RENAISSANCE OF THE UNDEAD
Painting is “undead.” At least that is what the Los Angeles Times article “Painting Gets a Broader Brush” by Christopher Knight declares. He goes on to state that painting was dead throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s and since then has progressively enjoyed a renewed interest and even prominence. As an art critic, Mr. Knight is interested in the path of art for art’s sake, but most of us live in the real world and understand that art is not the world but a reflection of it. I believe there still is an underlying disregard for painting today that stems from a more recent phenomenon. Computers and their influence have altered art.
It doesn’t take much research to realize how difficult it is to find art classes that feature classic figure drawing and painting. Computer classes, advanced imagery and conceptual installation art have taken over many schools. Demands for high tech courses have driven changes in the basics of what is taught as art. The hand of the artist has been replaced with a mouse. It is easier to manipulate images on your computer than it is to struggle with the same problems by hand. Painting, by comparison, becomes a quaint hobby for the unhip and out-of-touch.
It is not surprising that many express contempt for us mere painters. But take heart, painters, for that very fact is proof of painting’s relevance. Throughout the history of art, it is the path less traveled and unaccepted that is the one most honored.
museums, and critics again are taking notice of painters and their work. As Mr.
Knight points out, “actual painting is a staple in gallery exhibitions from
I am exhibiting my art in three locations until the end of December:
Dogs Gallery in
Lulu’s Café in Sherman Oaks, California
Monsoon Gallery in
LA has an abundance of talented actors, writers and directors. I have seen many wonderful shows in the smaller venues in town that rival off Broadway.
That is why I was pleased to attend a performance reading of "They Call Me Mister Fry," written and performed by Jack Freiberger. A performance reading of a play is like a film preview before the actual opening. The audience gets to give their opinion of the play, and like a film, it can be edited and changed according to those comments. I have always been somewhat outspoken and opinionated, so this sounded like fun to me.
This one-man play is about a Wonder Bread idealist, who winds up teaching 5th grade in a No Child Left Behind South Central school. It follows the misadventures of Mr. Fry through the course of a year, with many missteps by both teacher and students. Jack has a great knack for capturing the many people that are Mr. Fry's protagonists, but it is the interaction of two students with their teacher that sets the emotional core of the story. Jack playing these three parts is a fascinating dance to watch. Laughing at the futility of going against a system that is designed for failure and crying when Mr. Fry actually succeeds in teaching and touching the kids. But what he learns is, of course, the most important lesson. It is a wonderful story full of emotion and Jack's portrayal showcases his versatility as an actor.
The audience was unanimous in its praise of the play. However, a work in progress can always be improved and the comments of the audience can only make a good thing better.
"They Call Me Mister Fry" will open in February and I will keep everyone posted on the specifics.
December 1 was a great evening for art. There were numerous gallery openings and I attended two that where as different as Jackson Pollock and William Wendt.
Segil Fine Art in
My second stop was
Both exhibits run through December and have creative ideas for gift giving. You can learn more about the exhibits and the artists at their websites.