Sunday, April 01, 2012

I Wish I Had Not Seen That

Yin-Yang, Mixed-media on canvas, 20 x 30 inches
“I wish I had not seen that!” Heidi Of The Mountains was in our gallery when she overheard a man speaking to his wife. He must have wandered into the last room and looked into an obscure corner where my mixed-media piece called Yin-Yang is hanging on a wall.

Heidi reacted with surprise, even though she calls the piece “controversial,” and hangs it out of the way where many people visiting the gallery do not see it. Too bad, because it is beautiful. I made the image from a photograph I shot in my studio. Two young people modeled for me—a black man and white woman. They were roommates, and not romantically involved. To my surprise, they were perfectly at ease while I had them pose naked and sometimes intertwined. My studio was draped in black cloth and under my skylight, they danced, twisted, turned and played creatively while I snapped a few hundred pictures. Sometimes I had them flinging cloth around, or wearing masks. In the end, I made a number of very good pictures. They each were paid and signed releases granting me permission to use the pictures I took, and make them public.

With Yin-Yang, I manipulated the image in Photoshop, printed it on canvas, applied a coat of art medium to seal it and saturate the colors, and finally, painted on it, then after it dried, framed it. For some, it is their favorite piece of art in my gallery. One artist friend of mine told me, “They are both so very beautiful, expressing such an easy joy. I love this piece.”
Art galleries and museums are exciting places to visit, partly because we are free to experience what is taboo in general society. We see intimate expressions of humanness, and voyage with artists through their conscious and unconscious experiences. We can see all the colors of life, and it’s light as well as shadow.

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