A day off school because of Yom Kippur gave us time to continue our History of Art project. Given the Jewish holiday, it was an apt coincidence that the next subject for study was Marc Chagall, an artist whose Jewish identify and culture featured prominently in his artwork. We discussed Modernism and the way that Chagall adopted elements from earlier art movements and from folk culture. We then looked at some of his most famous works, including The Village, Circus Horse, Fiddler on the Roof and Over the Town.
The boys were all unanimously inspired most by Fiddler on the Roof. I can see why since it is such a strong image and also so quirky. My 12 year old obviously produced a Minecraft homage with the fiddle replaced by a bow of a different kind; my 9 year old decided to take the fiddler from the shetl to skyscrapers which was an interesting idea; my 6 year old also opted for skyscrapers and drew one figure standing on the roof and one floating in the sky because he was also inspired by Over the Town; just as biggest brother is obsessed with Minecraft, so his little brothers are obsessed with superheroes and comic books and so my 8 year old produced a version of Fiddler on the Roof that in no way resembled the Chagall original as he mashed it up with the old 1960s Batman show where Batman and Robin would scale the side of a building and a guest star would lean out of the window.
I made a few leaps with my Chagall inspired art journal page too. I was inspired by the dreamscape quality of many of Chagall’s paintings so I decided to draw a recurring dream I have had since early childhood. The dream context has varied over the decades but essentially it involves being chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. When I was wee, it was definitely a nightmare. I would dream of a T-Rex chasing me around the school playground, almost catching me, sometimes munching other children but never quite managing to catch me. As I got older, however, the T-Rex just became a nuisance. I would be dreaming of something else entirely and then he would show up and disrupt my dream. His behaviour calmed over the years too, behaving more like an excited dog than a ferocious reptile. These days when he randomly appears in my dreams I just think to myself, “Not you again”. It’s that latter thought that is the basis for my journal page, me looking up at the dinosaur with resigned frustration. It’s just an ink line drawing as that is all I had time for but I may add colour to it at some stage.
You can see my Chagall Bunny over on my art blog.