Irving Norman

My World and Yours (And the Gods Created the World in Their Own Image), 1959.
 This morning I had the opportunity to tour the Crocker Art Museum in downtown Sacramento. The Crocker Art Museum had just been opened after renovation on October 10th, 2010, so it is nothing less than impressive.
I spent about two hours walking through all three floors of the museum, and the piece of art that had the hugest impact on my memory was a painting by Irving Norman. The oil on canvas painting, titled My World and Yours (And the Gods Created the World in Their Own Image) is an extremely tall painting; the whole image was created by linking two canvases of equal sizes, totaling its dimensions to be thirteen by nine feet. At first glance, I thought the painting was extremely creepy. Distorted, nude figures (even engaged in sex) clutter the piece. Skulls floating in a pool of blood at the bottom gave me the impression of hell in a Greek fashion. The colors are dark and ominous.
Using his artwork, Norman had hoped to gain the attention of the public to engage in social reform. According to the little blurb typically displayed next to a piece at a museum, My World and Yours was painted just a year after DNA was discovered; hence, the inspiration of a double helix for the top half of the painting.
I was disappointed to find out that Norman had passed away twenty years ago (1909-1989). I hope to see more eye-catching paintings such as his in the future.

clockswitch

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