artist profiles

Profiles: Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

So far the Creep Machine has featured mainly contemporary art, but when I’m not looking for more current art to share I am researching classical art. Most of the work does not fit with the direction of the site, but some of it does, such as the work of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt a German-Austrian sculptor during the 18th century. He was once assistant professor of sculpture at the Imperial Academy of Vienna, but was passed over for the Chair of the department due to what they called “confusion in the head”, delusions and hallucinations. Due to what some believe to be Crohn’s disease, Messerschmidt alleviated the pain by punching himself. He then used himself as a template to create what he called the “canonical grimaces.” For the full story head on over to John Coulthart’s blog. I like how this classically trained artist created what most people would not consider classical art created hundreds of years ago.

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