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French Window Dora Maar View with Balcony
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In 2010, while in residence at the American Academy in Rome, I began what I think of as my Windowphilia large-scale/life-sized watercolor and ink depictions of windows on paper. Open, shut, ajar; curtained or naked; opaquely reflective or straightforwardly transparent—these painted windows all have their own ways of inviting the viewer in. And at the same time, each one begs you to wait just a moment, reminding us that what is contained in our own parallel points of view has just as much to offer as what lies outside. This particular view is of the studio windows of French Surrealist Dora Maar’s home in the French countryside, now an artist residency. The series includes depictions of Rome, Venice, Sperlonga, Florence, London, Brooklyn, and Paris. Commissions are welcome for specific locations and views.
Three things want a frame to give them structure: a painting, a story, and a window. All take different kinds of framing, of course, but the concept is similar: physical or abstract, a frame implies a viewpoint. It is where you start from.
Where you end up, on the other hand, is another matter entirely, because frames—for paintings, for stories, or for windows—are not so simple. They are points of entry that at the same time throw up barriers and define boundaries: the viewer is on one side or the other. A frame simultaneously organizes, invites, points the way, and separates.
Windows, in particular, invite a multiplicity of meanings. Add a reflective surface, so light can work its magic, and you bring a sort of graceful confusion: what is on one side can coexist with what is on the other, the space behind and before the viewer overlaid. Where you have been shows itself side by side with where you are, or where you may yet be going.
Inside Outside Windowphilia are life-sized ink and watercolor paintings of windows on paper.
Started while on my first residency at the American Academy in Rome Magical Things is an ongoing series of watercolors that venerate the easily overlooked objects of everyday life. Mundane objects become totems, milagros—charms of mindfulness, imbued with a power greater than the sum of their parts. This series has taken some twists and turns. For example, in 2018 after my mother died, I began a trajectory of this work which brought me solace and comfort: Magical Things from My Mother’s House. When NYC was given stay-at-home orders in March 2020, I embarked on Magical Things from Quarantine which helped me to process the strangeness of the time. These small paintings have and will continue to serve as a ballast of sorts, a touchstone for day-to-day experience.
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