Homa Taj in Conversation with Spanish Photorealist Painter Bernardo Torrens

 

Sandra in the Pool, 2014 , acrylic on wood, 28 34 X 57 34 inches
Sandra in the Pool, 2014 , acrylic on wood, 28 34 X 57 34 inches

BERNARDO TORRENS: NEW PAINTINGS will be on view at Bernaducci Meisel Gallery in NYC from November 4 until 26th.

 

Homa Taj – What inspired you to become a painter?
Bernardo Torrens – It was more a matter of what I didn’t want to be. At some point, the only activity that gave me some pleasure was drawing, and later painting. It was not a real choice and until that moment art was not an option. No one in my family or friends was involved in the arts.

HT – Why photorealism? Asid from the fact that you are an exceptionally talented figurative painter…
BT – Again, at the beginning, it was not important. I remember a show in Madrid, I can’t tell what year it was, called, more or less AMERICAN REALISM or something like that in the very early 80’s. I was shocked by some of the paintings and their subjects. I can remember perfectly a Chuck Close portrait, huuuge. It was for me something extremely new, fresh, never seen before. You have to realize how difficult it was, at that time, to have information about what was going on in the US. I guess it was somehow inspiring.

HT – Why choose monotonal (or black and white) palette? It’s very photographic…
BT – I like to call it achromatic and, yes, it looks quite photographic, at first glance, but under good natural light conditions you can see big differences in all the tonal grays, cold, neutral and warm which creates the sense of color. In fact many people remember some of my achromatic works as full color ones.

HT – You paint mainly women, female nudes… Have you been commissioned to paint anyone – a female nude?
BT -Yes, and in these few cases the result has been extremely interesting in so many ways.

HT – How about portraits, you have done some commissioned portraits including the former President of the Spanish Parliament, Mr. Felix Pons. Are you still accepting portraits…?
BT – And recently also the portrait of former President Jose Bono. These kind of work I very rarely accepted, but I do accept commissioned portraits from anonymous people. I only ask for one thing: I have to be absolutely free to do what I want to do and the person has to think more like they are going to be one of my models for one of my paintings rather than commissioner of a classical portrait, which I don’t do.

HT – I think their Royal Highnesses King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia need to have their portraits done by you? What do you think? And, a pair of their daughters?
BT – Hahahaha I don’t think so. After the experience with Antonio Lopez Royal Family portrait I’m sure they will prefer a selfie!!

HT – You have a show opening at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in NYC, at the start of November. What new works are you showing? How is this show different from other (IF it is….)?
BT – It is an end and a beginning. At least that is my feeling. I am showing new color works after many years working only with achromatic works, and a really new kind of works: watercolors on polyester. This is something I want to continue exploring in the future as color works as well.

HT – Who do you use as models? Professionals only?
BT – Not only professionals, I am open to finding new models, always and everywhere.

HT – How long does an average (say? 4×6 feet) painting take you to paint?
BT – I paint as fast as I can. For me time is not a plus. If I don’t do it faster is because I can’t. Also, I don’t have assistants and I don’t use shortcuts, I just paint my works by myself. So let’s say a work like “The Three Graces” (see below) took me 7 months.

HT – What is your work process like? Do you go to the studio – in Madrid? – during regular hours every day? Do you listen to music? Etc…
BT – It really depends a lot on my mood. Some times too much… Some times I have a mental blackout and believe me that is scary, and there is not too much you can do. And sometimes time flies and I work as if I were 30 again. And I never listen to music, it creates something like a soundtrack in a movie and improves the feelings in front of the works, and can make you make mistakes, or think it is better than it is.

HT – Where do you find inspiration … (visiting a museum? listening to music? making love? etc….)
BT – “Inspiration is for amateurs.” (Chuck Close)

 

Three Graces, 2013-2014 , acrylic on wood, 78 12 X 48 inches
Three Graces, 2013-2014 , acrylic on wood, 78 12 X 48 inches

For further information or images please contact Marina Press at marina@meiselgallery.com or
212.593.3757. Viewing hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00am to 5:30pm. Exhibition Catalogue Available.

BERNADUCCI MEISEL GALLERY

37 West 57 Street . New York 10019 . 212.593.3757 - bernarducci@meiselgallery.com . bernarduccimeisel.com

 

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NYC Artist Mira Schor Guest Lectures at RISD’s IT, ME, YOU, US

Mira Schor, Opening of her 2013 show, “Chthonic Garden,” at CB1 Gallery in LA, photo Marlene Picard ©Picard’s Picks
Mira Schor, Opening of her 2013 show, “Chthonic Garden,” at CB1 Gallery in LA, photo Marlene Picard ©Picard’s Picks

New York-based painter and author Mira Schor is giving a lecture at the RISD Museum in Providence, RI October 16 as part of their fall  “IT, ME, YOU, US” LECTURE/WORKSHOP SERIES which explores the interacting between language and art. Other speakers in this series include the Pulitzer Prize winning art critic for the New York Times, Holland Cotter, and choreographer and author Liz Lerman.

In Schor’s influential book Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture, she explores why visual artists write: “artists are moved to make the case for the movement they feel they belong to, or because no one else will or can make the case for their own aesthetic any better. Rather than being detrimental to the development of their own art, writing has often proved itself a very useful element in the process of staking out aesthetic positions, clarifying ideas, and tempering creative impulses. Writing is a space in which to work out ideas about one’s own work.”

Schor will discuss the interest visual artists have in contributing to the critical discourse of their time, and will explore some of the changing conditions and values of writing in the blog age. She currently has a blog A Year of Positive Thinking where she writes about art and politics. Schor’s paintings often represent language, which doubles the double identification she will speak about.
The artist’s blog A year of Positive Thinking. She is represented by CBI Gallery.

Photos:

Mira Schor, Visual Pleasure, 2013. Ink, oil and gesso on linen, 18”x30”
Mira Schor, Opening of her 2013 show, “Chthonic Garden,” at CB1 Gallery in LA, photo Marlene Picard ©Picard’s Picks

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Filmmaker’s note about Nantucket Atheneum: A short film by Homa Taj based on a poem by Frank J Cunningham

Nantucket Atheneum - Short film by Homa Taj

VIDEO: Nantucket Atheneum, Trailer for a short film – IMDb

A note from the filmmaker :

This short film is my tribute to the talents of a dear friend and poet, Frank J Cunningham. Nantucket Atheneum is based on one of Frank’s Nantucket Cycle poems inspired by the (founded 1847).

Years before I embarked on a journey through academia which took me through Harvard, The Courtauld Institute, and University of Oxford – I was an aspiring filmmaker. In fact, my very first short film Portrait of a Poet: Jennifer Ricci (1997) was about a young poetess who was bound to a wheelchair for life…

Fast forward years later, I became inspired to make my fifth short film – first in thirteen years:

On 28th June 2012, Frank had collapsed at his home on Nantucket and was taken by an ambulance to the Hospital. A few hours later, he was medvaced by a helicopter to Tufts Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), in Boston, where he was induced into a coma for three and a half weeks during which he suffered a heart attack whilst being kept alive on super lung and dialysis machines.

Frank had been diagnosed with the curiously rare Legionnaire’s Disease. Days after his admittance into the MICU at Tufts, a family priest was brought in to give him Last Rites… Twice.

Frank regained full consciousness on July 27th 2012 and spent the following months learning to walk again … and the following two years struggling to re-learn how to lead a normal life.

Three months after he was discharged from the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, I began filming Nantucket Atheneum, toward the end of October 2012.

In the words of his Doctor (Timothy Lepore), “Apparently, you are a hard man to kill.

In Frank’s words (from the poem), “…the rush of being is chasing valiant dreams.”

 

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Association of Print Scholars (APS) Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Association of Print Scholars - APS
Association of Print Scholars – APS

Announcement from the Association of Print Scholars, 7 October 2014

We are excited to announce the launch of the Association of Print Scholars (APS). APS is a nonprofit members’ group for enthusiasts of printmaking that will bring together the diverse community of curators, collectors, academics, grad students, paper conservators, critics, independent scholars, and dealers. APS’s goals are to encourage innovative and interdisciplinary study of printmaking and facilitate dialogue among members.

Membership benefits will include:

- Access to a searchable database of active members and their current activities
- Ability to update online membership profile with all print-related activities
- Announcements about events, exhibitions, calls for papers, and other news from the print world
- Opportunities to promote new projects to members on the APS website and listserv
- Participation in APS’s events, including lectures and scholarly conferences
- Grants for digital projects and research, and support for working/reading groups

For further information, please contact info@printscholars.org, or visit www.printscholars.org.

Please consider joining and donating to APS through our Indiegogo Campaign - http://igg.me/at/printscholars. Your support will help us build our website, which will launch in early 2015.

Thank you,

Britany Salsbury, CUNY Graduate Center and Metropolitan Museum of Art
Co-President

Christina Weyl, Rutgers University
Co-President

Alison W. Chang, RISD Museum
Vice President

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Frank J Cunningham In Conversation with Tony Candon The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

turough1500

Connect with Homa Taj (IMDb) on Twitter & Facebook

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Irish-born poet and regular contributor to MUSEUMVIEWS, Frank J Cunningham (Twitter @FJCunningham) visited The National Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, County Mayo. There, he spoke with Tony Candon, Keeper of the Irish Folklife Collection in the National Museum of Ireland and Manager of the Museum of Country Life.

National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

The Museum is home to the National Folklife Collection which represents traditional life in Ireland throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Fascinating artifacts deal with domestic life, agriculture, fishing and hunting, clothing and textiles, furniture and fittings, trades and crafts, transport, sports and leisure and religion.

Set in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo the Museum treats visitors to a taste of how our ancestors lived their daily lives, in both difficult and joyful times. The Museum runs programmes for adults, families and schools to raise awareness of the Museum collection and the associated traditional crafts, customs and traditions. The programmes consist of talks, demonstrations and performances as well as hands-on art and craft workshops.

A comfortable hour drive, enjoying the Mayo landscape, and you will arrive at the fantastic setting of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Turlough. Stroll through Turlough Park and enjoy the re-designed Victorian gardens and it’s Glasshouse before diving into history. (Text courtesy National Museum of Ireland – Country Life)

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