Bio coming soon.
Experience at SAIC
The School of the Art Institute is an ideal environment in which I have been fortunate to teach since 1976. The students are bright, excited, curious, ready to learn and to challenge themselves and me. Socrates could not have had better students. Their varied life experiences enrich our conversations and their art. The Museum at our door allows us to see and experience masterpieces, which guide us to higher standards of achievement.
Born in Paris, art was always a nurturing presence, but my art education began at the Brooklyn Museum Art School when I turned thirteen. Julius Goldstein, a colleague and friend of the great abstract expressionist, Barnett Newman, was the instructor. Goldstein was a color field painter.
At the Brooklyn Museum, before or after class, I could wonder through the galleries. On opposing walls hung Helen Frankenthaler and Francisco Goya. She had gentle elegant green and orange menstrual stains flowing down a twelve-foot stretch of raw canvas. Goya faced her with a horrendous carnage spewing wild gestural thick impasto strokes. In an adjoining gallery was the Hudson River painter, Frederick Church and a little further the most rugged watercolorist of the Americas, Winslow Homer. Only minutes away by subway I could stare at Picasso's Guernica, and all the Cézannes at the Museum of Modem Art, or at Rubens and Ingres, at the Metropolitan Museum. I was passionately in love them.
Being an artist is being a funnel with hopes of free will. To be more precise, from B.F. Skinner's point of view, one who believes he has free will despite all the various paradigms that limit life. Everything falls into his brain and with crudely limiting materials, on a small surface he tries to make sense of it all. To quote Picasso, he "paints lies that tell the truth." He's a rudimentary philosopher trying to get at life with lines, shapes, colors and any other media. My paintings are a set of contradictions. They are contemporary as well as owing much to a dialogue with art history. Every time I face a new painting I desperately try to put into form ideas about living; living now. But as I pick up my brush to make a mark a roster of old masters and thinkers awaken and whisper comments into the back of my head. It is a constant colloquy with admired art and ideas.
The artworks are metaphors for emotions of longings and fears of a transposed, displaced foreigner. Simon Schama's book Landscape and Memory has affected me profoundly. He writes, "For although we are accustomed to separate nature and human perception into two realms, they are, in fact, indivisible. Before it can ever be a repose for the senses, landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from strata of memory as from layers of rock." We live in our hearts, on this earth, in this universe and there is a subtle synchronicity that relates one to the other, each to everyone, the past to the present.
I'm interested in drawings and paintings from Jan Van Eyck to Marlene Dumas.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.