Samy Charnine was born in Nice on the French Riviera and immigrated to America in 1983. In his secluded life he has devoted his time towards creating inspiring work relating to historical pigments. Charnine has taken great influence from the Masters as well as surrealists, helping him to adopt his own style. The work is realistic in terms of technique but far from a realistic depiction of the world; the technique dates from the Renaissance, and this evokes an emotional response from the viewer as they explore his creative form.
Surrealism is a cultural movement which began in the early 1920s. It gives an opportunity for artists to add elements of surprise, emphasis and unexpected juxtapositions. Charnine uses surrealism effectively which sparked an interest for developing my project. Charnine stands out from previous artists I have studied due to the style and nature of the work, however it still fits in with the theme of environment, particularly people in their environment.
Charnine leaves no descriptions with his work, leaving the viewer to make their own understanding. There is a recurring theme shown through the use of fish, space, and water, natural elements which all relate to environments. When moving to the United States, Charnine decided to live his life away from the rest of the world and this had a great impact on his work. I interpret that Charnine is quite an inquisitive person; this is suggested through his art where something is being revealed beneath another scene.
He uses fine delicate brush strokes which form a smooth consistent texture. The work is never particularly large; this highlights how critical the technique is. I would have thought that with what Charnine is presenting, he would want to paint it so large that the canvas stands out in a room, but this is not the case. There is a bright and colourful use of oil used throughout. The use of colour compliments the striking illustrations Charnine presents, it is bold and not what the eyes are accustomed to seeing. It is almost like he is depicting a dream, this is supported by the blue dreamy skies.
Here are my favourite pieces by Charnine:
Almost Time, oil on canvas, 8 x10 inches (Shown in top right corner)
There is a layered effect with this work, with the idea that beneath the blue daylight skies is a dark starry night. The portrait shows quite a romanticised version of reality, presenting beautiful landscapes, almost like a dream. This proposes the idea that the mind escapes into a universe which shows a real life situation but not in a way that is physically possible. It is an imaginary environment.
The Sea Inside, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches (Shown on bottom left)
It is not your ordinary portrait; the fish are floating outside the bowl in the air whilst the woman is sat inside the fishbowl looking at the sea. Nothing about this piece really makes sense; I find it all rather intangible.
The composition is evenly distributed, with the majority of the work painted symmetrically. This demonstrates a thoughtful execution that is purely brilliant. The use of dark space creates an eerie peculiar atmosphere which influences the feeling of emptiness for me. The painting makes me feel neutral; I do not feel happy or sad. It makes me think about my imagination, and what kind of environments I could picture in my mind. If I were to create something like this, using the influence of surrealism, I would paint a place I find stunning or a place that means something to me, and then this could be supplemented by a beautiful blue sky.