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Slides show paintings & details in various stages of completion and ambient light.
Little Coatlicue/change of light:
LC was the last of the paintings that used theatrical light. These photos show the effect of different theatrical light on the painting in a no-natural-light setting. For clarity of the effect here, I extracted the painting only and placed it on a white ground to eliminate the environment from the painting. Currently in progress as I paint away from theatrical light.
A few interior views:
• Nightingale & Bush of Red Roses. Karlin-Guastini residence, Brooklyn, NY.
• Nightingale. Karlin-Guastini residence, Brooklyn, NY.
• Medea/Medea. Guastini residence, Los Angeles, CA.
• Back Studio. Coatlicue (in progress) & Red Roses.
• Front Studio. Little Krishna panels in progress.
Garden at Midnight is a series of mid- to large-scale mixed media paintings on wood panels—9 extant in various stages of completion. The style of this series draws on vernacular architecture along with personally derived symbolic landscape and decorative elements, driven by myth/story/poetry. The intensely detailed surfaces along with paint that reflects light and encourages fairly dramatic shifts in color gives the effect of jewel-like miniatures done in grand scale.
The paintings grew from the painting environment installation Giotto's House (Creative Time/Art in the Anchorage) where the wood panels were first used. A few were used in the dance environment Heaven + Earth (Bebe Miller Dance Company), but since then, the paintings have grown by accretion, by add/subtract. One of the most compelling aspects of the work for me is the in-progress time of the work—the multiple-years' arc of conversation and play on a variation of themes and focus.There's also a sense of simultaneous economy and excess—of not wanting to waste—and a love of revision for revision's sake, the 'now I do it again.' In effect, the 9 paintings are many.
And there are words: the paintings are paired with mesostics, a simple poetic form created by John Cage.
Mixed Media Paintings:
Acrylic, interference and fluorescent paint, oil stick, china marker, plastic gems, porcelain roses, and half pearls on wood panels. 6 of 9 total shown.
• Little Krishna (In Progress)
120 x 278 inches. 6 panels, 3 sections:
the cave, the sea/the sky, 2 trees on the river bank/boats on the river.
The scene is based on The Song of the Cowherd, Ode 1, Jayadeva, c.1175 AD which depicts the meeting of the young cow herd Krishna and Radha, the beautiful, married cow maiden.
• Radha Weeps
114 x 79 inches. 2 panels.
Radha is after the Hindu Radha Weeps paintings which show Radha weeping in dispair as she waits in the assigned forest clearing for the forgetful young Krishna who's off entertaining the cow maidens.
63 x 64 inches. 1 panel.
Nightingale is the song in the garden, after John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale.
• Bush of Red Roses
108 x 36 inches. 1 panel.
AKA, I Want a Bush of Red Roses. The briar rose in the garden.
114 x 46 inches.
AKA, The Stars Fell Like Tears. From The Voyage of Argo (Argonautica), Appolonius of Rhodes. The painting portrays Medea waiting for the return of Jason. No longer extant— it was totalled by a fork-lift accident while in art-freight transit from LA to NYC .
• Little Coatlicue (In Progress)
96 x 132 inches.
AKA She Makes Her First Red Star. This painting depicts the Aztec creatrix Coatlicue as a child learning her trade. The composition is after the Hindu Vishnu Dreams the World into Exiistence paintings. Shown here in its past incarnation with color change via theatrical light.
Precussors to the Garden at Midnight:
• Giotto's House. Mixed media on wood panels; painted columns, steps & a small wooden house; 9 tons of pea-sized coal and theatrical light. Creative Time.
• Heaven + Earth. Mixed media painting, painted columns, steps and a child's chair, painted floor. Dance: Bebe Miller Company. 91st Street Playhouse/92nd Street Y inaugural Harkness Dance Series.