Monday, July 4, 2016

Winslow Homer: An American Original

Since it's 4th of July I thought it would be nice to choose a US American artist for this week's movie. Finding a movie about an artist from the US was harder than I thought it would be. There are movies about Warhol, Basquiat, O'Keefe and Pollock that most people have probably already seen so I went searching for other artists who didn't get the big screen treatment.
I knew a little bit about Homer before I watched it but it was very much the Reader's Digest version. I didn't know he was actually paid to illustrate the Civil War. I thought he was like Picasso, painting Guernica from the sidelines. Homer was actually in the thick of it, not as a soldier but as an illustrator. Harper's Weekly paid him to illustrate the war. It's not all that crazy, other artists have been asked to illustrate the war as well. I know of one in particular who put his talents to use drawing reconnaissance maps in Normandy, but that's another story. Homer was affected by the war to the point where he tried his best to become a bit of a hermit.  He probably had PTSD or something.
If Homer were still around he would be the one to ask, what's the difference between an artist and an illustrator. I'd love to know his answer to that question.
You can rent the full movie for $1.99 at Amazon or check your library to see if they can get it for you. 

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