Thursday, January 28, 2010

Once artwork leaves the studio...

Where will they end up?

"LIC 1889/1989
Oil on canvas
48 x 36 inches

Artists often refer to their paintings as their "children". After all, the painter spends time thinking about them, helping them come to life and grow on the canvas brushstroke by brushstroke and finally finishing them, ushering them into "adulthood". Then it is time to leave the studio and go out into the world. Exhibiting them in shows, sometimes winning an award or two. And then hopefully, making the sale that sends them to a new home. Once that happens, the artist pretty much loses track of them, becoming immersed with the work currently on the easel.

Occasionally these paintings do surface again, sometimes years later. This happened the other day when I chanced upon a listing on Craig's List offering this painting for sale. It is a view from my studio window as I watched the Citicorp building in Long Island City under construction. This was back in the late 1980's and the building in the foreground had been built in 1889. The painting epitomized the change in a neighborhood over a century of time. It had been sold a number of years ago as a corporate sale through a consultant. Now it seems this company is moving their office and selling artworks. I'm hoping it finds a good home. I did contact the owner and asked that I be informed, if possible, as to where the painting ends up. But, like a wayward child, it might never call home, letting me know where it is.

That got me to thinking, as I suspect many artists do, as to what happens to their work once they are gone. Paintings can survive for years if they were created with good materials and properly cared for, long outliving their creators. It is the artist's way of leaving a lasting legacy, the "I was here" statement. The vast majority of working artists today will fall into obscurity at some point, but sometimes their works live on. I hope some of my paintings do.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

St. Mark's and 40th Street

Who's watching who?

"Carved Lady"
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches

One of the blogs I enjoy following is Ephemeral New York. On January 18th, a post featured a picture of a building facade on St. Mark's Place, an image I recognized immediately, as I'd painted that building back in the 1980's. This medusa-like figure, along with the fire escape shadows brings to mind the history of the block, so different from the street level retail hustle and bustle. It is exciting to discover these interesting architectural details.

"Midtown Artist"
Oil on canvas
10 x 8 inches

The other day I found myself on 40th Street with a friend when I recognized another great building facade that I had painted and I excitedly pointed it out. On the north side of 40th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues is a building with a number of life-size figures adorning the facade. I decided to do a painting of the "artist", naturally. When walking around the city, just look up and you'll be surprised what you'll see.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Citicorp Lobby Showcases in LIC

The show is up and running

"LIC Courthouse Fountain"
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

"Urbanesque", a new exhibit, has been installed in the 6 lobby showcases located in the atrium of the Citicorp building, One Court Square. In this exhibit, sponsored by Women in the Arts Foundation, Inc., 4 artists explore the urban landscape, with several paintings of the LIC area included as well. Works by Carole Barlowe, Elinore Bucholtz, Diane Waller and Sharon Florin (curator) will be on view through the end of March. Hours are Monday - Friday, 7am - 7pm.

Installation day was pretty interesting. I had a chance to meet with several of the art staff at Citicorp. They manage a very large corporate collection and one of my favorite artists, Charles Sheeler, is represented in their holdings. We had lunch in the company cafeteria and I was then taken to the 50th floor where I was treated to the amazing views from on high. Luckily I had my camera with me and was able to get some interesting photos. During lunch, I spoke about being an artist in LIC for close to 30 years, and we talked a bit about the neighborhood and it's history. As you can imagine, folks working in the building often don't venture out into the nabe, but I did my best to extoll the virtues of LIC and urged them to get out and explore. Curating a show was also a new experience. I enjoyed meeting the artists and presenting them with an opportunity to exhibit their artwork.

One of my paintings of the Long Island City Courthouse was featured on liQcity, a popular neighborhood blog. Here's the link.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year New Show

"LIC Jackson Crossroads"
Oil on canvas
10x10 inches

Starting 2010 off right.

First off, wishing you all a Happy New Year! And a big thank-you for your comments and support of my efforts with this blog.

The new year finds me not only wearing the hat of the artist, but I've now added the hat of curator as well. A new exhibit sponsored by Women in the Arts Foundation, Inc. features four New York artists, exploring the urban landscape in their own individual styles. We're installing the show on Wednesday in the Lobby Showcases located in the atrium of the Citicorp Center building in Long Island City - Queen's tallest building. I am happy to have this opportunity to show some of my LIC-themed paintings in the neighborhood that inspired them. Several paintings of the Long Island City courthouse - just across the street from Citicorp - will be on display along with paintings of P.S.1, the #7 train, Jackson Avenue, construction workers and Brook's restaurant. Diane Waller, Elinore Bucholtz and Carole Barlowe, the other participating artists work range from abstract to realistic to mixed media and I think the selection of art will make for an interesting exhibit. It's been a new experience pulling this together and hopefully the installation will go well.

If you're in the neighborhood and would like to stop by to see the show, Citicorp is located at One Court Square on Jackson Avenue. Just head for the Atrium and check out the six lobby showcases. The hours are 7 am - 7pm Monday through Friday. The show will run for 3 months though March. The #7 and the E trains are nearby.