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My Art History: 5 Pieces That Changed My Life

Today I'm sharing the artists and artworks that influenced my life, as part of a series of posts sponsored by Art.com. It's amazing to take a moment and think back on how subtly and unexpectedly great and small works of art have nudged the course of my life. I suggest you find some time to do the same! Read on to see which five artworks I have to thank for being who I am today.

Pearblossom Hwy., 11 - 18th April 1986, #2
1. Pearblossom Hwy., 11 - 18th April 1986, #2, David Hockney   

My first date with Alicia (my then-future-now-current wife) was inspired by this Hockney photomontage. She was in a college art class, tasked with creating an artwork in the style of a famous artist. I haplessly volunteered to help out, and we spent the first part of our date sneaking into the railyard, me climbing about on the boxcars, and her taking pictures. 

Check out the Hockney section at Art.com to see some of Hockney's amazing photos (and paintings). 

DANCERS PRACTICING AT THE BAR, 1876

2. Dancers Practicing at the Bar, 1876, Edgar Degas

At the risk of getting too personal, I'll let you in on a secret: one of the things I loved best about Alicia back when we started dating was her hands. She was a ballet dancer as a kid (her room was covered in these Degas dancers prints), and occasionally she'd go through her positions. Dancers are always conscious of their hands; relaxed but not limp, extended but not reaching. 

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You could practically wallpaper a room in Degas' dancers if you wanted to. Check them all out here

Nighthawks, Edward Hopper

#3. Nighthawks, c1942, Edward Hopper

For our first anniversary (dating, not wedding, hah), I gave Alicia a card with this print on it. All these years later, the card is gone, and neither of us can remember what I wrote, but the image is indelible. Maybe I should start wearing fedoras?

David, by Michelangelo

#4. David, by Michelangelo

Iconic, and replicated nearly to the point of oblivion (David garden gnomes, Davids on model train sets, etc.), the original majestic statue has to be seen in person to be appreciated. We saw it in Florence, at the Accademia, on our honeymoon. After a long, hot day of standing in lines, getting lost, and getting yelled at by a taxi driver (long story), we stumbled into the quiet gallery and sat, marveling, at the enormous statue with his piercing eyes. Only when you sit in the room with this masterpiece, do you realize how much he seems ready to spring to life. We were awed, together.

Get your Michelangelo fix right here. And fine, if you must have a David for your garden, here's the link.

Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh

#5. Starry Night, 1889, Vincent van Gogh

For ages, Alicia had a credit card with this image printed on it. When our daughter a toddler, she was always emptying out her mommy's purse and playing with the contents. Right away, she was drawn to the bright, swirling colors on the credit card, and among her first few words was "Starry Night". Before long, she'd identify the image anywhere, on the side of a bus, in a book, or on television, blurting out 'Starry Night! Starry Night!' and pointing.

You just can't go wrong with van Gogh. If you want a print that's a little more off the beaten path, browse through at Art.com until you find one you like. Believe it or not, there are lesser-known (but still stunning) van Gogh starry nights to choose from:

Shopping for art online? Try using Art.com's new artcircle's iPad app. It lets you explore their collection in a whole new way, using curators, colors, and words to inspire your search.

created at: 09/17/2012
 

 

 

This blog post was sponsored by Art.com. However, all opinions are my own.

 

 

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