Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Arthur Boyd: the kindly man and the ferocious artist

I've recently read Darleen Bungey's excellent biography of Arthur Boyd, which has been well described by Patrick McCaughey:

'Painting was an exorcism. When he [Boyd] found his voice in the expressionist paintings of the war years, the figures, often lovers or cripples, became "an amalgam of the helpless, the foetal, new born, geriatric and corpse-like" in Bungey's good and awkward formulation.

Much later, Peter Porter, the poet and collaborator with Boyd, saw "the celebration of both the fertile and terrifying aspects of sexuality" as his central, recurring themes. The great series of Boyd's mid career - from the Love, Marriage and Death of a Half-Caste (the ‘Bride' paintings) and the Nude with Beast to the ‘Caged Artist' paintings of the early '70s, where the imprisoned painter excretes gold - are powered forth by thwarted and requited love, miscegenation and the beast in man.

Robert Hughes once observed (and is quoted approvingly by Bungey) that Boyd's images had "a strong air of reality ... one feels that Boyd believes in their magical efficacy as firmly as mediaeval Catholics believed in imps, succubi and familiars." Gentle and generous to a fault, many had trouble squaring the kindly man and the ferocious artist. The achievement of Darleen Bungey's biography is that we are shown both and taught to accept the paradox.'


Moby - A Case For Shame.

No comments: