Fashion, Books and Tunes: How Artists Seek Inspiration

In the mid-20th century, American art critic Clement Greenberg governed the standards of the art world with one audacious idea: Art should refer only to itself – not history, not culture, not industry. This notion bolstered the creative authority of minimalism and the abstract expressionist movement, but by the 1970s Greenberg and his theories lost their dominance.

Instead, as critics and historians grew tired of sleepy canvases and barren gallery walls, a call to resurrect art’s human factor triumphed.

After all, doesn’t art imitate life – and life, art?

Below are four Park West Gallery artists who embrace and integrate the spirit of life in their oeuvre, imparting the connection between fashion, literature and music within their art.

Fashion: Romain de Tirtoff (Erté)

The aesthetic of the Modern-era roared alongside a new cultural renaissance, manifested by steel skyscrapers, flashy theatre marquees, short hemlines and the renowned illustrator and artist – Erté.

Harem 1980 Erte

Harem” (1980), Erte

The Russian-born artist helped establish the principles of design, fashion, and theatre during Paris’ Golden Age. Oftentimes regarded as one of the founders of the Art Deco movement, Erté set the visual pace of the era. Erté’s intrepid imagination and unique artistic aesthetic — characterized by playful lines, elegant spatial interpretations, and stencil-like imagery — further illuminated the artistic potential of everyday cultural objects.

Literature: Guy Harvey and Michael Cheval

Triumphant tales of adventure, chance encounters, and determined characters prominently inspire the work of marine artist Guy Harvey and Absurdist Michael Cheval.

Sunset Blue 2015 Guy Harvey Park West Gallery

Sunset Blue” (2015), Guy Harvey

Renowned marine conservationist, artist, and explorer Guy Harvey finds delight in Ernest Hemingway’s 1951 novel, “Old Man and the Sea.” The artist admits having read the literary classic over 100 times. While the novel’s protagonist, Santiago, most famously captures the elusive blue marlin and heads ashore, Harvey captures the blue marlin with a decisive, painterly line.

Lady of Hurricane II Michael Cheval Park West Gallery

Lady of Hurricane II” (2015), Michael Cheval

Characterized by witty metaphor, optic juxtaposition, and a tinge of folklore, Cheval creates artworks that invite viewers to “co-author” their visual interpretations. Cheval developed his signature “Absurdist” style in response to 19th-century theatre and the literary great, Lewis Carroll.  Curious and clever, Cheval’s dream-like imagery inspires a looking glass of its own.

Music: Tim Yanke

Whether it’s the overture introducing the season’s principal musical, the score of a “Best Picture,” or your car CD that always skips tracks, music has the ability to make or break an experience. To Park West Gallery artist Tim Yanke, music doesn’t just inform his painterly aesthetic, its part and parcel of it.

Looking To The Sky To Take Me 2009 Tim Yanke Park West Gallery

Looking To The Sky To Take Me” (2009), Tim Yanke

Yanke’s artwork takes many forms; from gestural drip paintings to vibrant interpretations of American Western myth, each canvas is harmonically aligned with the spirit of the moment. Yanke recently spoke with Park West in regard to his musical motivation, stating: “you’re applying [music] physically and emotionally onto a canvas into a visual.” With the jolt of the Rolling Stones and the psychedelic rhythm of the Grateful Dead in his ear, Yanke captures the unique essence of a melody and gives it a new spirit in paint.

For more information on Erté, Guy Harvey, Michael Cheval, and Tim Yanke contact our gallery consultants!

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • Art Prodigy Autumn de Forest Named in Teen Vogue’s ’21 Under 21’

    Art prodigy Autumn de Forest had a special message for those attending the 2017 Teen Vogue Summit on December 1 and 2.“When you have something to offer that is ...
    Read More
  • Michael Cheval Finds the Absurd in Surrealism

    Donning a bowler hat, artist Michael Cheval bears a resemblance to artist René Magritte. The similarity is no coincidence, as Cheval’s art is heavily ...
    Read More
  • 5 Easy Ways How to Hang Artwork Without Using Nails

    Collecting art is a lot of fun, but hanging it when you get home is a little more complicated.After all, hanging your newly acquired masterpiece isn’t always an option ...
    Read More
  • 7 Quick Facts to Make You an Art Expert

    Park West Gallery’s mission is to provide individuals with the confidence, knowledge, and means to appreciate fine art.We also understand that art is a complex, diverse, and subjective subject, one ...
    Read More
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ Heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi

    The most expensive artwork ever sold, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World), is heading to the new Louvre Abu Dhabi.The new museum made the announcement on December ...
    Read More
  • 5 Fascinating Things You May Not Know About Joan Miró

    Few artists have had an impact on Modern Art like Joan Miró.Beginning his career in Spain in the early 20th century, Miró defied the art world with his groundbreaking, ...
    Read More
  • Alexandre Renoir Experiences Family Legacy at DIA’s ‘Monet: Framing Life’

    Last week, when artist Alexandre Renoir walked through the Detroit Institute of Arts’ latest exhibition, “Monet: Framing Life,” one particular feeling kept surfacing: pride.Alexandre is a direct descendant of ...
    Read More
  • 8 Breathtaking Works of Winter Art to Put You in the Holiday Spirit

    Can you believe it’s already December? If you can’t and are struggling to get into the holiday spirit, we recommend spending some quality time with a few exceptional works of ...
    Read More
  • Gift Guide: How to Give the Perfect Art Book as a Holiday Gift

    As we enter the holiday season, are you struggling to find the perfect gift for a loved one? If so, you might want to check out Park ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Denys Dixie

    Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know one of ...
    Read More
  • Artist Matt Beyrer Sets Auction Records, Makes New Limited-Edition Art

    Artist Matt Beyrer sold all 30 of his unique oil paintings on wood during his debut auction in April, leading VIP Auctioneer Rob Ducat to make a bold prediction:“Get ready ...
    Read More
  • Artist Anatole Krasnyansky Speaks About Life and Art in New Video

    Never forget your culture, traditions, or where you came from—that’s the lesson noted artist Anatole Krasnyansky hopes viewers take away from his art.Last year, ...
    Read More