Who is Alex Katz?
Alex Katz is an iconic artist who often features in the contemporary spotlight. Not that his success just happen to him, he indicated to have destroyed many hundreds of his paintings as a young artist in search of his own, unique style. He found his style in simple-looking, but well-considered compositions.
To learn more about his background, the below video offers a nice sneak peak into the life of being a successful artist. Katz tells about his daily schedule - and the importance for an artist to stay fit, even when you are 90-, how he chooses the models for his paintings, but, importantly, how he develops his work. It turns out that it takes a lot of work to arrive at a simple image. But it also turns out that how you look at 'reality' evolves with age. This may not only apply to artists, but for artists it does have a direct effect on their work, and therefore also on (potentially) thousands of spectators.
3 Things You Didn't Know About Alex Katz
Renowned for his brightly coloured figurative and landscape paintings, Alex Katz is a renowned artist whose work bridges the gap between the styles of representation and formalism –among his most frequently referenced compositions are landscapes of New York, as well as portraits of his wife and muse, Ada. Below are 3 things you didn't know about Alex Katz.
1. Andy Warhol was inspired by Alex Katz
Around 1960 Alex Katz work was a source of inspiration for artists of American pop art such as Andy Warhol. Katz himself was inspired by the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, he especially loved the cool jazz of Stan Getz and sought the same distanced simplicity and style in his paintings. Older inspirational artists for him were Velázquez, Titian, Tintoretto and Courbet.
2. It took a while for Europe to embrace Alex Katz
Alex Katz' exhibitions have always been extremely popular in Tokyo. In Europe je had to wait a long time for a similar response. Alex Katz said that this is probably due to his paintings being too American for Europeans.
3. It took many years of practicing and frustrations before he was noticed
Alex Katz provides a clear message to young artists: start working on your technique every day for 6 years for 14 hours a day. If you've developed something unique after that, and you're not tired of it yet, you can call yourself an artist - which doesn't mean you don't have to work seven days a week anymore. Alex Katz destroyed many hundreds of his paintings as a young artist in search of his own, unique style.
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