Life Models

By Douglas Repetto

ARTISTS’ STUDIOS HAVE TRADITIONALLY been full of reference materials like botanical drawings, medical texts, photographs, catalogs, and images clipped from magazines. Artists use these images as direct models for realistic renderings, but they often provide indirect inspiration as well; patterns in a botanical drawing might end up as abstract gestures in a painting, or shapes from a tool catalog might inspire sculptural forms.

Just as often, reference materials simply set the mood or tone in the studio; being surrounded by meaningful materials is an inspiration in itself. I recently visited the reconstruction of Francis Bacon’s home studio at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, and was overwhelmed by the density ...

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