My Influences etc.
I don't have great links, but here are a few artists that I love and you can google them or something.
First, John Waters is one of my greatest influences especially his early work. I really respond to his use of the grotesque and obscene, as well as his blatant references to sex and violence. I think that critiques on these subjects, which in themselves are almost pornographic, lose momentum when the argument is vague, or subtle. The shock value of his work is what gets people to actively respond, which is why I really like his work. http://www.dreamlandnews.com/
Another artist is John Currin, who also works in extremely sexual imagery, but does so with a classical reference. I've always been interested in the line between pornography and art, and why, when its painted its art, but when its a photograph its pornography.
I can't say that Lucian Freud has influenced me but I do like his work. Especially after a grad student in the art history department told me his work was stupid because he didn't paint beautiful women. There is almost an Egon Schiele aspect to his work which is interesting to see in the context of the happy-go-lucky 90's when he was creating a lot of his pieces.
The piece I'm working on for the first assignment is dealing with some death and hell imagery, so if anyone has any suggestions for contemporary artists I'd love to hear them. I've been looking at a lot of bosch, gericault, and pieta scenes, so I would love to get some contemporary influences in it.