Statement for Other Peoples’ Palettes
While others painters explore color as light or color as cosmetic, I’m interested in color as narrative. In this body of oil paintings, I explore whether an artist’s essence can be captured in his or her palette, by using the works of well-known, deceased (one exception) artists. For this reason, I use the “oval” as a nod to portraiture. Alongside the effort to convey an artist’s character through color, I explore whether there is an instinctual difference artists’ palettes over time and across gender, all adding to the narrative of color in art history and time.
Jasper and Robert, Wassily and Gabriele, Jackson and Lee, and Max Dorothea are part of my Artist Couples Series, which use the palettes of two famous artists known to be in a relationship. For each oval, I use the palette of one painting by the artist. For each couple, I like to use two paintings that were made within a few years of each other and from the time the artists were known to be together. For example, in Jackson and Lee, I have used the palettes from, Jackson Pollock’s “Eyes in the Heat” and Lee Krasner’s “Noon,” both done in 1947. Each painting is intended to be like a snapshot of the two artists together at a particular moment in time. These paintings convey each artist not only through his or her palette, but also their palettes in relationship to each other.
Boissons avec Edgar, Edouard et Vincent, Déjeuner avec Claude et les deux Pierres and Edouard, Edgar et Mary à L’Opéra use the palettes of historical paintings to create fictional narratives and relationships between artists who painted in similar themes. For example, Boissons avec Edgar, Edouard et Vincent takes the palettes from three painting, which use bar scenes — one by Degas, one by Manet and one by Van Gogh — to create an imaginary narrative in which the three artists might have had drinks together. I consider myself as part of this narrative, the fourth guest, capturing the picture of the other three.
In both series, the use of the first names of the artist is purposeful and intended to suggest a familiarity or friendship between me and them.
Over the past few years “Other People’s Palettes” has expanded in size and scope. Recently, I have been using a feminist lens to make fifteen paintings that scrutinize the theme of the male gaze throughout art history. Each painting (20 x 24 inches) is comprised of 20 ovals in chronological order, meant to be read like a book: left to right, top to bottom. Each oval represents a male artist, done from a source painting that matches the theme referenced in the title, for example Men Spying on Women Bathing. The twenty source paintings from Men Spying on Women Bathing are all paintings of women in or just coming out of the bath.
The "source paintings" can span between four and five hundred years of art history, like Men Behold Women Reclining, which takes twenty paintings from 1507 to 1944 with the reclining nude as the subject. Others, like Men Study the Virgin with Her Breast Out capture a theme prevalent in a particular time in art history. In this case, a span of about two hundred years in which several prominent renaissance painters tackled the “Madonna lactans.”