Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"In ART We Trust" at Ventura County Museum

My works including the new painting
"Purple Bloom"
are in the group show

"In ART We Trust"   
  coinciding with
the most important theoretical and academic gathering
of contemporary representational art movement to date

The show is featuring six of my paintings and drawings alongside works of my close artistic friends and colleagues, some of the leading contemporary figurative artists of our days

Jeremy Lipking, Tony Pro and Joseph Todorovitch 

October 16 - November 25, 2015

  "Purple Bloom" 
oil on linen 60" x 48" 

This is the last painting that I worked on with my great Dad. It was conceived at the beginning of last year and the sketches for it as well as its initial work stages were the subject of our daily talks. I'd show him every night at the hospital and later at home the day's progress on my iphone.  

I guess it is only through working on it that I managed to cope with the complete devastation of seeing Dad diminish, to make sense out of it.  

Till the very last moment with torturously diminishing physical abilities he managed to give a still absolutely spot on advice, perfect in its clarity and accuracy. It was truly amazing to witness - as in the Terminator movie it was like some hidden alternative mode of life would kick in, the red light would come up and the full force of a precise visual judgment would burst through.  Dissolving himself in ART he became ART himself.

ART is an ever-young force of life in the eternity of Purple Bloom.


 "My Father" 
sepia and white leads of fabriano paper 30" x 22" 

This is the live drawing of my Dad.
I got him to sit for me on my own birthday as the best gift possible for myself. Doing this on my own birthday made me contemplate the double mortality - his and my own. This was the last he sat for me fully live. Having him to sit for me was perhaps the best thing I ever did.  

 "Hands of My Father" 

sepia and white leads on fabriano paper 22" x 30"

This is also a live study of my Dad’s hands. These are almost double life size, though when I did them I didn’t give much to it. Only later it occurred to me that perhaps this is how I subconsciously still remember "huge" Dad’s hands…the hands of an Artist, the Hands of Creator that gave Life.

"American Hero. Vic Stadter"  
sepia and white leads on fabriano paper 22" x 30"

I was astoundingly lucky to meet and draw Vic live.

As a matter of fact I met and draw him on my birthday right after Dad's passing much like I did a drawing of my Dad on my own birthday 2 years prior. There was some strange and inexplicable connection. Vic was amazing and in his unbounded spirit totally reminded me my Dad. Vic was also the true Artist in his heart in the way he led his life. They were of the same age from the same Generation of Giants. Both were extreme survivors, Dad in a famine in Ukraine, in a war and perils of Soviet bureaucracy, Vic on his runs, adventures and challenge of authority. Both were extreme at what they did. For both the unshakable integrity of their way of life was worth all the risk.

Vic was the legendary smuggler, "an equalizer of inequities", who once flu a wrongly imprisoned, framed for murder innocent man out of a Mexican prison. Vic's story was depicted in the 1975 classic "Breakout" and Charles Bronson plaid Vic in it. 

Vic just passed away few weeks ago at 95 and, appropriately, not in his own bed. Flying his chopper till last days without a glitch, he died in a car accident.

  "Self Portrait with a Forty Day Beard" 
oil on linen board 24" x 18"

This is my first self portrait in 30 years. I painted it after 40 day of Russian mourning period. The first work after my Dad's passing.

 So strange that this show comes up right around Dia de los Muertos, a day of reuniting with our own and celebrating together our unbreakable bond over which even the Death itself cannot rule.  ART has the same power. 

And just to make sure to emphasize what a short step it is from Divine to Profane - there will be a surprise "mystery' piece that I did for a show and if you are  coming you will be able to help me solve a burning question - your vote will count!

How cool is this, that the museum picked for the title of this personally significant show my Classical Underground motto:

In ART We Trust! 

No comments:

Post a Comment