Sagendorph Success

September 11, 2012

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to be part of an amazing experience at the Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery at Keene State College. One of my professors invited me to a show that he was participating in, and the work was definitely unique. All the artists were telling similar stories, but in a different way. The energy in the room was buzzing. It was like a hive full of little worker bees. I wish photography had been allowed, but alas it was not. I was able to find a couple images via the artists’ websites (the images are copyrighted to the artists who produced them).

A Change in the Air, Ron McClure

More of Ron’s work can be seen at: Ron works with mixed media, mainly digital photography, digital painting, colored pencils, and glitter.

Julee Holcombe, Babel Revisted

More of Julee’s work: Julee’s photographs feel more like paintings.

Carol Gove, Passage

More of Carol’s work: Carol is also a mixed media artists, in more of a traditional sense. She uses collage and paint as opposed to digital media.

Seeing the work in person is such a different experience than seeing a few digital replicas on the screen. Any time I can go out and actually see work hanging on walls, get closer to it, inspect it, I take advantage of the opportunity. The work by these three artists in particular had a calm about it. The work sucked you into a moment in time, forced you to breathe the air in that world. It was a pleasing experience. Any time you have the chance to see an exhibit, I hope you run to it!

Look. Listen. Respond.



Stealing Art

September 5, 2012

Picasso is credited with saying, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Picasso was a painter who could make someone else’s painting his own; he “picasso-fied” many classic paintings. I am always amazed at the connections you find throughout time in the art world. Soutine’s Side of Beef always sticks out in my mind as an image used for stock material. (For Julia Robert’s fans, you may remember this slide as being labeled “grotesque” in Mona Lisa Smile.)

Soutine, Side of Beef (1924-5)

Both Francis Bacon and Jenny Saville have referenced Soutine’s work in their own paintings:

Jenny Saville, Torso 2

Francis Bacon, Figure with Meat

Bacon is also referencing another artist in his work. Figure with Meat is one of several Pope portraits that Bacon painted, and it is referencing a portrait done by Diego Velazquez. (One of his most famous works is Las Meninas.)

Francis Bacon, Study of Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X

Diego Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Most recently, I have discovered the painter Caroline Westerhout, who draws off the style of Gustav Klimt, giving new meanings to some of his paintings.

Caroline Westerhout, Judith-After the Trial

Gustav Klimt, Judith I

The connections you can find are endless because artists are always “borrowing” or “stealing” from each other to make a new idea or to reform an old one. Through this theft, art becomes more than a history lesson, it becomes a time machine for artists. We turn the dial back to see the stories of others, then return safely home and make them our own.

Look. Listen. Respond.