Wendy Artin, NYC Marilyn Innocent Wall, 26″x41″, 2017
Wendy Artin, una straordinaria artista che ho avuto occasione di conoscere a Roma con il grande Seamus Heaney
WENDY ARTIN – HERE TODAY
Athens, Rome, Paris, London, New York
Watercolor Wallscapes and other Recent Work
at Gurari Collections from November 3rd to December 10th, 2017
Opening Reception on First Friday, November 3rd, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Gurari Collections, 460 Harrison Avenue, in the South End of Boston (SoWa)
Wendy Artin, Pile of Big Wallscapes, 2017
Beautifully stained stencils, torn posters, printouts, spray-painted marks, drips, cracks, rust, hinges, beloved faces peering out of flat walls: these are city walls that I love to look at and take detours to see again. Unlike the bas-reliefs from antiquity that I have painted in the past, they will disappear in a matter of months. Like a wild garden, they have no one designer, no master architect. I have taken some liberties moving things around and swapping out certain images, but this is basically how the real walls were as I stood in front of them.
Wendy Artin – Paris On Danse, 9″x12″ – Athens Motorcycle, 9″x12″ – Rome Cinema America, 7″x12″ – 2017
I try to make the paint elegant and clumsy – full of information, but not trompe-l’oeil – in and out of focus, crisp here and watery there. As diverse as faces in a city crowd, there are line drawings, paintings, stencils, photographs — all different ways of portraying people, in all different sizes, like a fairytale. Artistically this gives me freedom to play, to paint in a variety of different ways. I can change the color, the focus; I can allow the watercolor to shine with its full versatility. I can stay right on the edge of illusion, with the image moving back and forth between 2D and 3D: hand-made paintings of usually machine-generated postings. The layering and different focal points are like improvisational jazz where the sweet themes that you recognize shift and change as you become carried away by the next bit till suddenly there is a new tune, a new picture, a new face.
Many of the walls have images of famous people who died too young: Amy Winehouse, John Lennon, David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Audrey Hepburn, Muhammed Ali. They are posted or painted in order to remember, to have the people live on, but they are so temporary — pasted paper, stencils! There is something quite touching about the fragility of these pieces of paper that are trying to prolong the too short lives of these idols. Fleeting lives, fleeting images — glimpses of Bruno too are on some of the walls.
Wendy Artin, NYC Muhammed John Yoko, 26″ x 41″, 2017
Paradoxically, it was a trip to Athens to see the Parthenon frieze at the new Acropolis Museum that began this new series, as I found myself doubling back to admire a fragment of a wall with Greek graffiti and a tiny Madonna stencil. The urge to put faces on facades reaches back in time and across cultures – is their purpose similar?
Wendy Artin, London Amy Winehouse Wall, 9″x12″
What do the walls say, about the inhabitants, the travelers, the individuals, their dreams? From the polite Roman walls with respectful space around each posting, to the scantily clad seductive stencils on Paris walls, to the chaotic and empassioned artistic layerings of New York?
These paintings are time capsules and travel pieces. They are rich with unfinished stories, like a writer’s prompt given by an invisible narrator, a couple of out-of-context word-images shimmying together on a dance floor. And at the same time they speak of the pure dynamism and raw beauty of marks on a dizzying city wall, or, I hope, on paper…
… and other Recent Work…
Wendy Artin, Oleander, 7″x9″, 2016
It has been fabulous to paint the blossoms that distract me as I am out for a run! So there will be several of these in the exhibit too. Ephemeral. Some scissors as well.
And what would an exhibit be without some sanguine watercolors of the figure? The most beautiful poses cannot be held for long: each drawing session is a challenge and a joy.
Wendy Artin, Callista another stretch, 8″x14″, 2017
I realize that this text is a bit long and dense for an invitation – thank you to anyone who has arrived at this point! Check out the Exhibition page of my website. I will be adding more images to my website, Instagram, my blog, and to Facebook at Wendy Artin – Art, in the coming days (weeks).
All of WENDY ARTIN – HERE TODAY can be seen on line at the new Gurari Collections website. It may take a minute to load, but it is well worth the wait!
I hope to see you at the opening on November 3, 2017.
Gurari Collections, 460 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02118, in trendy SoWa.
Wendy Artin, Rome, Cinema America 2017, photo by Lily Artin Boschin
Copyright © 2017 Wendy Artin, All rights reserved.