Happy Belated Birthday to Camille Pissarro!
Since Pissarro is one of the most influential artists in my life, and also since his birthday falls only two days prior to my own, I am woefully embarrassed to admit that yesterday I forgot to make his yearly birthday tweet. In my meager defense I can only point out that yesterday I was woefully sleep deprived (you should only see the remains of the poor candle I burned at both ends!). I nodded off early (calling it a nap) and awoke surprised to see that the sun had risen. So, for the first time since a few years ago when I ended up spending the night in an emergency ward room due to an accident, I even failed to tweet out my daily sign-off message (blessing).
Camille Pissarro was born on July 10, 1830, in what is now the US Virgin Islands, which were then in the Dutch West Indies.
Almost every Modern and Contemporary artist owes him a great debt of thanks, from the Impressionists right up to my theory of Post Contemporary art.
Pissarro helped create and keep together the group of artists that became known as the Impressionists and personally also influenced the Post Impressionists, the Neo-Impressionists and the Pointillists. The artists who turned to him for his artistic advice (wisdom!), encouragement and friendship included, but are not limited to: Claude Monet, Édouard Manet , Armand Guillaumin, EdgarDegas, Mary Cassatt, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Georges Seurat, and Paul Gauguin.
Influenced by both science and religious concepts the Impressionists sought to portray the light. Pissarro was also a revolutionary in that he portrayed the common man (a theme later taken up by van Gogh) more that the then also revolutionary focus on the emerging middle class (favored by Manet, Monet, Degas and Renoir), instead of the wealthy and renowned.
As a founder and leader of Impressionism, Pissarro, as a founder of Impressionism could have continued down that path once his work was esteemed, which is what artists normally do once their work becomes accepted. Instead, Pissarro courageously veered off to focus on new, more radical ideas, joining with the Neo-Impressionists. Thus, Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, and also in all four of the major Post-Impressionists exhibits, alongside the works of Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.
The ideas and movements of Modern and now Contemporary art all stem from and build upon the ideas of Pissarro and the Post Impressionists he mentored and influenced.
When I began my experiment by painting the first work of what was to become Post Conceptual Art theory, I was actually thinking about Pissarro. I knew that what I was doing was revolutionary, as revolutionary as focusing upon the light and not the flora, fauna, architecture or person(s) that the light was falling upon to reveal. In my the e book, In the Beginning, I tell the story of that first experiment and even include my Post Conceptual and UnGraven Image art portrait of Camille Pissarro, which points to and even cements his influence on art even to our day.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.
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