Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Cari Amici (Dear Friends),
Canadian painter and one of the art world’s mentors and avid supporters Robert Genn recently wrote on the topic of laughter in art. I had to laugh … in recognition.
You see, part of the reason that I went to visit my friend Dilya in Chicago was to pick up the sculpture I had been making payments on for a while. I bought one of her late husband Vasily Fedorouk’s ceramic sculptures that you see here.
Dilya was surprised by my choice, thinking that I would want one of Vasily’s stone works. And I do… trust me… I do. I have several of his stone carvings on my wish list, but I explained to her that right now, even with payment plans, I was not just able to afford a work in stone. Also, I have fond memories of this particular work in ceramic. Many years ago, some members of my family and I were visiting Vasily (Dilya was in New York at the time) and we had quite a fun afternoon, including us laughing together about several of Vasily’s more erotic artworks. Fun and playful. And absolutely art. Naturally, I have photos of us all goofing around in Vasily’s home gallery, but I am not ready to unleash those upon the world.
Anton, son and sometimes model for his artist father, took this image of Dilya and me with my new sculpture. [Airport security personnel and I had some good laughs over this piece as well after I was pulled aside for a more thorough check.]
I tend to purchase art that gives me an emotional feel, even at times when it was one that I was not expecting. Another such surprise was Jane Dedecker’s bronze sculpture “Swinging” depicting a child flying at the end of his mother’s arms. Like Norman Rockwell, Jane Dedecker’s family-oriented compositions manage to avoid kitsch and instead seem only charmingly nostalgic. I like her looser style, which means the smaller works. And I love the energy of the sculpture I bought.
The funny thing about me is that many of the artworks (paintings and sculptures) that I have collected were purchased when my bank account was almost empty. When I bought one of my friend Marc Silva’s paintings from his “In-SPIRE-ed” series, I asked the gallery owner if he would “wait to charge my card until after the 14th of the month to save me a month’s finance charge.” The exhibit would not be over by that date anyway. I somehow manage to pay everything off. I have never regretted any of those purchases because I look around my studio and home and I love the works that surround me. And love really is what it is all about, right?