Like the Surrealists he admired, and his fellow Abstract Expressionists, William Baziotes (1912 – 1963) was fascinated by the power of myth. Here, the title The Flesh Eaters (1952) and its imagery suggest the story of the Cyclops, the one-eyed giant who devoured Odysseus’s sailors in Homer’s epic poem. In this ambitious work, Baziotes applied layer upon layer of oil paint and rubbed it into the canvas to create a shimmering, opalescent surface that evokes an underwater world inhabited by undulating, biomorphic forms. Characteristically, the artist combined menacing forms with luminous colors to create a paradoxical work that is both repulsive and compelling.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.