Empathicism – Painting Outside the Lines

Looking at paintings by the masters of old, you can’t help but see how their style and impact has echoed through the ages.  The strokes, subjects and execution shown in their bodies of work created inspirational principles that artists have carried and passed for hundreds of years.

From various times, movements and styles, painters have been immortalized through their transference of the passion they feel in their lives; The pain and anguish of Van Gogh’s psychosis bleeds onto the canvas, forming bright and heavy color swirls of movement and life, giving the viewer the power and passion (and perhaps even joy) required to appreciate his “Wheat Field with Crows.”   With “Empathicism,” creator LORD TOPH imbues traces of his predecessors through visceral depictions of emotion that lays claim to a new style, by paying attention to the styles before it.

Style is usually depicted with a tangibly evident formula.  Much like a martial art, there is movement, formation, philosophy, execution, and even an expected range of outcome.  Empathicism began with the combination of various styles (expressionism, impressionism, abstraction, to name a few), culminating in each style supporting the framework in the philosophy of its visual empathy; to convey specific emotions to the viewer, every time.  As we all feel the same emotions, the same emotion can affect each person differently.  Empathicism allows for the potency of other styles to reflect visual emotion, as multiple feelings can be experienced from one depicted emotion, as well as its inherited styles.

Abraham's Anguish

Abraham’s Anguish

Take for instance LORD TOPH’s painting, “Abraham’s Anguish,” the first painting of the “Expressions of Empathy” series, and the first painting of Empathicism.  This painting portrays a man named Abraham (no direct connection to the biblical Abraham) who is personified by his own tormenting anguish.  Monochromatic colors of blue, purple and green swirl and surround Abraham, whose face encompasses almost the entire painting.  Before I get any more descriptive into the underlying context and the all out formula of the painting (and I can) it is most important for me to accredit this work to another poignant piece in artistic foundation; Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Edvard Munch’s creation of “The Scream” came from his evening walk on a bridge overlooking Oslofjord, Norway.  According to Munch himself, he was walking with his friends, when he stopped to witness what he heard was “Nature’s Scream.”. The now painting shows the blood red sunset covering the skyline, depicting the bloodshed of nature and the ominous figure (perhaps a personification of Munch himself or Nature) in complete and utter fear and agony – a tell-tale sign of Empathicism indeed.

LORD TOPH’s “Abraham’s Anguish” was not directly influenced by “The Scream.” Yet, like Munch, LORD TOPH concentrates on various styles, influences and emotion to convey a specific emotion that encompasses both the painting and the viewer.  Both paintings carry an abstraction in execution to exemplify the potency of emotion.  Both paintings show the subject in distress and anguish, giving a human perspective that directly connects us with the paining.  Both paintings also use a color application that psychologically articulates the mood and tone of their worlds.  So why would “Abraham’s Anguish” not simply be a form of Expressionist painting, such as Munch’s “The Scream?”

Keep in mind, Munch didn’t initially create “The Scream” as a precursor or even a starting point for Expressionism.  He was a powerful enough painter and individual to portray life devoid of the lines and boundaries that we use to describe it.  Through the power of emotion, color, and human relation, a foundation for artistic connection was born, separated from reality.  LORD TOPH’s founding of Empathicism creates artistic freedom specified by emotion and communicative direction.  If you see aspects of Expressionism, impressionism, Kandinsky, Klimt, or even Munch, any and all aspects serve to tell the underlying story of emotion.  It may be the “Style of no Style” philosophy, of simply LORD TOPH’s unconscious deliberation of the masters before him.

And if so, I don’t think they would mind – what would be the point of their legacy, if they did?