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Conrad Jon Godly, a Swiss artist, has an impeccable technique to bring realism into his work by using textured mountain paintings with large globs and swipes of paint. According to art historian and critic Yamashita Yigi, Godly’s mountain paintings are reminiscent of sansui oil paintings, a Chinese-style landscape painting (2). In contrast to sansui oil paintings, Godly’s thick appliance of paint not only creates a two-dimensional painting, but a three-dimensional one as well. The bumps and grooves of the paint create textured surfaces on the canvas. From up close, the painting is merely a painting; but up close, the impressive image of a mountain appears before your eyes.
Born in Davos, Switzerland, Godly studied as a painter at the Basel School of Art from 1982 until 1986. From there, he worked for 18 years as a professional photographer and spent his career capturing the latest fashions for well-known magazines. However, he felt a need for a shift in career and decided to return to his fine art roots, painting. He left his role as a photographer in 2006 to seek solace in the mountains of Chur, Switzerland (1). During his long walks along the Swiss Alps, he took photos with his camera to study the mountainous ranges (3).
According to Godly, the mountains represent power, spirituality, and imperishable magnificence. This contrasted his previous concentration of the transient beauty of the fashion world. To capture the mountains, he employed brushed oils and turpentine into a thick impasto to create physical and perceptual depth in his work. The texture of his strokes created images that mimicked the rocks of the mountains and abstracted landscapes (1).