Red, white and blue

“The most fundamental reason one paints is in order to see…”

Brett Whiteley

Brett Whiteley has deeply fascinated me. Whiteley has it all – enormous output, drawing, painting and sculpture, rock star public status, a wild private life and a serious drug addiction. Self Portrait in the Studio, which can be found in Sydney, is a showstopper. The connection to Matisse’s Red Studio is obvious. The overwhelming primary colour, the flattened perspective and the room full of the artist’s work are all there. Also present is the sense of reflection (quite literally with Whiteley) almost to the point of being trapped or imprisoned. Whiteley was strongly influenced by Matisse, most obviously in his drawings, and here we see a powerful example in paint. A reflective, almost menacing spirit is present in both works. These paintings represent the desire to take stock and analyse the circumstances of a life. Both of these rooms are bright and colourful – but are they comfortable places? #checkoutthewhiteleystudio #letsmakelemonade

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