Today’s #teacher5aday #sketch is to share a favourite work of art.
When I was young I was taken a couple of times to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. I returned for a few occasions on dates in my teenage years thinking I would impress (I never did). As a teacher, I have taken classes there numerous times.
As a child, I lacked the type of imaginative brain to really engage with some of the famous paintings owned by my city (it’s a great place for fans of the pre-Raphaelites). With such limitations, I was predictably taken (and I still am) by a piece of photorealism because there is no interpretation needed just an appreciation of what strikes me as remarkable skill. Today, I still make a beeline for the painting, which seems to always be on display, and stand there and think the same thought I did as a child: “How is that not a photo?”
I grew to like the painting more when I researched the artist. John Salt grew up in Birmingham and his dad was a mechanic. Salt went to study at Birmingham’s Municipal Art School. The painting also speaks to a time when Birmingham’s civic pride was expressed in a whole range of institutions that offered both celebration and optimism to a city dominated by heavy industry. Salt studied art and moved to America where he became part of the pop art movement and early pioneer of photorealism. His work formed the first ever exhibition in Birmingham’s Modern Art Gallery, The Ikon.