Monday, June 5, 2017

Balloon Dreams: exhibition opening Saturday, June 10

In this series, I continue my exploration of surrealism. For me, this way of painting is about placing subjects in unexpected settings.  In the past I’ve focused on animals. This year I’ve turned to a styrene wig stand, a cast-off brought home by my daughter many years ago. Since I also paint portraits, I’ve been unable to look at this wig stand without thinking that it’s a face asking to be painted.

Humans anthropomorphize objects, especially objects made in our own image. From the moment we receive our first doll, stuffed toy, or action figure, we begin to think of this thing as another personality: a personality capable of reflecting our own feelings back to us.  When we see a blank-faced wig stand in an unexpected environment, we can’t help but impose our own emotions onto it.  We imagine that “it” is in fact a “she” and that she actually has something on her mind. If she’s lying in a puddle, or at the side of the road, she’s been thrown away. If she’s sitting on a table facing a window, she must be looking through that window, and she must be seeing what is in front of her. We know very well that she is made of plastic foam, but still we can’t stop empathizing with her.

As for the balloons, they are symbols of hope, a literal rising beyond earthly constraints. A head without a body can’t go anywhere, but a head watching balloons in the sky is a head that is dreaming, possibly of better things. 

Rock Pool
acrylic on muslin laid on panel, 36 x 36"

Balloon Dreams
acrylic on panel, 36 x 36"

Portrait of a Wig Stand
oil on panel, 14 x 11" SOLD

acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36"

The Guardian
acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24"

acrylic on panel, 20 x 16" SOLD

acrylic on panel, 20 x 16" SOLD

The Princesses' Bedroom
acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16"

acrylic on panel, 18 x 14"  SOLD

 Arrival at Ile d'Orleans
acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36" SOLD

 After the Flood
acrylic on canvas, 20 x 30"

 No Exit
acrylic on canvas, 20 x 24"

acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18" SOLD

acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18"

 Arrival at Russell Square
acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16" SOLD

acrylic on birch panel, 14 x 14" SOLD

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