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Posts Tagged ‘Sibelius’

There is an exhibit currently hanging at the Rockwell Museum in Corning of photos from photographer Yousuf Karsh, who had an incredible ability to capture the essence of his subjects. Many of his shots of the celebrated figures of the 20th century are the best known images of those folks. I saw an exhibit of his work years ago and was really inspired by it. It played directly into a piece from my Exiles series at the time that I wrote about here back in 2008 that I am sharing again below.

The Karsh exhibit at the Rockwell Museum in Corning hangs until May 5.

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Blue GuitarThis is another of the paintings from the Exiles series, a piece titled Exiles: Blue Guitar. This was larger than the other paintings in the series and was the most intricate in design. It was the only piece to show a full body, more or less. The crimson sheets beneath the figure are certainly not typical of my work. Even the blue guitar was an anomaly. I think these things, in themselves, make this a distinctive painting and one that is perhaps the one piece I most regret letting go.

I remember painting this piece back in ’96 with great clarity. The face was based on a portrait of the Finnish composer Sibelius taken by Karshthe famed photographer. I had seen the photo at a wonderful and powerful exhibit of Karsh portraits at the MFA in Boston that knocked me out. Karsh had a knack for revealing the essence of his subjects in a single image.

I was immediately taken with the image of Sibelius’ face. It expressed bliss, but not joy. A painful bliss, perhaps an ecstasy tempered by the knowledge that the world is an imperfect one and that this moment of grace is a fleeting one, soon to be gone. It was exactly the expression I saw for my guitarist and one that I wanted the whole piece to convey.

This painting was the centerpiece of my first exhibit many years ago and remains vividly in my memory. Eventually, I went back in and darkened the background which made the guitarist pop even more. But the images of that change have been lost over the years which I greatly regret. This piece sold years ago and I now have no idea of where this painting ended up. I hope that whoever possesses this piece appreciates all that it represents and gives this sad, blissful guitarist a bit of attention now and then.

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Note: The opening for the for the 25th Anniversary exhibit at the Principle Gallery is next Friday, February 22. I mistakenly wrote here the other day that it was tonight because, well, I get confused and make mistakes sometimes. My apologies for any confusion. Hope you can make it to the show next week!

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Blue GuitarI wanted to show yet another of the paintings from the Exiles series, a piece titled Exiles: Blue Guitar.  This was larger than the other paintings in the series and was the most intricate in design.  It was the only piece to show a full body, more or less.  The crimson sheets beneath the figure are certainly not typical of my work.  Even the blue guitar was an anomaly.  I think these things, in themselves, make this a distinctive painting and one that is perhaps the one piece I most regret letting go.

I remember painting this piece back in ’96 with great clarity.  The face was based on a portrait of the composer Sibelius  taken by the great photographer Karsh.  I had seen the photo at an exhibit of Karsh portraits at the MFA in Boston (where there is, coincidentally, an exhibit celebrating Karsh currently on display ) and was immediately taken with the face.  The face expressed bliss, but not joy.  A painful bliss, perhaps an ecstasy tempered by the knowledge that the world is an imperfect one and that this moment of grace is a fleeting one, soon to be gone.Sibelius by Karsh  It was exactly the expression I saw for my guitarist and one that I wanted the whole piece to convey.

This was the centerpiece of my first exhibit and remains vividly in my memory.  I hope that whoever possesses this piece appreciates all that it represents and gives this sad, blissful guitarist a bit of attention now and then.

Read Full Post »

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