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Welcome to 3 Minute Art History. I'm Mead McLean. Today's Lesson: Austin Osman Spare.
As best I can figure, Austin Osman Spare [30 December 1886 - 15 May 1956] was the first
Surrealist. The word didn't really exist when he was starting out, but he was already doing
work that dealt with the same subjects in a similar way. I don't think he gets grouped
with them because he was and is too weird. He started out going to the Royal College
of Art, and his dad submitted a couple of his early works to the Royal Academy Summer
Show, which gave him some early notoriety. At a young age, he met a witch who introduced
him to a personal style of magic, which he developed into Chaos Magic, wherein a practitioner
writes a statement of intent, converts it into a sigil or image, meditates until the
mind silences, then destroys the sigil, forgetting it afterwards.
His most developed images are his Sidereal Portraits. He would take printed images of
celebrities, look at them at an angle, then paint them on this angle. The effect is as
if they were pulled and distorted, yet retain the dimensionality he was able to create with
his academic background. During World War I, he was assigned to draw
images of the battlefields. Having survived that, he came back to the UK, where he lived
a modest to poor existence, keeping open house in his flat and selling drawings for as little
as 2GBP. He published a text called Automatic Drawing
in 1916, but was doing automatic drawings as early as 1900. The technique was either
picked up or discovered independently by the Surrealists a bit later. Andre Breton published
The First Manifesto of Surrealism in 1924, where he mentions automatic writing. The idea
of the technique is to turn off one's conscious mind, allowing the hand to draw freely without
influence. As the marks are made, certain images appear and are then developed into
more polished images or figures. Spare wrote of waking up at nights with his hand moving
over his sketchbook, drawing while asleep, perhaps for hours.
AOS certainly deserves some attention, particularly if you're interested in the Occult, Surrealism,
or Experimental music. He's been an influence on artists such as Throbbing Gristle, Coil,
Psychic TV, Val Denham, and Genesis P. Orridge. My name is Mead McLean, and this has been
3 Minute Art History.


Austin Osman Spare - 3 Minute Art History

212 タグ追加 保存
Joey Chung 2017 年 5 月 17 日 に公開
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