< Collins Street 5pm John Brack 1955
I love this painting. The stiff, regimented individuals who make up the crowd heading home are all tight and controlled and seemingly self conscious. Heading home from the structure of their work. All dressed in the attire their work and society expects of them. All filing out of the city to go to their homes. All physically doing the same thing, walking to catch a tram or train maybe, rigid and controlled. But what is going on in their heads? The woman second from the right, is she thinking about what to make for her family for dinner? Or is she trying to tolerate her overly tight new undies that are cutting into her hips? That man in the centre with the hat, could he be trying to remember where he left his wallet at lunch time? Or might he be trying to decide which brothel to go to later in the night? And the lady to his right, she might be trying to work up the courage to quit her job in the morning. Who knows what they are thinking?. I bet we might be shocked if we actually knew.
Africa Rosalie Gasciogne 1995 >
A wonderful example of the ability of an artist to arrange mere 'stuff' in such a way as to create beauty.
< Painter in Bed Phillip Guston 1973
If you described this to someone, "it's mostly red, pink and white with some bright orange and lime green and black", i am sure they could not imagine such a combination of colours would result in such a harmonious image. Guston's paintings are meant to be seen in the flesh. A painter if ever there was one .
Flood Sufferings Aby Altson 1890 >
This large painting hangs in the NGV and whenever I see it I cannot stop looking at that woman in the doorway. Why does she look like she was collaged into the picture? Was she a last minute addition? Is she a ghost? Maybe Altson painted her in those greyed tones in an attempt to keep her from taking our eyes off the two heroes rescuing the young woman who is ill, pregnant, or precious or whatever. But that jarring edge, where the concerned looking woman's figure meets the door frame, just jumps out at me. It is just wonderful. Pictorially, she is obviously in the background out in the light of the sky yet she is on top of the picture plane. For years I have deliberately avoided finding out more about this painting. I don't want to know that she was the last thing painted, but I suspect she was. I like holding on to the doubt and the mystery.
< Baby Ian Fairweather 1955
A drawing done with paint. This has the raw, primal, yet beautiful feel of the wonderous paintings of Bison in the caves of Lascaux in France. Fairweather was in touch with something eternal.
The Rosstown Pub John Perceval 1944 >
A great picture that conveys the rushed swirly giddiness of intoxication as the 6pm closing time draws closer. The puke green only adds the the effect. I used to live near the Rosstown pub in Caulfield in the 8o's.
< Heart in Blue Joy Hester
An elusive moment when two feel they have become one. Joy Hester is one of Australia's greatest artist's and her creativity found a way to express itself in the most difficult circumstances. Australian's including Clarice Beckett, Margaret Preston, Dorritt Black and Joy Hester made great art despite being women in a sexist society.
In the Living Room Balthus 1941-43 >
There is something wrong with this image (and most of Balthus' images) It makes me uneasy, sleazy and sneezy. The tablecloth is old and dirty looking. There is something grimey in the atmosphere, I can feel it in my nostrils and my nostrils want to purge myself of the tainted air. This is proof that an image can evoke unspecified emotions. I am reminded of Hitler's maniacal evil brilliance. I like this painting but to like it, I also have to hate something about myself. So magnetically creepy.