Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Strange Encounters~Senior Exhibition

Artist Son's senior exhibition, opened two weeks before we arrived for graduation. His friend took this picture of him on the opening day. Artist's Son's exhibition included seven works in oil on canvas, and they were hung in the small gallery of the Gordon's Barrington Center for the Arts. Thankfully, the senior exhibitions were still on display when we arrived in Wenham to celebrate Artist's Son Graduation.

Before entering the gallery, we picked up a copy of Artist Son's artist Statement:

Strange Encounters

This series explores the tension between humans and animals. Wild animals wander in a typically human landscape, that of the city. I want to paint animals in city-scapes because I am struck by their wildness within a structured, contained environment. 

The animals and humans pass by each other, confront each other, and sometimes inhabit their own separate spheres. Each enters, leaves, or stands uncomfortably on the border between connected spaces.

The soldier figure appears callous, but may or may not have a capacity for empathy. This raises questions of human brutality toward the 'other', whether human or animal. When soldiers dominate a city, it is usually a sign the city is no longer safe. It's an aggressive presence, but still human.

Space and light also become  characters on this stage and contribute to the suspense. As one wanders through the maze, there is no telling who, or what, is around the corner.

Entering the gallery, I immediately felt the calmness and serenity of the space, which seemed a result of an ideal marriage of space and art. Below are the seven works which made up this exhibition.

Never Together, Always Together


A Lonely Shadow



Into the Daylight

Elephant Musing

I waited for a family member to verbalize the question that I knew someone would ask, "What does it mean?" I had approached works of art in a similar way. And based on what I had learned from discussing art with Artist Son, I anticipated his response: "What do you see?" As the mom, perhaps I saw things that other's might miss, perceived influences from Artist Son's childhood: colors, lines, and shadows common to Jordanian landscapes, the use of wild animals, which have long fascinated Artist Son, and the imaginary worlds that he created with them.

Slow looking yields further perception and the delight that comes with recognition. Narratives with themes of ambiguity, tension, and relationship began to emerge. The role of passageways. Color; immediately delightful, but why? Beautiful tints (color mixed with white) of color masterfully expressing shadows, light, and emotion. Layers.My eye is not trained enough to know how Artist Son painted all the layers of paint and glazes, but I could appreciate the exquisite result. The paintings called us to look again and again.

After viewing Artist Son's exhibition, he gave us a tour of his studio and we were treated to a behind the scenes look at how he had created his pieces.

Artist's Son's studio space

The models

Demonstrating a painting set-up

The palate

Painting set-up for Wanderer, with the green tints

Artist Son also gave us a tour of the printmaking room and explained the process that he had learned and practiced in making prints. 

A lot of yet uncollected student work was still out on the work tables, including some prints that Artist Son had made.

Looking at this print, I couldn't help but think of a book from Artist Son's childhood, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase,

What's next for Artist Son? Until we were on our way to the airport headed to Boston, that was still being decided. Though Artist Son was leaning toward taking a year off to work on his art and apply to more MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs, he made an eleventh hour decision to accept a very good scholarship offer to study with the acclaimed Houston painter, Michael Roque Collins at Houston Baptist University this fall.

For those who are interested, here is a short (four minutes) video about Michael Collins, Artist in Residence and director of HBU's MFA Program.

And another from a Houston arts television program. The spotlight on Michael Collins and HBU happen during the first segment/first nine minutes.

 Just days after the eleventh hour decision to go directly to grad school, Artist Son received an eleventh hour offer of a scholarshiped summer artist residency program at New York Academy of Art. That was a sweet and unexpected graduation (and birthday) gift!

Artist Son is presently enjoying his residency at NYAA, creating art and soaking up beauty and inspiration from the various museums and galleries throughout the city. You can follow him on Instagram at andrewmanningart.


MagistraCarminum said...

Wow- so impressed by Andrew's growth and his lovely work. So happy to get a peek at these! :-)

Quotidian Life said...

Thanks, Chris. Glad you enjoyed it.