As a monthly feature I'd like to present on this page some of the various influences that have inspired me and my work. Hopefully you will find them interesting enough to seek out more information on these great subjects.
Two of my all time favorite artist heroes are Salvador Dali and George Grosz.
I became aware of Dali early on when i was twelve years old. My parents had recently become members of the newly opened Gallery of Modern Art on Columbus Circle in New York City and in January of 1966 they took my sister and myself to a large Dali retrospective that was currently on exhibit. My young mind was turned upside down that day wandering through those galleries trying to make sense of this combination of dreamy fantasy seething with sexual tension, cartoon-like draughtsmanship, and Old Master painting techniques.
What I most admire about the work of the German Expressionist George Grosz are his biting commentaries on the human condition so powerfully expressed in his brilliant drawings and paintings.
There have been many books written about the lives of these two great artists but these are two of the best written in the artists own words. The Dali book was written when he was at the peak of his creativity. His childhood reminiscences and personal accounts of such episodes as the creation of his masterpiece "The Persistence of Memory" put the reader right in the moment.
The George Grosz book offers a wealth of personal recollections and is a valuable treasury of razor sharp observations on the human condition that Grosz was so renowned for. Written when Grosz was living in the United States, and during one of the more optimistic periods in his stormy life, the book is a true inspiration.
Both these volumes were published by Dial Press during the war years of the 1940's, but they are usually easily found on eBay and are greatly undervalued. If you're an artist or have any interest in art, you should seriously consider looking into these volumes for a glimpse into true greatness.