When I was your age, in high school my three favorite artists were Vincent Van Gogh (after reading Lust for Life), Frida Kahlo (I also read her journals), and Gustav Klimt because I loved how he captured dramatic figures encapsulated within many shapes. Then I went off to college and was introduce to a lot of artists I had never known existed and I was especially smitten with the following:
Kathe Kollwitz - heartbreakingly sensitive imagery. Witness to the destruction of war.
Alberto Giacometti - existential sculpture and painter that I continue to worship.
Max Beckman - uses the color black in his paintings like no other. Dramatic and intense imagery.
Phillip Guston - love his brushwork and sense of humor/sadness.
Lucien Freud - amazing draftmanship, really intense observation skills (Sigmund's grandson).
Paula Modersohn-Becker - ahead of her time and also very sweet. (Read her journals too.)
Andrew Wyeth - made me appreciate watercolor as a medium.
From that point I went forward into graduate school and was introduced to artists who stretched my brain in entirely new and different ways. Here are a few that come to mind:
Alexander Calder - he INVENTED the mobile!
Kevin Appel -because he gave good advice and was so particular about materials.
Denzil Hurley -a favorite professor who taught me to think inside out and upside down.
Antonio Lopez - amazing disciplined painter. Can spend up to 12 years on just one painting.
Sarah Sze - made me appreciate installation art.
Finally I would like to share a few of may favorite contemporary independent comic book artists:
These artists make small edition comic books and lots of other kinds of artwork.
Lauren Weinstein -invents weird worlds and captures strange moments.
Renee French -cute plus creepy equals awesome.
Jim Woodring -excellent draftsman. Crazy psychedelic cartoon imagery.
Gipi -beautiful use of watercolor in his stories.
Anders Nilson -I really like the way he breathes thought into his animal characters.
Jeffrey Brown -so funny and sad and funny.
So, there you have it folks. Those are a bunch a favorites from different categories, and I am sure I have left a few major favorites off of this list that will painfully occur to me later. The main point is that these artists have inspired me to try to create my own art work. If you want to learn more about any of the above, stop by room 210 and we can chat.