James Ensor

I’ve been trying to expand my knowledge of artists beyond my usual favourites and found a book on the Belgian artist James Ensor in a discount bookstore.  He died on this date in 1949 which is amazing when you look at how contemporary his work is, his paintings are grossly distorted and just damn right bizarre so its isn’t surprising that he was such a great influence on a whole host of twentieth century artists and art movements.

Born James Sidney Edouard, Baron Ensor on 13 April 1860 actually spent most his life in Ostend which is surprising that someone who stayed living in such a comfort zone could push the boundaries of his own art so much.

Apparently some of his bizarre works were inspired by the grotesque masks his mother sold in her gift shop at Carnival time and you can see the carnival and macabre coming through in his figures and compositions.  If you haven’t checked out his work definitely worth a quick google.