Monday, 26 October 2009

Paris von Gütersloh

One of Schiele's most stunning portraits is that of fellow painter Paris von Gütersloh.

To some, the symbolism can appear somewhat unsubtle. Von Gütersloh's portraint screams out his identity: in the hands which he holds up as the tools of his trade, and the vibrant colours which surround him.

But this is a Schiele painting. The hands bear Schiele's signature touches (pained, crooked, tormented, tortured, torturing) and the colours are not just any old paint, but burning yellow that surrounds him like a midday sun, rivaling Van Gogh's own yellow obsession.

Even Schiele can take these simple signifiers of paint and hands and transform them.

US film-maker Roy Allen has recently put together a short film on what might have happened on the day of the portrait. Watch below.

The Portrait from Roy Allen on Vimeo.

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Thursday, 18 September 2008

Keeping a breast of Italian TV

An Italian TV channel has broadcast this piece intercutting an interview with me with shots of Vienna and excerpts of a Schiele film from the 1980s. It involves some breasts. Not mine.

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Thursday, 4 September 2008

Mamma Mia

I'm in Italy at the moment for the publication of Il pornografo di Vienna. As two millenia of civilisation and culture have shown, the Italians have a nose for art and sensuality. And I'm grateful.

Naples' major paper – Il Mattino – has published this piece on the book (see here), following a chat with the charming Santa di Salvo.

Also, La Reppublica has found space for Egon alongside Hemmingway and Shakespeare – which is kind of them. Read it for yourself in the language of love here.

Meanwhile, Tonino Bucci published this interview in Liberazione – replete with some novel questions on Schiele. Thanks to him as well for the valiant job of transcribing my blathering. See Liberazione%20review.pdf

Daniela Pizzagalli wrote this piece for Genoa's Il Secolo XIX (see here). A biographer in her own right, you can see Daniela's work here. Or read an interview with her here.

Not to forget Milan's Il Giornale which summed things up with delightful north Italian diligence here.

And if you're interested in Italian travel writing tips, then you'd do well to have a look at Messana 28 - look here.

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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Schiele as Joy Division

One of the most insightful blog postings on Schiele and his enduring - but alternative - charm can be found here.

Some choice cuts from Take Art:

"Sexuality burns through his paintings like a fever whereas Klimt has more of a satisfied glow. Schiele is a confrontational painter — his subjects looking straight at the viewer in a way that seems, to me at least, to be markedly different from how the people in Klimt’s paintings watch you, make you complicit in whatever they are doing, or mutely acknowledge you as some kind of voyeur.

"The figures are more angular, seem less comfortable. Schiele’s work seems less rooted in a kind of bourgeois bohemia and as a result escapes the trap of history that some of his contemporaries are burdened with. His work is very modern and by that I mean that it still seems fresh and full of vitality, a leanness of stroke and effortless conversion of thought and movement into image.

You look at one of his paintings and you can hardly imagine him over-working a piece (I speculate here, he may have been as troubled in his process as everyone else; his life hardly seems to have been perfect). There is an immediacy to the work though, and whereas Klimt might fit nicely with some smooth cocktail jazz Schiele always made me think of Joy Division.

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