Welcome to AllArtWorks Featured Artist Series!
1. What other profession is similar to being an artist and why?
I think everyone is born with a creative impetus. That is, the propensity to realize themselves. But many people give up along the way or succumb to oversocialization. Retaining that artistic spirit is important in self-discovery as the artist reveals the extent he knows the self through their work. But any area of endeavor can be artist. A surgeon is an artist whose medium is the flesh. The body builder sees his physiology as an art form. Michelangelo said architecture was the greatest of the arts due to its utilitarian function. I once had an electrician do an extension rewiring of a party barn and he referred to himself as the Michelangelo of conduit. Actors, writers, musicians are all artists as are teachers, engineers, bricklayers - anyone who strives to express both a personal and professional aesthetic in their work.
2. What’s the nicest thing you can remember someone said about your work, or an individual piece?
"Stunning." "Amazing." "Few people reach that level of personal expression." "Highly original." "I love the colors and the depth." "That painting speaks to me." "Beautiful." And many more. You can read lots of quotes on my facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/banning.k.lary
3. What’s one thing you’d like everyone to know about you as an artist?
As an angry young man I found painting to be a positive way to wrestle with myself when I was trying to make sense of the world. A big blank canvas is a wonderful therapist you can pour your heart and soul onto which can help one to heal.
4. What was the last piece of art that you saw that blew you away?
I see paintings every day on line various artist groups that captivate and inspire me, especially works of the French Impressionists and more recently the Russian Impressionists. I appreciate and respect those painters who are expert draftsmen and paint realism. But, to me, breaking the mold and expressing your unique vision tops anything. Van Gogh, Munch, DeKooning, Renoir, Cezanne, Gauguin... these are my brothers and my teachers. But I have seen some recent kinetic sculptures incorporating visual art with light and mechanical action that are extraordinary and beyond my capability.
5. What’s something you haven’t done but you want to do in art/painting?
The next painting, whatever that is.
It's tough being forced into a box where they are the only options. But I'll be a good sport and play... Ingres was a Neoclassical French painter who worked at the pleasure of the ruling class and painted a lot of stiff portraits and posed nudes before he was recognized and earned commissions doing historical renderings. You have to admire his training, dedication to tradition and technique, although dated by today's attitude that anything and everything coexists simultaneously. Ingres was credited by artists such as Picasso as inspiration into what is known as "Modern Art." Delacroix was a rival of Ingres and more of a Romanticist. His style was looser and less defined, leaning toward abstraction at the periphery. You can feel the passion and energy in his paintings, where Ingres is more ho-hum. His painting "Liberty Leading the People" spoke to the French Revolution and who can deny its power and beauty. His canvases were full of action at the edge of danger while Ingres' people seem sedated and almost bored. I like Delacroix better, but respect them both for what they achieved.
*The reason we ask about Delacroix and Ingres is because they were contemporaries with wildly different styles!