We went to a really nice exhibit today in the modern architecture setting of Metrohouse, where they were showing the work of 3 local artists: Andrew Long, Steven Dubov, and Roi James. Great venue in which all the work looked fabulous!
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Andrew’s — of both his work and his person. He showed a lot of small paintings I hadn’t seen before, and several of the tiny 8×8’s, including one of my very favorites. He also showed his latest large works and some beautiful medium-sized pieces.
I love how his work is informed by his years of experience as a choreographer. You can enter his paintings in one place, imagine yourself sliding under or behind a shape and coming up between several of the other shapes.
Stephen Dubov’s work is really something…he’s using windshield glass and breaking and bending it, then tying it together with bolts and cables and weights in some incredible ways. He compared his work to humans — fragile and vulnerable, yet sharp and tough. He talked about art and beauty over the last many decades — in the ’40s, when art and beauty got a divorce, as he put it; then in the 50’s when art started abusing beauty. Now, he hopes there may be a reconciliation. He’s courting beauty.
He said he started out working figuratively, but there were things he didn’t like about his work and other things he did, so he quit doing the stuff he didn’t like and kept exploring the other stuff, so now his work is no longer figurative.
Roi James was showing a wide variety of his work – from some Old Master style landscapes and a really stunningly well-painted piece of a pregnant woman to abstracts both really large and really small. He talked about the skills required to learn to paint like the Old Masters, yet (if I remember this correctly), that work becomes just an execution of that learned skillset and doesn’t lead him to places of exploration and discovery the way that abstract work does (I couldn’t agree more!). He also said he’s trying to find a way or ways to meld abstraction and representation.
Again, we are on the same or very similar quest in that regard (though I am certainly not comparing my work to his; just a shared desire to bring these two types of painting together in some sort of interesting juxtaposition).
At the end of the day–I can’t believe I did this–I actually bought a small piece of Andrew’s! I love it; it looks fabulous in my house and even looks great next to my own work. Woo-hoo!