Inspiration trip: Reina Sofia, Madrid

Inspiration can come from any corner of the world and can surprise you as it creeps up when you least expect it. Often this is more impractical than it is magical, as I can’t just start drawing or carving any time, any place. I have a little notepad on my phone where I try to store these random ideas and inspirations, but unfortunately most still go lost, as I’m not the kind of person that is glued to her phone. By the time I’ve found the bloody thing, the idea has gone and I’m left hoping it will return at a more convenient time. It hardly ever does. 

Obviously museums and art are a big inspiration for me. I rarely visit any museum at home, although we have some great ones in Belgium. It is a set stop on holiday though. In July 2019 I visited Madrid for a few days and we went to the Reina Sofia Museum. There I (re)discovered some great art and artists. They showcase mostly art from after the Second World War, which suits me as I’m more drawn to modern art as to the classical masters. I can admire great painters of the past for their technical skills, but I keep thinking it’s just pretty pictures of people and there are so many of them! A lot of people react to modern art with ‘even I can make that’ attitude. First of all, that’s not true: if you react like that you obviously lack the imagination to make these things. Second of all: I get it, technically you probably could. But I love the fact that it focuses on the idea behind the art and the representation of an idea in the real world, more than the skillful execution of a portrait, however much symbolism is embedded in it.
Some names that stuck with me after my visit to Reina Sofia: The triadic Ballet of Schlemmer, Pol Bury, Kandinsky, Alechinsky, Louise Bourgeois and there was an interesting temporary exhibition of Henrik Olesen. I know some of these names are pretty famous and masters in their own right, but for me there is a clear difference in their approach to art as say Rubens, Brueghel or Velazquez. It makes me feel the feelings instead of seeing the things. Obviously this is a very personal experience and my point of view does not make yours less valuable.