Saturday, September 30, 2006

Egon's life-long friend: Arthur Roessler

The customary yet contorted pose does not tell the whole story. This is a picture of Arthur Roessler, publisher, supporter and friend to Egon Schiele. While rarely suffering such hardships as Schiele, he still undoubtedly suffered from his connection to the artist. Nevertheless, he became one of the most avid collectors of the artists work and sought to support him in all the clandestine compostions of Vienna society which needed to be appeased before any artist to become a success. Better than Max Brod to Kafka, Roessler remained the faithful and largely unsung hero behind the perpetuation of Schiele's work.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fingers contrived

One of the most original contributions to the visual arts came from Schiele: his representation of hands. Starting with his boney, jagged fingers in the photos taken by his friend Josef Trcka (see my profile picture on the right) to the arthritic claws of his later paintings. Schiele saw something frail yet predatory about human hands: a fragile interconnection of bones that lok snappable but threatening, which could break like a twig or strangle in an instant. While El Greco may have started this in the 16th century, Schiele has been the only artist to see in hands the story of a painting itself, the human condition.