I couldn’t resist chosing this Benton painting with it’s black and white bathing suits for this week’s Art Inspired Fashion post. Painted in 1922 a decade before he broke into the mainstream with his controversial mural of the Ku Klux Klan, this self-portrait of painter Thomas Hart Benton with his wife Rita in Martha’s Vineyard, now hangs at The Smithonian Institution. For Benton, summers in Martha’s Vineyard allowed him to turn away from the European influence of modernist abstraction and create his own representational style.
In the 30s Benton become America’s foremost Regionalist painter, a movement that romanticized local and small town american themes–his work graced the cover of Time Magazine and he was commissioned to paint murals for the Whitney and other significant museums. Benton also taught art to many students who went on to become famous in their own right, including Jackson Pollock, who said Benton’s traditional teaching gave him something to rebel against.
Are you indulging in this summer’s top Black and White trend?
If so, what are your go-to black and white pieces?
- Goddess Malliot: House of Fraser
- Southsea Starfish earrings & Seahorse Necklace: MaryJoMatsumoto.com ~ also available at Grand Jewels at the Grand Wailea in Maui
- Salt Creek Tote and Mini-Wallet: MaryJoMatsumoto.com
- Valentino flipflop
- Pucci beach towel
- Chloe triangle string bikini