The Michael LaConte Gallery is wonderful, cultivated venue for contemporary art in Chicago. He is my representative in the midwest and deals regularly with national and international clients. A portion of my works are available to review online via the respected dealer website: 1st Dibs. The link can be found here.
For those in the Chicagoland area the gallery is open via appointment and located at 1819 West Grand Avenue, Chicago 60622. The phone number is 773 865 4788.
Here are some photos of a recent sculpture. The title is Venus Pluvia. That is latin for Venus of the Rain. Venus exiting from her bath covers herself from the rain. This is the terracotta model that I have mounted on a base of pietra leccese: a sand stone from the Puglia region of Italy. I will soon be starting work on the bronze version. Let me know if you would be interested in one of the limited edition.
The winter vacation has arrived for the scholastic year. In addition to being a time of rest we pause to reflect upon our work. Every fall I introduce the first year students at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy to figure and cast drawing. Beginnings are extremely important as first impressions(lessons) undoubtedly influence our subsequent ideas.
I discuss my approach to figure drawing in another post that can be found here. There is another post about imaginative pencil studies here. The images posted here are the drawings that I produced while teaching the course.
Please excuse the quality of the photo below. It was taken with my phone and I did not have time to stretch the paper.
While teaching figure drawing at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence I draw along with the class. This is a charcoal drawing that I am finishing up in the advanced class. It measures 50cm x 100. After the final touches it will be fixed and mounted on board where the seam will become less apparent.
The paintings above and below are some small paintings that I created from my imagination. ‘Metamorphosis’ is pretty much completed(which is hard to see due to the poor photographic quality). ‘Bathers’ was damaged by fire while in progress and I am still working on it.
Exploring my imagination is why I chose to be an artist. It would be a shame if all the sacrifice and hard study resulted in a mere set of copying skills. There is a fixation within the figurative art world of ‘getting it right.’ Very often this admirable goal is solely associated with a literal copy of an existing model. However, it should be so much more.
A quality work of art functions on many levels. It is the sensibility, accumulated culture and bravura of the artist that determines how rich a work of art can be. A good work of art is a catalyst that ignites a reaction in the viewer. The world around us is beautiful because it is a representation of something greater. Merely copying objects ignores that. By taking solace in imitating what we see the risk is we negate the primary purpose of art: creating something significant.
Michelangelo Buonarotti sums it up”The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo Buonarroti
Below is a torso study that I created for a birth of Venus.
The art critic/dealer, Rodrigo Canete interviewed me for his blog LoveArtNotPeople. The above drawing of Dionysus/Bacchus caught his attention and it’s iconography is discussed in depth. Starting a dialogue with Rodrigo has given me a bit more hope about the future of contemporary art. He is intelligent, highly cultivated and sensitive to what is really important about Art. Being an expert on Velasquez can’t hurt either.
His questions were well observed and catalysts for greater discussion. It was a real pleasure doing the interview. Hopefully our dialogue continues! Please check out his blog.
In conjunction with the figure drawings, I have completed a couple of imaginative studies. The one above is of Dionysus and the one below is of a Faun. A work of art should function by itself without much explanation. My particular interpretations are meant to express a specific psychological state within the context of the represented archetypal subjects. Obviously a certain knowledge about Dionysus and ‘Fauns’ enriches the experience and makes the psychological ‘play’ all the more interesting.
These are not typical (stereotypical) depictions of their genre. That is because they are misunderstood. The realities of the classical pantheon represent a psychological investigation that are ever more relevant in today’s world where the individual’s odyssey has lost its significance.