This blog traces my influences, studio practice, learning, and teaching of art.
She was the goddess of women, childbirth, and marriage. Zeus cheated on her constantly. A nymph named Echo had the job of distracting Hera from knowledge of Zeus's escapades. She cursed Echo to only be able to repeat the words of others. Neoclassicissm can be a curse if the repeating of motifs leads only to the past. A painter, R. Ryan said, "Neoclassicism is cheating."
Aw Chaarmin', cunnin' have ya evah. The influence of 1950's cartoons is evident. The way half a cat disappears into another dimension behind a skinny table leg is a classic move. This piece was constructed of wood and plexiglass with screws. It was easy to dismantle and ship. My first gallery solo show was in Basel, Switzerland at the Mario Mainetti Gallery, 1988.
This is a functional table. The cut outs are steel coated with porcelain enamel. That means the metal was coated with frit which is ground glass pigment. Each piece is heated in a kiln so that the the frit melts and is fused to the glass. Kent State University has a large scale enameling kiln. It is one of two in the world. The other is in France. The kiln has a huge conveyor belt which will accept pieces of metal up to about 48" square. This is a wonderful medium for polychrome outdoor sculpture or graffiti proof 2d painting.
For the first niche painting, I mostly got the idea from a dream: I was painting a niche. I found my niche in a dream. The painter George Kozman had been doing architectural perspectives in landscape often with water reflections, so there was his influence. There is also a great painting in the Cleveland Museum of Art. It is not exactly a new idea. However, few artists have strictly followed the trompe l'oeil rules. This is a statue of Mary Magdeline, painted from a photograph. I made a cardboard niche model to study the light sources and shadows. The overlaping transparent shadows are invented.
Who is she? One of Elio Pomare's dancers. I took photos of the troupe rehearsing in their Manhattan studio. I used many different incongruous painting techniques: Pointillist skull cap, heavy impasto tights, op art floor in isometric projection, painterly right hand, photo realistic soft focus face, and gold leaf frame on a cartoon mirror. The legs are placed in an ambiguous position. This is post modernism !
Brooke Alexander visited my studio on spring street and stared at the painting for a long time. He should have given me a show. I should have never sold the painting to Brian Jafee.