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“Losing Light” on Exhibit

Losing Light, a sunset painting, will be on exhibit (unless it sells with 30% going to the CC&IAEA Scholarship Fund) for the next six months at the Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, MA. The oil on canvas is 12″ x 16″.

Losing Light

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Summer of Art Making

This summer along with completing more post-Graduate work I was able to paint, continue work on my Assemblage 36 Series, and spend an amazing week at an “Artists Who Teach” residency @ Lesley University making montotype prints. These are some examples.  The Monotype with Chine Colle’ above now resides  in the “Permanent Collection” of Lesley University.

FireworksMono

 

Cherry Blossom III

I was also able to complete a large 3′ x 4′ painting that I have been working on since making the 5″ x7″pochade some years ago. The image is of a storm exiting Cape Cod Bay just as the sun rises.

Sunrise Storm over the Bay

 

 

 

 

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Painting @ Barnstable Municipal Airport

The painting “Summer Storm Cloud: Herring Cove,” an Oil on Canvas, 30″ x 40″ will be on display for the next six months in the waiting area @ the Barnstable Municipal Airport. 30% of the sale price will go towards a student scholarship through the Cape Cod & Islands Art Educators Association.

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Works on Exhibit

Various new and older pieces are currently on exhibit across the cape. Two works at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis through March, another at the Hyannis Municipal Airport, and a third at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Yarmouth.

Cape Cod Museum of Art

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Three NEW Paintings

Herring Cove: Path to the Atlantic Oil on Canvas 18

Herring Cove: Path to the Atlantic
Oil on Canvas 18″ x 36″

Herring Cove: Autumn Oil on Canvas 18

Herring Cove: Autumn
Oil on Canvas 18″ x 36″

Box Series: Monolith Oil on Canvas 18

Box Series: Monolith
Oil on Canvas 18″ x 36″

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Assemblage Series: Ribband of Blue CONTINUED

Here are the latest in the ongoing “Ribband of Blue” series:

Blue Terezin

Blue Series:Terezin        Mixed Media          8″ x 10″

Blue Slaves in Egypt

Blue Series: Slaves in Egypt      Mixed Media          8″ x 10″

Blue At the Wall

Blue Series: At the Wall       Mixed Media          8″ x 10″

Blue Life I

Blue Series: Life I      Mixed Media          8″ x 10″

Blue Life II

Blue Series: Life II      Mixed Media          8″ x 10″

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Censored! Je suis Charlie!

Recently, I found my art censored for the first time by a person or persons unknown! Even though the show was juried and the theme lent itself to expressing the human condition (Opposites Attract), there was virtually no figurative work in the show and so I was pleased to see that my multimedia assemblage diptych had been chosen for inclusion. Two days after the opening reception I got a call saying there was concern that given the number of school children coming to see the exhibition (of over 70 artworks), the fact that the work titled Man/Adam * included a small image of a penis, was deemed to be “problematic” and that there was concern that children, their teachers, parents, perhaps even a school superintendent might balk if word got back. Mind you, its twin Woman/Eve* featuring an exposed nipple and buttocks apparently caused no distress at all to these arbiters of correctness!

Coming on the heels of the brutal attack on artistic expression in Paris, I am proud to say that my art challenged the person or persons who were made to feel uncomfortable enough to demand that the work be censored. While art has a stake in continuity and upholding tradition, it must also challenge the status quo and speak truth. Otherwise, we end up with meaningless imagery filling our walls that hopefully compliments the upholstery. I would hardly call my piece provocative (or in Hitler’s terms “degenerate”) and yet I find myself confronted by a choice: remove the art or alter the art.

As a boy, I was lucky enough to grow up in New York City, and there wasn’t a museum I didn’t get to visit. I went everywhere (from the age of four on up) and saw everything. If I had questions, they were always answered in an age appropriate manner so that I could understand something of the artist’s intent. I have to wonder if children’s tours of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston bypass the gallery where Sargent’s masterpiece “Nude Study of Thomas E. McKeller” is hanging.

For those of you who don’t know the work, it is a nearly life size nude portrait of one of Sargent’s models (and perhaps lovers), in an angelic pose, legs splayed, genitals fully exposed. It is also one of the most beautiful paintings ever done of a male nude by a great artist and yes, in its time it was censored! In fact, until the major retrospective of Sargent’s work in 1999, much of his work had gone largely unseen. Like his male nudes, his landscapes had largely been ignored —only his portraits and murals had garnered attention. It was revelatory to me as an artist to discover that I had only known 1/3 of the man through his work!

If all our art needs to be safe and sanitized, never thought-provoking or even offensive, what exactly are we teaching our children? The latest initiatives in education ask teachers to challenge their students to think and respond creatively and critically to information. Not everything is pretty or nice in our world and invariably, it is the writer and the artist who dares to confront that other reality. That is the message our children need to leave exhibitions and museums with…there are many perspectives, multiple opinions, and everyone has the right to express their innermost feelings so long as they are willing to accept the consequences to their work and careers.

Sadly, I will be ending my association with the sponsoring organization, which claims to be an advocacy organization for artists and the Arts in my region. I have chosen to alter the art, covering all references to male and female anatomy with the words “censored” and “Je suis Charlie” which I suspect will get more notice than the work in its original condition. My art just doesn’t belong on Cape Cod and so I must seek out other venues where viewers are willing to be challenged and excited to guess at meaning and intent. That is what I want my art to offer, regardless of the style or the subject. That is what ART must do!

*Original versions of Man/Adam and Woman/Eve can be viewed in the “Contemporary” section of this blog.