Friday, 16 November 2012

the man who haunted himself - léon spilliaert

Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946) was a self-taught painter influenced by symbolism who also anticipated several later art movements. What makes him stand apart though is the visionary shock of his paintings, a singular timeless gaze. Whether in the early works, including the self-portraits in which as Dylan Trigg writes, Spilliaert seems to encounter his own ghost that has come too soon, or in the later nature works dominated by trees, there's a feeling of reality dissolving before your eyes. After looking at them the most ordinary of scenes - a bus on a street, a fork on a plate, a staircase - look as if they could be transformed by him, even now, into introspective expressions of both intense Flemish melancholy and hallucinogenic modernist bedazzlement.

trollmaster - theodor kittelsen

Illustrations by Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914)
I like trolls. But the giant ones, not the small ones. They look scary, but really they're not. In Norwegian folklore they are the shy, reclusive dwellers of the forest who only come out at night. If they forget their true nature and come out by day, then they turn to rock, and that is why there are large rocks with troll-like features, apparently.