50’s Riffin

The place was upstate & in the middle of nowhere. She had heard about it from some of her friends. No one said what actually went on there but merely alluded to it w/slightly arched brows. The boy her parents insisted she spend time w/. “I know where we can go…” The drive was mostly done in silence as the small talk that they had attempted made it seem even more awkward. For his part, they forced jocularity he had tried out made him instantly think of his father and so his mouth snapped shut with no sound but much force. The ride was just long enough for the night quiet that surrounded them to become exciting, as if they were at the start of becoming co-conspirators.
There were some cars parked unevenly out front.

He took her hand and they went through the door. At first they had both been scared. Julia had been so frightened that much like the accident when she was younger, she became very quiet and although she moved, radiated a stillness. All of this kicked in before she actually became calm. For his part, his nerves remained a sea whose surface continued to roil. He looked at her, she was so calm, his palm was a wet guilty verdict.

Julia looked all around. A few people were holding beer bottles with the necks between their fingers like a piece of sporting equipment for a game with which they are only vaguely familiar. Antonella was slow dancing in the middle of the room. She had never been one of the pretty girls, the group within the group of burgeoning women. But after summer vacation word got around that she had done more than any of her better looking peers and this was parlayed into a type of popularity. All the times that she was ignored, she was now getting hers, insisting that her boyfriend dance with her.

Some of the boys sit on the lip of the fireplace, cigarettes dangling from their bottom lips, nudging each other with their shoulders and giggling.

In very little time Julia realized that there was nothing to be frightened of, this was just a giant playhouse with children playing at being adults. An entire night of watching the behavior of others, the effect similar to someone trying to describe a movie which they had not seen but merely had heard about, adulthood. Her date never fully relaxed and for the rest of her life Julia always gravitated towards men who were more frightened than her.
FiniOct 8 W.Wolfson

 

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The Sea (for Kini)

I used to do large paintings, acrylic on canvas. Door sized things. I was not very good at the time and I sometimes think the real art was in the making of the pieces as I often had an audience. Everyone liked the works but I think it was being caught up in the moment or after the fact, remembering the time.

I got serious about painting, I got good. I am far better with watercolors than I ever was with acrylics. I got rid of 95% of my old works.

My paintings and drawing tend to be far smaller now. my largest graphite pieces are 9×12 with the paintings being 7×10. (more often than not 5.5×8.5)

I have a logic to this. I want the viewer to feel as if ease-dropping in on whatever scene I am putting forth. As important as the emotional effect, i have the first time or new collector’s in mind.

When  first getting into art there is a vague sense of what one likes. The more you delve into art, the more exposure you have, the palate becomes fuller formed. To get one of the larger pieces so en vogue when first starting out, you run the risk of it dictating the timber of a burgeoning collection.

I want a collector to live with my works, not under them. For people where space is at a premium, the now seemingly typical big-boys dominate a room. The real big pieces, you have to almost put goggles over the mind’s eye, you stop noticing it except for rare instances and this defeats the purpose of having art.

With my now firmly established voice, I have no idea if my technique would even work with large pieces. As a challenge for myself I have decided to do a few larger (for me) pieces. Regardless of whether I can make it work, I still do not see myself going as big as is popular. Bigger is not better it is just “more”.

This is my first “big” piece.

The Sea (for Kini) graphite & paper 14×17

 

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Face Dances

For Sharon Anderson

I had an acquaintance in Toronto who fancies herself a shutterbug. She walks all around the city snapping photos of whatever catches her eye. She does this on her own, with friends and as part of an informal group.

The city has some vibrant graffiti and murals. Someone had done one of Prince, which she snapped a photo of. Prince as he was in the first flush of mega-stardom, decked out in the white ruffles and purple sequenced jacket. The problem was, it looked almost nothing like Prince. The outfit was correct and served as a visual clue:  “you are looking at Prince”.  Had he had no shirt on (or a different outfit) as occurred in some promo photos and videos, then no one would have had any idea who it was.

A lot of stars, especially artists,  have one or two  images  ingrained in the public’s conscious. This is even more so for musicians of the pre Instagram age.  Record companies, Dj etc all had to have the promotional photos/packs. The publicity photo a pre requisite but not too often updated. Jim Morrison is forever fitting into his leather pants, shirtless or with white pirate shirt, starring back at the camera as he wonders whether it is all worth it, forgetting that Rimbaud gave up poetry to become a white slaver. Jimi Hendrix is caught up in a spider’s web of bandannas and clashing colors as he lights Monterrey Pop on fire. And Prince had the ruffles at the throat and purple sequenced jacket different in color but similar to what Pete Townsend, light years away stylistically from the purple one, wore in the sixties.

So much rock was born out of rebellion, which is why every generation still holds it dear. Lazily resorting to visual shorthand of well known outfits reduces them down to a sort of uniform, very anti-rock (rebellion).

The best art tied in to musicians/artists, they should be recognizable in a different outfit or even just the face.

What makes for an even more worthwhile work is not their recognizably but rather does the work radiate an emotion which in turn makes the viewer feel something. The handicap of doing the visual shorthand of obvious outfit is even with some of the better works, you are freeze drying the emotion(s) to what was offered up in the photo. All photos are the souvenir of a dead thing as the moment has come and gone.

Faces, not necessarily of famous people, have always called to me. To conjure up a face on paper is an important part of what I do. Emotion coming through is the most important facet of what I do.

Here are several faces, done on different types paper. The inherent properties of the papers adding themselves to my voice like spice(s) to a stew.

All are 9×12

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Pocket Pads

I always have a pocket pad on me, more often than not it is my Midori w/ customized paper. I compulsively try different brands and set ups/ style.

I do in general prefer the refillable ones. There is something about having same pad accompany me all over the world and grow increasingly familiar in touch and sight for me.

There are some great non refillable pads out there too. Within my diverse collection of pocket pads they all fall within the 3×5 size range.

One thing I like about mixing thing up pad wise is that although they all are the same size each company’s paper has different properties. My voice remains present but each type of paper adding something of its own property’s to the mix.

It is akin to a musician using different instruments for different types of songs (think for example, Miles Davis or Jimmy Page)

Here are some quick sketches done on pocket pad of company I just discovered.

 

 

City Street Scene

I have the pleasure of providing images for the upcoming Kris Correya movie; 4 Stories & a Funeral. The images will start and close each segment and also appear in the credits.

The movie covers the little known outside of India music scene in Mumbai which is kept alive and evolving by multi generations of passionate enthusiasts.

“City Street Scene” 9×12 colored pencil & Paper

 

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Narrative Sixteen

Lucy had that way of looking both beautiful and tough that let me know that I would not be any good for her. At least not as promised by the end of countless movies.
I was looking for a hanger for my jacket as it deserved better than merely the back of a chair.
She was in the other room. I had said water would be fine but I swore that I heard the pa-pop of a cork being pulled, echoing the cadence too of a thousand French waiters hitting three fingers against puffed out cheeks and pursed lips in acknowledgment of their approval and that they will get on it right away.
Motion creates the illusion of accomplishment. Sharks are over achievers. Something caught the corner of my eye.
I had no idea where the light switch was and so decided to stand still and wait to see if it made its way into the strip of night sky that was spilling in through the ill placed window.

She came in holding two glasses. With a laugh:
“What are you doing?”
The light. A long centipede slowly crawled along the horizon line where floor meets wall.
It was all yellows and oranges with spots of molted black. There was a wet reddish piece of meat in its mouth which is managed to continue to carry.
I shuddered and rapidly slapped both my shoulders in confirmation that nothing was on me.
Lucy too was transfixed.
“I cant believe I used to smoke those things.”

W.Wolfson ’19

 

5×4 Quick sketch

 

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