Those with the gift of being a magnificent artist are very unique. Not many people have such special talents that get them so far in life.
However, out of the ones that do, they are well admired by others for their work and their talents. One such extremely marvelous artist is Audrey Flack. I strongly admire her work as she has created new fascinating different ways of portraying art. “Not content to merely copy the world as we see it, Audrey Flack has used her obvious technical skills in the service of art, replete with symbols, which comments, on the transitory nature of life and favors the search for spiritual harmony” (B.
F. ). These are the words of Thalia Gouma-Peterson who wrote a book on Audrey Flack and studied her work in detail. Audrey Flack is a very influential artist and had a huge impact on the world of art as we know it.
Audrey was born in 1931 in New York City where she was raised and attended school.
As a young child she loved to paint and frequently practiced this special talent of drawing and painting while she was supposed to be doing her homework. Luckily she was able to formally practice her talents at the most impressive art schools on the east coast.Although her parents weren’t completely in favor of her being an artist, they allowed her to follow her dreams and she was still able to pursue her career.
She initially attended a high school with a big program of music and art. Then when she went off to college she went to Cooper Union, which is a fabulous art school. She graduated from there in 1951 and went on to Yale University to receive her bachelors of Fine Arts. After receiving her bachelors, she transferred back to Cooper Union to receive her Honorary Doctorate in 1977 (B.
F). During this time she found the time to get married and happily have two daughters. She was able to manage her family and work at the same time and this helped her more with her ideas and perspectives on her paintings. Audrey, who identified herself as an abstract expressionist, found herself being treated differently since she was a woman, and she wasn’t taken seriously for her work.
This initiated her emphasis on symbolism. From this point on, she got this absolute drive towards wanting to begin painting realistically.She believed that the best way to understand art was through the masses of the people. She focused her work mainly on feminism, something she was proud of and she believed people would understand her more as an individual this way (American 1931).
According to Flack, “I always wanted to draw realistically. For me, art is a continuous discovery into reality, an exploration of visual data which has been going on for centuries, each artist contributing to the next generation’s advancement. I wanted to go a step further and extend the boundaries.I also believe people have a deep need to understand their world and that art clarifies reality for them,” (B.
F. ). She not only wanted people to understand her as an individual, but she tried to make her work universal so that everyone had a chance to relate and comprehend her work in their own way. Audrey was one of the first artists to refer to photographs while painting.
Although it wasn’t considered acceptable for paintings to look like photos, she still imitated the colors and appearance of the pictures, in a unique way.At the time she started doing this, there weren’t color photographs, so when she put color onto the painting identical to the photograph, it brought a whole new meaning to the painting. The way she did this was by projecting a photo onto her canvas and from there copied it onto her canvas (America 1931). The fact that she took upon this way of creating art, set it apart from all her other paintings.
She began this new technique by taking photographs out of documentary news, specifically public figures. One of her most well known pieces of work depicts President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade, moments before his assassination. It was originally shot in black and white and she added color to it by painting it as a picture.
It’s mostly pastel colors and it looks like she gives a bit of tint to each color used in the painting. It gives a head/intellectual response because you must obviously see that the person in the painting is important and to have extra knowledge would mean knowing its JFK, the president at the time. This photo literally shows the president on his way to give a speech or to a very important meeting.However, metaphorically, considering that almost all the faces in the painting have arrogant looks on their faces, shows that they won’t be considerably happy with what the future might have in store for them.
This piece was very classic because she turned something people have seen before and are used to, simple black and white or dull, into something bright and dazzling that was pleasing to the eye. This led her to become the first photorealistic painter to get into the collection of Museum of Modern Arts in 1966 (Audrey Flack).After beginning this new way of painting she began to expand on it. She based a lot of her paintings on personal memorabilia and her experiences as a woman.
The subjects of her paintings were far more diverse than those of other male artists, whose work had more masculine themes. She used feminine social and political themes instead, as well as feminine color schemes. She began a very representational style of art and had main subjects of strong minded women. The objects in her art work were extremely feminist, as well.
For example, in most of her work she included lipsticks, rich fabrics, bright jewelry such as necklaces and rings, and many more. She began doing most of her work with bright airbrushed and pastel colors. This was actually fairly shocking to the viewers; however, they did enjoy it quite a bit. Audrey also began exploring the role of women in society.
Another main focus of her work after that were female religious statues and goddesses. Not only did Audrey want people to be able to interpret her work visually, she also wanted them to be able to physically touch her work and examine it that way.She began sculpting in the 1980’s and her projects widely ranged from small to colossal in scale. Her first sculpture was a cherub clasping a shield over a heart.
This sculpture could literally fit into the palm of your hand (Audrey Flack). This particular piece explained much of her future work and the methods she chose to use. As she continued her work in sculpturing, she used much larger scales symbolizing female strength, beauty, and spirituality. For example, she created sculptures ranging from a black medicine woman, a sun goddess, to mythical goddesses such as Athena and Diana.
After these pieces, she was able to create another one of her famous pieces, “Civitas,” which was four, twenty feet high, bronze goddesses, which guard the entrance to a city in South Carolina called Rock Hill (Audrey Flack). This sculpture was very famous mostly because of its size and its meaning towards womanhood. According to Audrey, “I need the substance of sculpture, the compactness of scale reduction in the form of a recognizable human figure – something solid, real, tangible. Something to hold and to hold on to.
Something that won’t fly away or disintegrate. Bronze, heavy-weighted, yet portable. I want people to be able to own these pieces as well as exchange them,” (Pierre). She wanted the decent size sculptures to be duplicated a great number of times so people can admire her work in their own home and feel her meaning through the art work.
One of her strongest examples of symbolism through her sculptures was one of an Egyptian Rocket Goddess (B. F. ). The sculpture had many snakes wrapped around its arms, which a strong sign for female power and productiveness.
These famous sculptures were very influential to others, artists or not, because she made them see that they were able to achieve and break through barriers that were giving those rough times. Every single piece of Audrey Flack’s work had heavy symbolic meaning. Audrey flack has strongly impacted the world of art. Not only has she made photorealism, abstract expressionism, and sculpturing into her career and hobby, but she also showed a new meaning to woman society and feminism that many people had been blinded to previously.
She has won many awards and her work is up for viewing at many galleries and museums. She has been a very influential artist and opened the eyes of many through her work. Being one of the first artists to project a photo onto her canvas and paint it almost completely the same, made her very unique and well appreciated. Since people weren’t used to this style and especially colorful styling they were quite shocked to be able to view art in a whole new way.
Although her parents didn’t support her dreams of becoming an artist she still made it to the big league in the art world.Now, many people look up to her and what she has done for the art world. Today, Audrey no longer paints, but she still writes books, teaches, and continues to create sculptures, which is what she seems to love most of all. Just recently, she won an international competition and was commissioned by the Portuguese-American group called the Friends of Queen Catherine to design a fitting monument to the wife of England’s King Charles Il (Lane).
She continues to design art and is appreciated by many people, whether they are other artists or not.I chose to write my essay about Audrey Flack because her work caught my eye the moment I first saw one of her pieces. I felt like I could relate to her and the work she has done. The way she expresses feminism in most of her painting is similar to how I am because I am reasonably girly and the bright colors and jewelry catches my attention immediately.
I would strongly suggest her work to others because it has very high potential and the glamour of it would most definitely inspire others to look at art in a completely different way.
Cite this Audrey Flack Biography
Audrey Flack Biography. (2017, Apr 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/audrey-flack-biography/