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John Currin (1962 - )
Lifespan: 1962 -
Related: American art - painting - artist
John Currin Google gallery
John Currin (2003) - Robert Rosenblum
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John Currin (2003) - John Currin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Take one look at John Currin's paintings and you could assume he likes stupid women with big tits. Pouting, wide-eyed ingénues look vacantly out of his canvases while ladies in mini-skirts measure each other's immense breasts. There is nothing politically correct here. --Francesca Gavin 05 September 2003 via http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A1164971 [Sept 2006]
John Currin is a U.S. painter.
He was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1962, and went to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he obtained a BFA degree in 1984. He went on to receive an MFA degree from Yale University in 1986.
His work shows a wide range of influences, including sources as diverse as the Renaissance, popular culture magazines and contemporary fashion models. Many of his paintings show female nudes; he often distorts or exaggerates the natural form of the human body.
His paintings can be seen in many locations, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian Institution.
Currently he is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife and fellow artist, Rachel Feinstein. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Currin [Sept 2006]
Take one look at John Currin's paintings and you could assume he likes stupid women with big tits. Pouting, wide-eyed ingénues look vacantly out of his canvases while ladies in mini-skirts measure each other's immense breasts. There is nothing politically correct here. And yet, on closer inspection, his representation of women isn't so clear-cut.
Currin depicts a bizarre and very American world of ageing divorcees, 70s pin-ups and cliché gay couples. He distils the falsity of TV culture and throws it back in people's faces. Currin wants viewers to feel uncomfortable and enjoy it.
He fuses this very modern approach to his subjects with a kind of classical style which combines the strange, jagged poses and extended bellies of the 16th-century German painter Lucas Cranach, or the hand gestures of Da Vinci, with WASP-ish empty faces. You hate the people he depicts, but you just can't help but love the way they’re depicted. --Francesca Gavin 05 September 03 via http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A1164971, accessed Apr 2004
John Currin (2003) - Robert Rosenblum
From Publishers Weekly
Currin is currently generating the kind of buzz that purchased publicity alone can't account for, and it's easy to see why: his paintings' smoothly executed combination of droll social commentary, offhand reference to old masters and va-va-va-voom sexuality is hard to look away from-and easy to argue about. Unlike his colleague in pneumatic inspiration, Lisa Yuskavage, Currin can't hide behind presumptive feminist theory. Are the anatomically impossible figures Currin so lovingly depicts pitiable projections of an arrested sexuality or a brave exploration of (in the words of essayist Rosenblum) "the crumbling myths and icons of twentieth-century America, revealing, as in a warped looking glass, their bizarre surface and their dark underside"? Given that America's "dark underside" has been exposed almost as often as its "innocence" has been violated, such critical formulations could easily be mistaken for intellectual window dressing. But a combination of confident execution and the often subtle referencing of everyone from Vargas to Lucas Cranach means that although there may not be more to Currin's paintings than meets the eye, what meets the eye holds interest beyond the immediate moment of shock or titillation. Currin is his own best advocate here; his long interview with Rochelle Steiner-bluntly plainspoken, knowledgeable and entirely pleased with the fuss his work has caused-candidly reveals an engaging and unashamed artist on the make. The essays, as the quote from Rosenblum would indicate, are competent in a manner endemic to books like this. But neither interview nor essays can begin to compete with the 79 lush color reproductions, whose accumulation of craftily mixed signals is disturbing and compulsive. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. via Amazon.com
A trip to Currin-land is like a science-fiction movie, in which familiar things-Old Master works by Bruegel and Courbet, the Rococo idylls of Boucher and Fragonard, girly photos from 1960s men's magazines, and cheerful ads for wholesome American products-are transformed into figurative paintings that border on the freakish. In John Currin's universe, everything looks both commonplace and fantastic, like Norman Rockwell paintings as seen through a fun-house mirror.
Esteemed art critic Robert Rosenblum reviews Currin's output of the past 10 years in this choice monograph-the first major book on Currin's white-hot career. Seventy-five provocatively titled colorplates exemplify the artist's trademark collision of classical technique and 20th-century kitsch. Currin has already caught the attention of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. And what reader wouldn't be curious to see Bea Arthur Naked (1991)? --via Amazon.com
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