Monday, June 26, 2006

The Creative Element

Contemporary Dialogue
As far as my personal artistic journey goes, last week was quite a pivotal week. Very inspirational and insightful. The week started on a positive note with an incredible lecture given at Sotheby's by Daniel Sturgis titled "British Painting Now," which dealt with contemporary British painters and their respective work from the last two years. The artist giving the lecture, Daniel Sturgis is actually an accomplished painter himself, but more on that later. Essentially, in the lecture Daniel covered about 20 or so working artists and presented slides of their work. Each artist was rather unique yet similar in offering a fresh, innovative and clever approach to the existing pictorial language as it applies to the canvas. Daniel definitely kept everyone interested with his lecture, which can be quite difficult when describing so many pieces of art and so many artists. If Daniel just merely said, this artist is great, and offered that brief description for every artist, perhaps there would have been a revolt inside of Sotheby's or perhaps there would have been people sleeping during the lecture. But that wasn't the case. In fact, while he was talking I looked around and noticed everyone was attentive. This was evident also by the questions and the varied responses from the crowd at the end of his letter. As someone who has attended many lectures, it was obvious that he knew what he was talking about but also that he was able to explain some difficult concepts in laymen terms without "watering down" his presentation. Scholarly, lively, and accessible.

Daniel's personal art that I was able to see displays a genius level of originality, wit and cleverness. He has a sophisticated sense of form, color tonality and balance. Looking at his works, I was in awe of the way he keeps the viewers eye in the painting and the rhythm that his paintings display, its as if the paintings optically move your eye around and then the painting somehow sustains one, the viewer, to look further spatially into the paintings which then leads to fresh insights; new understandings about the paintings and new imaginations as well. It has been said that Joan Miro mastered form but often that there was no warmth in his paintings, a theory I do not subscribe too, but with Daniel's paintings, he's mastered form and as someone mentioned at the reception, his paintings have a certain warmness and optimism that is much needed in the world today.

While several of the artists that Daniel mentioned caught my attention, one artist stood out and I was blessed to be able to speak with her the following Thursday at a reception for Daniel Sturgis. Here's her site website: Cyan-D

Additionally, I was able to speak at length with Daniel and with the pleasant and insightful gallery owner, Cynthia Broan. I was able to ask Cynthia many questions about the current gallery scene in Manhattan and she proved to be quite the sage. I felt as if she were my long lost "art aunt." Here's a link to her website: Cynthia Broan

Did I mention that after the lecture last Tuesday that I ran over to Carnegie Hall to hear the phenomenal pianist Brad Mehldau? But that's another story...

-PD

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