Oil, Gold and Silver Leaf on Canvas
This painting was conceived during a time near the end of 2011 that had a distinct feeling of hope and excitement for the potential of the coming year. On the minds of some, 2012 held at least the possibility of the end of days, so contemplation of life was in the air.
I made my first visit to the opulent Aquavella Gallery to view Pioneer of Modernism, works by Georges Braque. Though he is most famous for his co-creation of the Cubist style with the infamous Picasso, I have long been captivated by the works created outside of his direct interactions with the Spanish Master, especially those containing long-necked birds and female figures.
Both the show and the gallery itself were inspiring. Having grown up visiting and exhibiting in galleries around other parts of the country, I had become a bit disillusioned by the usual white-walled rooms with track lighting that were neither lively and organic nor chicly sterile feeling enough to be sexy. I won’t even bring up the issues raised by the success of the independent artist movement, spearheaded by contemporary game-changers such as the artist Borbay, that seems to be increasingly more pertinent in the world of art sales. My love of the gallery was rekindled the moment I stepped through the threshold of Acquavella. The French neo-classical townhouse between Madison and Fifth was comprised of the perfect combination of marble, wood and sweeping staircases along with cosmopolitan details and typical Manhattan charm to make me feel my work could be comfortably housed and properly viewed there while in a transitional period between custodians.
The exhibition was a grand yet condensed peek into the artist’s oeuvre, and I gathered many details from it for future works.
Around the same time as my visit, I became aware of the desire of a couple of close friends to have a baby. I was thrilled to hear of it, and knowing that they are a beautiful couple, I was excited about the prospect of their creation of a new bundle of love for the world to experience. Time spent with them during their transitional period into early parenthood seamlessly combined with my experiences at the gallery and the basis of the painting was formed.
A few details include a long-necked bird inspired by Braque as well as my own interactions with coastal wildlife, a female figure with a form loosely inspired by the Venus of Willendorf (and other totemic fertility figures), and profile views of a Phillips Collection Seatbelt Chair and Table.
The chair (in it’s green rendition) went on to be featured in the blockbuster Hunger Games, and the collection continuously wins awards for ground breaking design and exquisite taste in selection of pieces.