Wednesday, February 24, 2010
In the late eighties, I was working on a series of paintings that were truly abstract portraits. They were inspired by the people in my life at that time. I had just begun Graduate School and was sharing an off-campus apartment with an actor. I got to know many of the people working in the theater department and was invited to attend numerous events and performances. One of the performances was a show that included a spanish-influenced dance with a cape. It clearly made some sort of impression on me for the image ended up as a lithographic print as well as a canvas. The subject of the painting ended up with a very public career in the Chicago news media.
Additional work from this series—and more recent works—can be found at gniech.com
Above: "The Cape", oil on canvas, 72 x 50", 1989
Monday, February 8, 2010
Last week, I was contacted by one of my dealers who happens to be interested in pieces which I created during the late 1980's. She was looking for some new works—similar to pieces already in her possession. This request pushed me to explore the layers of paintings leaning against the walls of my studio. I spent hours going through the inventory of work, finding that I have kept many pieces, which reflect the various periods of my creative life. It's intriguing to look back at the progression of work. And it's funny that pulling them out of storage should have such an intense emotional affect. Revisiting them is like seeing old friends that you haven't seen in awhile.
The Image above—titled "Bitch"—is from a body of work called "Uniforms". This series was a symbolic exploration of abstract portraiture. As mentioned in earlier posts... the Uniform series explores the idea that we are constantly trying to evoke the illusion that our insecurities are non-existent. We create protective barriers—or uniforms—to deter invaders from the space within ourselves. The images use structural abstraction to symbolize these uniforms, which are observed in the attitudes, personalities and relationships people develop as a source of protection. Additional work from this series can be found at gniech.com.
Above: "Bitch" Oil on Canvas, 72" x 50" 1989