For February we’re asking Utah artists about a specific piece of art or artist living or dead, local or global, that has sparked their curiosity or influenced their work. We’ll be running some of their responses throughout the month.
“First I loved the painting. Then, the artist.”
Ric Blackerby, whose work appears on Catalyst Magazine’s cover this month, tells us: “If there could be only one painter, for me, it would have to be James Rosenquist. His vast colorful canvases are full of surreal juxtaposed images that take your breath away.
“He stands alone in his use of three-dimensional shapes that will either draw you in for a closer look, or make you stand back, shocked at the immense size of a brilliant red tube of lipstick dripping passion, lime-green gears grinding out slices of life like a plate of spaghetti, or strips of bacon hanging from a line to drip-dry.
“I love Rosenquist because he painted ‘Star Thief,’ a cosmic experience in the world of ideas and paint. As an artist, his Pop art style has influenced me like no other. His paintings amaze me, make me jealous, and encourage me to paint as I feel.
“I love Rosenquist for his views and critiques on the commonplace things of the day.”
A graduate of the University of Utah, Ann Poore is a freelance writer and editor who spent most of her career at The Salt Lake Tribune. She was the 2018 recipient of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Artist Award in the Literary Arts.