I have a real bugbear when people spell my real name incorrectly. Generally they miss out an e, which I find amazing as it is usually in an email, where they have had to spell my name correctly to get the email to me in the first place. My name isn’t difficult, it’s also at the bottom of every email I send, so this demonstrates a lack of attention to detail and a lack of respect in my book. Petty I know, but it is a real pet peeve for me. I may have mentioned once or twice that I am a huge fan of surrealism. Dali is one of my favourites, which is why I shy away from writing about it as I could just fill this site with his art work, I would love it, but it wouldn’t demonstrate the many varied genres and that would be a shame. What does get to me, is when people see a painting and automatically assume that it has been painted by Dali, simply because the style appears similar. It demonstrates a lack of respect to the artist who painted it, and to the artist that they are attributing the painting too, especially in this age when google if pretty much forever in your hand, and a very quick search would find the real artist. Much like the misspelling of my name, its missing the detail, and in this case a really integral one.
This picture by Vladimir Kush, I have seen attributed to Dali, maybe 100 times over. Yes, while it is a little similar to his style, it stands out like a sore thumb when put amongst his other works. The colour pallet is incorrect and the symbolism a little too simplistic and optimistic to be Dali. This said, it is a nice demonstration of surrealism portraying a story.
Kush is a Russian born artist and sculptor. He studied at the Surikov Moscow Art Institution, before emigrating to the USA, he finally established his own art gallery in Maui. His art works are sold as digital prints which has assisted his popularity and led to establishing further galleries in California and Nevada. Kush won first prize at the artists of the world international exhibition in 2011.
Kush’s original works are created as oil on canvas for the most part, and then limited edition digital prints on canvas are created.
The “Arrival of the flower ship”, shows a boat with gladioli for sails, petals from the flowers are strewn across the surface of the water, as what appear to be native people use the petals to approach the ship. On the front bank more natives welcome the ship to shore with palm leaves. The pink hue of the flowers radiate against the clouds in the background.
This painting depicts one of the most famous botanical ventures in history, and a well known mutiny. The HMS Bounty left England in 1787 on a mission to collect and transport breadfruit plants from Tahiti to the West Indies. The crew had a five month lay over in Tahiti, where they formed relations with the Polynesians who lived there. This in turn, made relationship between the crew and captain deteriorate to the point where acting Lieutenant Christian a disaffected crew seized the ship from Captain Lieutenant Bligh, setting him and 18 of the loyal crew members adrift in the launch. The mutineers settled in Tahiti and the surrounding islands deeming it a paradise on earth, while Bligh completed a 3500 nautical mile journey in the launch back to the safety of England. The Royal Admiralty then dispatched the HMS Pandora to capture the mutineers, this had its own challenges and only successfully found 14 of the crew; the ship turning back to England then ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, losing 31 crew members and 4 of the prisoners. When the remaining people aboard finally made it back to England in 1792, all 10 detainees were court-martialled, 4 where then acquitted, 3 pardoned and 3 were hanged. You have most likely at least heard of the book/film “Mutiny on the Bounty” which follows this strife ridden piece of history.
What makes this painting very different from something Dali would have produced, is the feel of complete optimism. Dali, had he have decided to create a picture depicting this mutiny would have no doubt of had some indication of the mutiny and some form of indication of the conflict that happened, where as Kush’s painting really feels much more peaceful and delightful as the ship with its beautiful floral sails passes by the paradise of the Polynesian islands. I think that this really only shows the reaction that the men would have felt seeing these beautiful islands and the reactions of the native people as they arrived.
The pallet used by Kush is bright and clear colours, which give the painting a feeling of something new and unexplored, the ship is gleaming white – not a ship that you would thinks off crossing the seas to reach this place, accentuating the feeling of something new, as the clouds behind it sweep upwards towards the heavens, giving an almost holy sky.
I do question the use of the gladioli as sails in this though, why not use the breadfruit plant flowers? This is a question I can’t personally answer, but I will take a guess at the artist used this plant because of the symmetry in the plant structure rather than that of the breadfruit plant which is less uniform.
What do you think of this painting? Why not tell me in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?