Why is there so much movement in this painting?

Ms. HaikuMs. Haiku Washington DC Posts: 7,234
I saw this painting at the Philips Collection in DC. I bought a little postcard of it, and it still amazes me. There is so much movement in it. I'm trying to figure out why. Is it because of the lines or the placement of light. What do you think it is?

John Biggers, Kumasi Market.

It can be viewed at https://catalogue.swanngalleries.com/Lots/auction-lot/JOHN-BIGGERS-(1924---2001)-Kumasi-Market?saleno=2390&lotNo=3&refNo=703536

There is no such thing as leftover pizza. There is now pizza and later pizza. - anonymous
The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math - The Mincing Mockingbird

Comments

  • justamjustam Posts: 21,392
    I think it looks active partially because of the big woven hats.  It almost feels like they are slightly moving the way they would if we saw them in real life.
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  • Ms. HaikuMs. Haiku Washington DC Posts: 7,234
    edited January 25
    That is very interesting, justam! I looked at it differently when I focused on the hats. I realized that the people/hats are written in angles, as if all hats in one area veer to the right, and on the other side of the painting all hats veer to the left. And, then I saw that the approach works with people. As if the focus of the painting is created using different triangles or arrows to direct the attention. Wow!
    Post edited by Ms. Haiku on
    There is no such thing as leftover pizza. There is now pizza and later pizza. - anonymous
    The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math - The Mincing Mockingbird
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