Max Ernst

The artist of the painting I chose is called Max Ernst. Max Ernst was a German born painter; he was born in 1891 and passed away 85 years later. The painting I chose was called “Celebes” and was painted in 1921. Max Ernst painted most of his paintings on canvas and this was no exception. The name Celebes came from a German children’s nursery rhyme.

First look of the painting, it looks like a gigantic mechanical monster, which of course it is, but this mechanical monster has a meaning and a background to it. The mechanical monster originally was a Sudanese Corn-Bin, which Ernst has transferred into a sinister mechanical monster.

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Ernst often re-used found images and either added or removed elements to manipulate and to create new realities to the picture. This picture seems to me that he has taken the idea of transferring a Sudanese corn-Bin into a monster but then changed the background and added images either that he has had before or they are from scratch.

That was some history on Max Ernst and the origin of the painting, now I’m going to discuss, why I chose the painting, and what I like and dislike.

I am going to answer a lot of questions here are some that I will answer in the document.

o What the picture is about?

o Why has it been painted?

o What I liked about it?

o What I disliked about it?

The first part of the painting that I liked was that the painting isn’t serious; by this I mean that that the cartoon side comes out. The artist hasn’t had to concentrate and be serious as if he would if he was doing a portrait, he can experiment. Also it’s easy for me to appeal to the cartoon side of the painting. I could also from the picture tell what the image was except that it was a Sudanese Corn-Bin! This image appealed to me from across the room. I like the way that the whole picture is focused around this main image of a monster like elephant. I couldn’t understand why the headless female figure was there though, this added to my liking of the painting, why would you have an image of that? Well it adds to the picture by creating a sort of dream land, a headless woman would be something you would likely see in a dream land, not in reality, also this would coincide with the theory of the name of the painting coming from a children’s nursery rhyme, because they usually have weird animals or humans within them.

Max Ernst has also brought out the nastiness of the monster in his eyes.

I like the way he has done this; just by darkening the colour and the way the kind of like eyebrows are narrowed to an angle that he is looking downwards.

This painting is made all the ore disturbing knowing that that artist has created this monster from the real world. The colour adds to this painting dramatically, and I

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liked this really well, the dark greens and blacks, give it that monster feeling. The contrast in colours between the monster and the headless figure is awesome; the headless figure stands out so much.

My favourite part of the painting overall was the monster. This was the first par t of the picture I liked, this is probably mainly to the fact that I could understand what it was, compared to some of the paintings in the gallery, where there was no real reason of why the painting was done and what the paining was of.

There are not many parts of the painting that I don’t like but there are a few. The component of the paining that keeps on bugging me is the stick like creature on the side of the painting to the right.

o Why is the creature there?

o What is the painting of?

o What effect does it give?

o What does it add to the picture?

These are the questions I’m trying to answer, but I can’t find any logical answer. This is why I don’t like this part of the painting because I cant understand why it is there. There is also another part of the painting that I don’t understand why it is there. It is a part of the sky. There is like a flying eel, I gather that this is a part of the dreamland, but surely this is going over the top.

Another part, which has no logic at all, is the pencil at the bottom of the elephant like monster. This I think is suppost to show the size of the monster to show how big it actually is, compared to a small pencil.

Overall the painting has a dreamland feel to it, and this is what I like about it. I suppose its because I’m a kid really, and find it easier to understand cartoon painting instead of portraits.