SOME OF MY ART NEWS:
MY RECENT SOLO SHOWS:
February 1 - 28, 2009 - "Metrimorphic III" featuring new abstract paintings combining biomorphic and geometric elements, Harborfields Library, Greenlawn, NY. Due to time constraints I will not be hosting an Opening Reception for this show.
February 27 - April 12, 2010 - Solo show of new abstract paintings, tentatively titled "The Living Surface," in Huntington, Long Island. Details and Opening Reception date to follow.
****My painting "Bibliophile's Dream" has been featured on the cover of the "Insights" Journal of Austin Seminary.
****My paining "Damariscotta Dream" has been used for the cover of a poetry ... Read More
chapbook published by Dream Horse Press….
****My image "Enchanted Forest" was used by the Sierra Club in their online feature "Daily Ray of Hope"….
****The Yellow Door" has been published in Long Island's "Canvas Magazine."…..
****I was a featured artist at Imagekind in July….
****"PERIPHERAL VISION," a solo show of my abstract acrylic paintings, ran at the Alfred Van Loen Gallery on Long Island through February, 2008....
****Art critic Nicholas Forrest designated me in an article at Saatchi Gallery Magazine as among his "Top Ten" artists to be watched, out of more than 60,000 artists on Saatchi Gallery online....
****Gabriel Chapman published a short article about me at Talent Speaks....
****I had two digital works shown from October 20-November 14, 2007 at D*Arts 2007 Festival, Arthouse Veszprém, Hungary....
****I was invited by jury to the Florence Biennale last December, but did not attend because of the expense....
****Molly Childers interviewed me for her series about creative people on Creativity Portal. You can read it buy going to my "Articles" Page on this site....
****ART WORLD PROJECT will earn money for three children's charities. Seven panels will exhibit over 50,000 art works from around the world. "Flower Songs" will be part of AWP....
****Water Tapestry" was shown in "The Art of Digital Imagery," the Center for Fine Art Photography exhibit in Fort Collins, CO, last July....
****"Co-Existence" received an Award of Excellence at Medial 2 Art Biennial....
****Don Archer of MOCA has posted some of my images in a Guest Gallery. The Museum of Computer Art is one of the most respected computer art museums on the Web....
****You can read my thoughts on creative process, including "Art and Power," in articles at Creativity Portal.
Art, both the making and the viewing of it, encourages us to view the world in new ways, as well as to look into ourselves. A world without art would be intellectually and spiritually barren. Imagination makes all things possible, and art is the most profound outgrowth of the human imagination that is not subservient to external purposes (though of course, there are exceptions). Therefore, even in its all its confusing flux and diversity, art is perhaps the "purest" phenomenon among human endeavors.
For me, the activity of creating art is an affirmation of life, a consciously nurtured jubilation in the miracle of form at all levels of the universe. The interrelationship among forms and organisms reveals itself at every level of nature. Each level of organization, from the atomic to the cellular level, through tissues and organs, and up through the level of organisms and species, is at once a microcosm and a macrocosm to the levels above and below it. I think it is this profound organization and similarity in form and function at every level of nature, this brilliantly-orchestrated unity-in-diversity, that makes natural objects like flowers, seashells and fractals appealing to so many people. It's not strictly the beauty expressed by the object, but also the relationship of its form to the greater "FORM" in nature, to the cosmic "WHOLE," that implies something much more profound and far-reaching than a single moment of beauty. When something refers to eternity, evokes the infinite, we feel inspired, whether or not we tie those feelings to any specific view of God.
Something transcendent happens, in my opinion, when the image of an object, pattern, or scene refers to another form or aspect of nature. A quality of ambiguity or mystery calls up a crossover between forms at different levels of reality. (An example would be a leaf, for instance, rendered in such a way that it resembles tongues of flame as much as a leaf.) It also blurs the line we draw between "organic" and "inorganic," as well as other intellectual distinctions and dichotomies that we use to define (and fragment) our perception of the world. For me, the experience of mystery confers a feeling of elation based on the complex web of interrelationship on this planet and in the universe. Pure joy.
The quality we call "beauty" is inherent in every inch of the visible universe, as well as at levels too small or large to be apparent to the naked eye (i.e. both the microscopic and telescopic levels). So why would I necessarily paint a "picture," a scene with the recognizable and familiar spatial and thematic elements of our everyday world, when I can just as readily, and perhaps with more purity of concentration and perception, find magic in a shred of tree bark or the contour of an ocean wave? The act of painting a recognizable scene is just as limiting to me as it may be exciting to someone else. And the camera, of course, can do the job of realistic portrayal much better than I.
Robert Henri said, "The object of painting a picture is not to make a picture--however unreasonable this may sound. The picture, if a picture results, is a by-product and may be useful, valuable, interesting as a sign of what has passed. The object which is back of every true work of art, is the attainment of a state of being, a state of high functioning, a more than ordinary moment of existence."
A traditional "picture" is content-reliant, representing a single viewpoint at a particular moment in time. In it's beauty or mystery it may imply or evoke universal mysteries, the way Mona Lisa's smile is at once provocative and timeless. But for me, art that confronts the unknown, looks at the non-visible, or explores visual and existential relationships just for the experience of it, is more vital. One sort of art is a rendering, the other a creation.
This is the kind of art I prefer. Representation is best achieved by the camera. For academic purposes, a study may be enlightening. But for me, the term "creation" reaches deeper into the artist's psyche, and deeper into the viewer's psyche to elicit her reaction. Non-representational art allows the artist to break new ground in exploring his/her psyche vis-a-vis the truths of the human experience. The "rendering," on the one hand, is merely pleasing, offering both the artist and the viewer a level of psychic satisfaction. But a "creation" requires the courage to see the subject in a visually exciting and intellectually challenging new way.
When considering the question, "Just what is 'art'?", one is inclined to consider the ideas of form, color, and composition. I think that what makes a work of art singular is not its pretty, pictorial quality. It is it's ability to stand alone as a completeness, a totality that springs with its own life from the page. As long as it displays an internal unity, it could be anything! This is where the artist's unique personal vision comes in. While form, color, and texture are the most obvious external aspects of an object or scene to be considered, it is the individual artist's treatment of all three that makes the final differentiation as to mood and essence, the particular interpretation of that subject. One might render the same vase 20 times, but which rendering most aptly expresses the vase's essence?
I am drawn to the ambiguous and open-ended subject, more than to the recognizable and time-bound. One involves a dedication and obedience to existing detail; the other, a willingness to nurture new ways of seeing. One involves the safety of known parameters, taking refuge in the familiar, while the other takes risks. Representational art celebrates empiric reality i.e. what IS, while abstract art celebrates what MIGHT be, as well. One engages the recognition of the viewer, the other challenges perception. To me, this is the more active and exciting pursuit. Such works do not signify a departure from nature, but rather a synthesis of elements drawn from nature. While they may draw heavily on the seemingly random or accidental arrangements of form and content that abound in nature, a magnificent unity underpins the "accidental."
To me, it's more fun to see "what isn't" than to see "what is." I can see "what is," every day of my life. The fun of abstract and non-objective art is that it engages imagination as well as arresting perception. It's a visual syntax with it's own imperatives. I enjoy contemplating where my eye enters a piece, how it moves through the composition, experiencing the structure and nuances as one would savor a sentence that is poetically wrought. A standard "picture" refers to the conventional space of everyday life: one moment in time, contained in a rectangular space. How limiting! The relationships that exist in nature between repetitions of form and function from the cellular level on up, contradict the limits of having just four traditionally-defined dimensions.
WHY DOES BEAUTY EXIST?
For years I have been asking myself: "Just why is there beauty in the world at all?" Our need as a species to groom, to acquire, to procreate, to hunt and gather, to stake out territory, all come from the survival imperative that has impelled us through the ages. But in addition to these more obvious needs of the human condition, there is a universal recognition, pursuit, and enjoyment of what we call "beauty." Though the apperception of beauty varies according to time, culture and temperament, it nevertheless is pervasive and universal. Whether there exits an objective validation or proof for the idea of beauty matters not, for if the perception of beauty is universally wired into our senses and intrinsic to the human mind, it exists as powerfully as if it had an objective life outside of us. The effect is the same: a compelling and powerful moment of arrested perception that illuminates our thoughts and impressions with an image, either natural or manmade, that moves us inexplicably.
I wonder if our "biologically unnecessary" recognition of beauty means that we were programmed to aspire towards the transcendent, the logical outgrowth of which is a belief in a higher power, rather than for mere survival. Though I do not believe in the generally divisive structures of organized religion, I believe our universal recognition and pursuit of beauty and our proclivity for wonder, so thoroughly programmed into the species, offer proof of the existence of God. How could magnificence be so universal and compelling, if not by design? Why would it exist, by virtue of evolution or any other force, if not to inspire us to recognize the higher values implicit in the idea of "Deity"?
The dynamic and difficult balance between inspiration and technique, passion and restraint, is the yin and yang of art. This dichotomy reflects the "Grand Paradox" that is evident at every level of our existence. That is why abstraction resonates with me, more than a realistic work that portrays a finite moment in time-space. A work that evokes ambiguity and mystery and is open to interpretation on multiple levels of perception is for me, more alluring and true. The painting or poem becomes a resolution of this yin and yang, this tension between passion and restraint, between "what-is" and "what-isn't." The finished piece offers a new visual, intellectual, and spiritual moment, a ripple in a shifting paradigm. In the long run, it may become a small wave in the groundswell of hope. Art has the power to transform our world.
February 1 - 28, 2009 - Metripmorphic III - Solo show of my latest Abstract Expressionist paintings, combining geometric and biomorphic forms. All acrylic on canvas, at Harborfields Library, Greenlawn, NY. Due to time constraints I will not be hosting an Opening Reception.
February 9 - March 6, 2008 - PERIPHERAL VISION - Solo show of acrylic paintings at the Alfred Van Loen Gallery, South Huntington, New York.
December, 2007 - Invited by jury to Florence Biennale.
October-November, 2007 - D'Arts 2007 Festival, Arthouse Veszprém, Hungary - Digital Arts Show
July, 2007 - The Art of Digital Photography, Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO
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