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  • Writer's pictureHelen C

Here We Go...

Updated: Jul 15, 2023

I had a "blog" in high school on tumblr where I posted my art and art I loved as well as angsty, teenage thoughts. It was a creative dumping ground...a digital journal...that was really enjoyable for me at the time. Now, as a graduate student, I want to recreate that special place for both myself and anyone who stumbles upon my page. So here we go...my first post. (I will try to be less angsty and more...academic)


The other weekend I went to NYC to visit friends and see art, of course. I saw a lot of awe-inspiring pieces.


There was a gallery with an entire exhibit of Sharon Sprung's work. She is the painter who did the most recent portrait of Michelle Obama. There has been some negative feedback on the painting as it may be "too realistic"...and Amy Sherald's interpretation of Michelle Obama was highly regarded for her unique stylistic choices. I do enjoy straying from perfected portraiture, but I really enjoyed this exhibit. This specific painting truly captured my attention. I felt like the subject was staring right at me. I enjoy pattern so my eye wandered down to her dress and to the cloth, but went right back to her eyes and her expression. Captivating and honest. Brava!


I also made a trip to the Guggenheim where there was an Alex Katz exhibition. Ever since taking portrait painting classes in Italy this past summer, I have become fascinated with how artists interpret the face. I preferred these loose sketch-like paintings over his large scale paintings that to me looked a little commercial, absent of the painter's eye and hand. He can identify features and contours of the face in very few brushstrokes and has also given these people a space to live...an environment behind them. A lot of his other paintings had solid backgrounds. I appreciated the indexicality of this moment.


Finally, as I was strolling in and out of galleries in Chelsea, I came across this phenomenal painting. I don't remember what gallery I was in or even who the artist was (whoops). But the complex narrative, the night sky, the foreground, middle ground, and background and how precious every moment of the painting was to this artist really caught my attention. This artist was clearly looking at Peter Doig. And I love Peter Doig. Night scenes are something that get me as I love the night time and where our minds go during those hours...


I also love music so might put music with some of my posts (sorry). This guy's re-interpretation of The Fray's "You Found Me" is beautiful. I had a painting teacher once tell me, "don't reproduce what you see but recreate it"...he put a beautiful spin on it.

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