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Feinin' or Fauvism?  


Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1850
17/06/2008 9:49 pm  

93 All-!

I'd like to open up a "formal" discussion around Crowley's art, with a jumping off (or in) point being the recent comments under his "newly unveiled" self portrait of 1920. As I remarked in the comments section, I found the image to be absolutely stunning. Another member of the site speculated (perhaps half tongue-in-cheek) as to the influence of "strange drugs" on the image. Whereas there can be no doubt that a cornucopia of chemical concoctions "informed" many of AC's experiences and modes of expression, I think we can observe that, generally speaking, his writing, for example, remained very tight, very controlled-even when ecstatic and even when generated during intoxication. We don't observe AC's literary works dissolving into the style of, say, Burroughs.

Looking at his work at the eisle, then, I also observe that AC seems to make choices regarding both color and form based on 1) his naive style and 2) his "modern" sensibility which could appreciate the genius in unconventional visual approaches, such as that of Gaugin. There is an apparent consistency in his stylistic approaches to the face and form, for example, that runs through all his work, making it "characteristically" Crowley. The nose and mouth of the 1920s Self Portrait, for example, we've seen before from his brush. His style and output seems to be a form of "Naive Fauvism."

Giger once remarked that an artist should be so connected to his materials that he is able to execute with them masterfully, even under the influence of drugs. I am not suggesting that chemical influence did not form a part of AC's method-but that there may be something at play in his art whose source belongs to an avante-garde aesthetic as much as a drug-altered state of perception.