Winnipeg artist, Karel Funk’s paintings are untitled. The kids I take on tours of his current exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery like that because they get to make up their own names for his paintings.
The first thing the kids always ask me is if I’m sure the paintings aren’t photographs. The images look so real they are certain they must be photos taken with a camera.
Once I’ve convinced them the images are really paintings they want to know how long it took Karel Funk to make them. I tell them that one painting can sometimes take him months to create.
Kids will stand for a long time in front of some paintings, like this one, looking at all the tiny hairs painted individually to make up the furry hood. They are intrigued by the character’s nose ring.
They note the eyelashes on the people in the paintings and like the shadows on the faces.
Even though some paintings don’t show a person’s face at all the kids will tell me they know whether the person in the jacket is sad or happy or worried or scared. They say they know just by looking at them and reading their body language.
On Tuesday one boy remarked that the men and women in the exhibit looked like sad or lonely people you might see on the train or bus. He was delighted when I praised his intuition by telling him Karel Funk was inspired to do some of the work in the exhibit after observing the lack of intimacy and sense of isolation between passengers on the subways of New York when he lived there.
The children I take on tours of Karel Funk’s work at the Winnipeg Art Gallery are fascinated by it. I’m sure you will be too.
Other posts about current exhibits at the Winnipeg Art Gallery……..