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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Boxelder Week, Day 3: Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) (Flash site here) is practically synonymous with fin de siecle arts, though I like to point out that he was working at the fin of the *last* siecle; we have just lived through another one, so the phrase could use some disambiguation. Klimt was accomplished in portraiture and eroticism, but it is his backgrounds that are most often reproduced in textiles: expanses of canvas (or stucco) packed with patchworks of off-kilter, multicolored rectangles, trees with myriad spiral branches, brilliant jewels with organic forms (or vice versa, flowers made of gems), mystical symbols (lots of eyes in pyramids), flowing waves and tresses, glowing scales, everything suffused with the brilliance of gold. Printed on this tie are background patterns from Klimt's 1907 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer; the gold tones of the original have been transmuted to blues in this colorway. The spirals are too fine to show up in the picture at right, but if you click through to the large version you can see a hint of them. A couple of Boxelder's other Klimt neckties can be seen here; note how they deal only with the backgrounds, as opposed to the Ralph Marlin approach of reproducing the central subject. I have several other Klimt-inspired neckties, which will appear on the blog in due course.

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