Portraits. Suddenly they’re the rage. Every art critic/blogger seems to be showcasing someone’s new portrait of a hip-hop celebrity, or a museum’s retrospective of a newly discovered, been around a long time, figurative painter. The National Gallery held a portrait competition last summer and these are the finalists. Not many loosely painted or expressionist works. Of course I live near the figurative capital of the world; Philadelphia.
Peter Schjeldahl was one of the jurors and while I don’t agree with all the choices, in this interview he has a thoughtful take on how to look at art: ‘I think the most sensitive, intelligent, cultivated, exciting people I know in their interest to art do not register on the public level. I mean, they’re not part of institutional structures. They wouldn’t be caught dead in it.’
and this gem: ’the only education that matters in aesthetics is self-education.’
The following portraits are all from 1981-82 and are of friends, models – anyone who would sit long enough for me to paint them. Fond memories, gentler times.
Rosa in blue shirt. Oil on canvas, 35″x25″ 1982
Teddy. Oil on canvas, 17″x15″ 1981
Malcolm and Louise. Oil on canvas 30″x32″, 1982
Neill. Oil on canvas, 34″x27″ 1981
Bill. Oil on masonite, 28″x24″ 1982
Girl with yellow background. Oil on canvas 30″x25″ 1982
Rosa, nude. Oil on canvas, 37″x30″ 1982
Self portrait. Oil on masonite, 25″x24″ 1982