Archive

Peter Agostini

I have been remiss is posting; so, here is an update on what has happened since I posted in January.

I finished two paintings in that time in preparation for a one man exhibit at the Artery Gallery in November for a total of fifteen works. The show contained works from 1997 to 2017; the exhibit contained two sample pieces from my digital paintings. I sold one piece in the show: Boardwalk Jitney sold to a prominent Greensboro collector with twenty minutes of the beginning of the opening reception.

Seaside Heights Boardwalk Jitney

Another piece that was in the show was sold to an overseas collector; however, the collector saw it on my website  and not the show; and it was sold after the exhibit closed. He purchased the oil painting On the Pier. The collector Tighe O’Connor and I share an artist mentor Dr. George Weber jr.; Tighe studied with him in Ireland in the 1980s and I at Rutgers Newark in the late 60s and early 70s.

On-The-Pier

I shipped out on Black Friday via USPS after shopping around between FedEx and the USPS. Shipping via FedEx would have cost an arm and a leg; did this while schlepping around a thirty-six inch mailing tube attached to the rack on my bicycle in the rain: gave up on my rusted, New Jersey, GMC car.

Mention that you have to wait ten minutes to attempt to restart your GMC car and those who had one or have friends who had one burst out laughing.

Circling back to my opening statement, the two new oil painting completed since January:

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Pier Fishing on the Toms River

and

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Arbor

I am somewhat of an outside artist in this town despite having been here from 1972 to 1997 and then 2014 to current; so, my opening was sparsely attended; however, I was able to have an extended conversation with fellow artist Bruce Shores. He and I were both T.A.s and studio assistants to Peter Agostini  at UNC at Greensboro in the 1970s and are very fond of our memories of studying under him.

When I picked up my works at the end of the show, I obtained a date for another one man exhibit in 2019; but I don’t know the month yet. The next two years will be consumed by doing at least twenty small oil paintings and studies.

 

 

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Examples of how a shape can be created,

Examples of how a shape can be created,


This post is a first installment on this subject.

The power of an artist derives from his intellect and his interaction with form.I learned this concept early; yet it grew in importance over the passing decades.

I first expressed this concept in the above manner in the thesis I wrote as an undergraduate: then it was simply an expression of how one may view an object: as a swelling form, as a collapsing form, or as a static form; this is easily translatable into the academic use of positive and negative space. In graduate school, when I was still doing retinal drawing and painting, I was instructed to feel the movement of a line (parabola) as it moved around the form of the model; as my mentor Peter Agostini was involved in creating a swelling human shape (look up prana).

[An aside: Peter Agostini had been involved with the creation of swelling forms from early in his career: inflated inner tubes (I didn’t see any but he did describe working with them), plaster balloons, and large swollen heads; this consideration of swelling from within carried over into his representation of the human figure and that of the horse. I did not realize Peter had comprehended prana until I spent an overnight in his studio when I drove his “Old Man” sculpture up to NYC: on a shelf over the entrance to his studio, he had displayed a few small figurines of Indian sculptures exhibiting prana. I first learned of this quality of inner swelling from George Weber but had not seen it directly applied until I saw Peter’s work. The figure to the left in the above image illustrates prana.]

Later on, while still in graduate school, I did a quick what if experiment and learned that if I held an objects’ position in relation to its environment in my visual field, the drawing carried the expression or feeling of the objects spacial relationships. The what if experiment was to retinally multiple focus on a column and on the cabinet doors behind it and to include an awareness of the space between them: The few strokes I put down conveyed in their meaning the spacial relationship of the original objects.

[aside two: when I refer to drawing from the retinal image, I mean that I had learned to draw an object while looking at the object and not at the drawing. the image below is an example.]

An example of looking at the object and not the image as I drew.

An example of looking at the object and not the image as I drew.

This manner of drawing continued until the early 1980s when my mind simply stopped wanting to be enslaved to the retinal image. I had to find a way to move inward that would satisfy my imagination.

To be continued.