The Portables Series
In the 19th and early 20th century when Paris was the center of the art world, the annual Salon was virtually the only venue where artists could show their work. Usually it was the largest paintings, the giant “machines” made to demonstrate technical expertise as well as to pander to official tastes and expectations, that would attract the greatest attention and garner the prizes that would in turn open the door to lucrative careers. Fast forward to New York City and the second half of the 20th Century, with the French Impressionist and Expressionist revolutions having substantially changed the course of modern art. NYC is the new art world capital. Individual personal expression is the new avant-garde and has taken already established abstract art into ever newer fields of endeavor. The canvas is no longer merely the surface for demonstrated aesthetic structure, it is the field of action in which the artist is the performer. For diverse reasons, this “action field” of the canvas kept expanding so that it was not unusual for paintings to be as large, if not larger, than the “machines” of 19th century Paris. And like the earlier paintings bound for the Louvre or other museums and palaces throughout France, the works in New York, once they were appreciated, touted and valued, spread across the land and around the world to museums and to the collections housed in the “palaces” of the ultra wealthy.
The Portables series addresses the issue of size. They are not miniatures or copies of artists’ original works. They are works of art in their own right. The pieces reference the biggest names – the makers and shakers – in the art world of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Their size offers an intimate relationship with the viewer. In practical terms, not only are they a good fit for the average museum room, home or apartment; but also, with the handle incorporated within the form, are eminently “portable.” Each piece is created with material differing from the referenced work, further emphasizing their independent viability; each work stands to be appreciated on its own merits, although certainly the association adds depth to the experience. It goes without saying that all the referenced artists’ prized works are either no longer available or are well beyond the means of any but the wealthiest. This series is not only “portable,” but “affordable” as well.