunstroke", made Richard to see Alexander Sutherland, a leading psychiatrist at the time. The doctor made a hard diagnosis: Richard was not responsible for his actions and deeds, and advised to keep Richard in isolation. Unfortunately, Dadd's father did not follow the doctor's advice.

On Monday, August 28th, 1843, Richard with his father came in Cobham to watch the maneuvers of the local regiment. Excited by music and loud sounds, Dadd brutally murdered and dismembered his father with a knife and a razor, seeing in his father the devil in disguise. Robert Dadd's body was found next morning. Dadd then ran away to France, where he was arrested after attacking a traveller with a razor.
Obviously, Dadd, who before his illness was known for his gentleness, intelligence and good humour, planned to murder more people - drawings of friends and family with their throats cut were found in his room.

In England, he was declared insane, received a life sentence and spent the rest of his life (43 years) in lunatic asylums, where he died aged 68 from "acute lung disease". Three of his eight siblings also died insane.
A kind doctor in hospital provided Dadd with art supplies and encouraged him to paint - which he obsessively did for the rest of his life.

Contemporary Art - Nicholas Hely Hutchinson, Irish Painter




The Honourable Nicholas Hely Hutchinson is a painter, based in Dorset. Initially influenced by Dufy and Matisse, and also drawing on the English NeoRomantic tradition. He settled near Blandford, Dorset, and the countryside of that county and Wiltshire, horse racing, interiors and still life were among his subjects. He studied at Harrow School, St. Martins School of Art and Bristol Polytechnic. Nicholas showed solo with the Montpelier Studio from 1984, later exhibitions including Wattis Fine Art, Hong Kong, from 1992, the Jerram Gallery, Salisbury, 1995, and the Portland Gallery in London. He is represented in the Government Art Collection, Barbican Centre and Unilever, as well as a number of private collections. Hely Hutchinson is the third son of the 8th Earl of Donoughmore, an old Irish family. the artist's site




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