18 September 2008

Biographies

In the Boardroom Gallery upstairs at Thermostat, I've included a short biography to go with each portrait:

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
(1844–1900). Philosopher. Most famous for proclaiming the death of God. His philosophical ideas have been widely misinterpreted, partly because of the provocative and aphoristic style he used to present them. He said: ‘I want to say in 100 words what other people require whole books to say.’ In 1889 he witnessed a horse being whipped and went insane.

Kasimir Severinovich Malevich (1878–1935). Painter and art theorist. Founder of the intertemporal avant-garde art movement Suprematism, which uses fundamental geometric forms to produce abstract art. Most famous for his painting Black square. He said: 'I felt only night within me and it was then that I conceived the new art, which I called Suprematism.' In the 20s and 30s, his Suprematist work was suppressed by the Soviet Union for being too ‘bourgeois’.

Piero della Francesca (c. 1412–1492). Painter and mathematician. Best artist of the 15th century. Originally trained as a heraldic painter before working with Domenico Veneziano. Known for the neoplatonic stillness and geometric construction of his paintings. Devised secret alternative perspective scheme to rival that of Leon Battista Alberti. Most famous for The Baptism of Christ, which is the best painting ever made.

David Charles Bartholomew Cauchi
(1970–). Painter. Founder of the intertemporal avant-garde art movement Common-sense nihilsm. Known for being an idiot.

Francis-Marie Martinez Picabia
(1879–1953). Painter, poet, and provocateur. Best artist of the 20th century. Invented abstract painting, dada, and space tourism. Known for his wide range of styles. Marcel Duchamp said: ‘One does something for six months, a year, and then one does something else. This is what Picabia did his entire life.’ Most famous for his mechanomorphic paintings.

Rosemary Jane Miller (1964–). Graphic designer. Long-suffering partner of David Cauchi. Known for being sensible.

Max Beckmann (1884–1950). Painter. Known for his allegorical self-portraits and triptychs. Did not fit into any of the conventional categories of art history. Heavily influenced by his experiences as a medic during World War I and by mysticism. Featured in the Degenerate art exhibition put on by the Nazis.

Philip Kindred Dick
(1928–1982). Science fiction writer. Known for the themes of his novels. He said: ‘In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.’ Most famous for writing the novel that was filmed as Bladerunner. In 1974, an interstellar communications network known as VALIS started beaming information into his head and he went insane.

Arthur Mitchell Ransome (1884–1967). Author and illustrator. Most famous for his Swallows and Amazons series of books. Heavily influenced by the anarchist Prince Kropotkin. Had many adventures during the Russian Revolution. Developed a very concise writing style when sending reports by telegram.

2 comments:

Sheridan Fairfield-Wills Dickson said...

And Philip K Dick's insanity started when he saw the sign of Pisces! (Wikipedia says he 'was "resurrected" by his fans in the form of a remote-controlled android designed in his likeness' and that the android was lost by America West Airlines and has not yet been found.)

David Cauchi said...

Good old Pisces, eh? Sure sign of trouble.

visitors since 29 March 2004.