Views #996 | Intermediate 5

Yve's Reflections

Yuri is an artist from Italy. He talks about his art.
Shirley: And as we've been looking at your art, you've told me that this painting is one of your favorites. When did you actually paint this Yve's Reflection?

Yuri: Right, it was about in 2001. At the time I was in a gallery. There was a fantastic exhibition by a French painter, surrealist, dead now. Yve Tanguy, and I was really impressed by his art and I basically left the show, I ran back home, and I start to paint this painting. I couldn't stop and it's fantastic.

Shirley: So, what did you actually paint this on then?

Yuri: Well, I actually find on the street a cupboard and I took the door out. I prepare it and I painted on this.

Shirley: So this is like painting on the door of a bedroom cupboard

Yuri: Yep.

Shirley: Wow! I love the frame.

Yuri: Yeah, it's a natural frame, so.

Shirley: And can you tell me a bit about the painting then? Who is Yve Tanguy? How did he inspire you to paint this kind of image?

Yuri: So, if Tanguy is a French surrealist. It was fantastic. It was called one of the fathers of surrealists, and I went to visit one of his galleries and there were so many paintings. There was one better than the other, and that day I ran back home to my studio and I painted this.

Shirley: OK, looking through your paintings. They're all so colorful, can you tell me where you get the inspiration?

Yuri: I don't know. I think that I like the colors. So from nature, if you really look, also if you look in the little garden there are hundreds of different colors so beautiful and striking, and I think I try to put this one, this beautiful, this magic in my own work.

Shirley: Do you ever do any kind of dark paintings? I mean dark colors and moody kind of feeling?

Yuri: Sometimes. When I do some abstract, maybe I just put my feeling. I just grab a tin of paint and I put it on and just check what has come out.

Shirley: Because just looking at your paintings and the kind of character, you seem a very lively person and I think that comes out in all these colors.

Yuri: I hope it is.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson

take (something) out


I found a cupboard on the street and I took the door out.

Here, ‘take the door out’ means to remove the door from the cupboard. Notice the following.

  1. Last week my computer crashed so I took the main-board out and replaced it.
  2. When I edit my writing, I usually start by taking out all unnecessary words.

the fathers of surrealists


He was called one of the fathers of surrealists.

When we talk about ‘the father of ‘something, it usually means the person who started it or made the greatest contribution. Here are two samples.

  1. Louis Armstrong inspired millions and is the true father of jazz.
  2. Sigmund Freud is often referred to as the father of modern psychology.

better than


There was one better than the other.

We usually hear this idiom spoken as ‘each was better than the last’. In this conversation, each new painting Yuri saw was more interesting than the one before. Notice the samples.

  1. I love U2. For me, each CD is better than the last.
  2. I could never judge a Miss Universe Pageant. Each contestant looks more beautiful than the last.

look through


Looking through your paintings, they’re all so colorful.

When we ‘look through’ a collection of things, we look at everything at one time. Here are some samples.

  1. She looked through her wardrobe, but couldn’t find anything to wear.
  2. When my wife and I looked through our old wedding photos, we laughed at how thin we were.

dark paintings


Do you have any kind of dark paintings?

A 'dark' painting, movie, or book makes us feel sad or serious. Notice the sample sentences.

  1. After his dog died, it was a dark time in the young boy’s life.
  2. I find dark movies much more interesting than action movies or comedies.

Vocabulary Quiz

take it out • the father of • better than
look through • dark
  1. Do you want to my movies and see if there is anything you want to borrow?
  2. I liked the movie, but my mom thought it was a bit .
  3. If the CD is skipping you should and clean it.
  4. Each year she looks the year before.
  5. Who do you consider pop music?
Answer the following questions about the interview.


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