A Modern Yet Classic Surrealist Artist – The Value Of Anna Chromy
By Leslie Monte R Roundforest
Anna Chromy was born in Bohemia and read in Paris, France at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere under Maurice Mejaz, the former director of the Academie of Beaux-Arts in Caracas. She has showed in Venice’s Biennale plus many art galleries in Europe, like the Salon du Printemps in Paris and the Syra Gallery in Barcelona.
Chromy says of her art:
“I really enjoy the elaborate baroque style of my homeland, which I endeavor to show via the poetic surroundings and the sublimation of realism in my paintings. I choose for subjects living beings, including animals, rather than inanimate or abstract entities which often only tend to add to a lot of our latent doubts and curiosity. The head of a horse, a cat, or a dog can easily expose as much about our emotions as that of a human being.”
Her painting ‘Entanglement’ features the beliefs of the artist with its baroque composition mingled aided by the erotic appearance of bodies enjoying the antics of love and dance. The aluring quality of the work is noticeable in the undulating figures that are, concurrently, real and imaginary. The activity of the lovers gives way to the perspective of their performance in a marriage that is mutually cerebral and personal. Their dance turns into a dance of 4 physiques rather than simply a pas-de-deux. Surrounding these figures, Chromy has created a womb-like setting which encompasses these forms in a textural life of light and shadow.
Chromy’s art examine ideas from natural beauty and compassion to the deepest part of our sub-conscious spirit. ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ is a journey through the absolute depths of our anxieties and our dreams of death. The bare figure of a woman lies diagonally over the picture, her face turned away from us. Adjacent to her is an weightily robed figure, sitting down in thought, whose face is undetectable in deep shadow. He or she feels simultaneously existing and missing, overseeing the female’s destiny yet inaccessible. Behind him drifts the walls of a building, religious in its bristling presence. As a result of Chromy’s unique style of overcoating fresh paint on canvas, it’s possible to discover visions of faces and floating entities in each part of the painting; these types of visions can be construed by the audience in his individual unique way. She has transcended the sensual with the fearful, the recognised with the unfamiliar, to the extent that she has made a steadiness and tranquility throughout the subject theme and its meaning.
Her art challenges yet will never dictate; it seduces but does not envelop. The styles are carefully presented to risk interpretation. The artist never imposes meaning on the viewer; alternatively she permits us to come into the joy of her creations and ideas and to make that world our own. Chromy injects inanimate objects with life and movement and creatures often appear to adopt human sentiments, as in the horses that wander freely throughout her art – contained both in action and intensity of expression.
‘Paris on Stage’ challenges us to begin a symbolic journey through the entirety of our subconscious. Its haunting dream-like quality is enhanced all over again by her technique of adding image upon image. The torso of a girl which dominates the left-hand side of the canvas seems to be both vividly full of life and yet strangely on display, like a Greco Roman sculpture. From behind her gallops a riderless horse, similar to the ‘Lost Jockey’ of Magritte in its dream-like joumey. Below lies the metropolis of Paris, looking similar to the old household of the gods, while in the forefront an abstract image floats just like the fluid imagination and dreams of the subconscious.
Throughout Chromy’s work are interwoven such well known themes as male and female, conception and death, and yet she depicts her subjects in unusual and subtle ways.
“Celebrations are like dreams, occasions of complete liberation. To appear in disguise represents to me a creative act through which I can slip away into another dimension, transforming space and time. It is in this way that we can appear in different guises as diverse and iridescent as our most intimate feelings without having to reveal ourself to others.”
Anna Chromy does not make rough drawings for her paintings. They come in an instant from the spiritual sincerity of her art. Her technique possesses a roughness, a raw beauty not attained via the overpolishing and re-doing of a piece.
Chromy’s own perspective of her art is similar to that of other visionary or surrealist artists in her desire to share with the viewer her distinct world. “Every human being should therefore analyze my pictures like they effect his inner thoughts and not try to study me through my pictures. To see produces inner expression whose awakening of the conscious self distinguishes man from other creatures.”
Leslie Roundforest majored in History of Art at the University of Brighton. She specialised in surrealist artists especially Dali, Miró and Magritte. More recently she has developed an interest in the European surrealist painter and sculpturess, Anna Chromy. She now teaches students on the significance of Chromy’s and other Surrealists’ work and the culture of Europe portrayed in them. For more information see the Anna Chromy website: http://www.annachromy.com