Saturday, November 30, 2013

Found Object #6: Brazilian Magic

The painting embodies for me a Brazilian's approach to life. 

You see this in futebol, bossa nova, samba, carnival, fireworks, the beach, street singing and dancing. Everything is a sacrament to the senses.

Their movements are mirrored in smiles, and the way their bodies embrace a slow sexy dance with a cheeky flourish and a twinkle in the eyes. 

Life is measured in a steady beat, like when the evening waves wash up on the shore at crespucolo.

16”  41cm
12” 31cm

This painting, ironically, has a life of its own.

Not only had it spent a lot of time as a half-finished painting in a box for two decades, but it had been confined to a sketch book that had seen better days. 

When I finally retrieved it I put it on a shelf in a small closet, where it lingered, and at one point was crushed and torn. Soon, it was destined for the trash. 

The painting would pay the price for my resistance to opening myself up to the art it was calling me to.

Then one day it virtually flew from its perch on the shelf and landed across my feet. The painting was happily finished over the summer 2013.

Whose to say it was not a bit of Brazilian magic.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Found Object #5: Somalian Sunrise

When I painted “Faduma's Ritual”, I envisioned Faduma Ali, a Somalian woman, standing on a minaret in a moment of deep reflection.

At the time of the painting I was writing a biography of the Duke of the Abruzzi

Faduma Ali had known the Duke all her life, first as a young girl who lived in the village the young prince had created.

Throughout the years, the Duke’s arrivals in the village was a time of great celebration.  The girl might have trekked to the coast and stood there awaiting the arrival of the ship's commander.

Faduma, a woman of considerable beauty, would later begin a romance with the Duke and eventually they would live as a couple until his death.

The painting reminds me of my own rituals spent longing for someone or something we don't have a word to express.

12” 31 cm
9” 24” cm

Faduma's Ritual is a companion piece to Toil.

They had both been rescued from a box headed to a dump.