Driving Down a Road to Nowhere; Driving Down a Road to Somewhere

Driving Down a Road to Nowhere; Driving Down a Road to Somewhere

For an abstract painter, where nearly everything in life is abstract, painting is very much like driving down a road to nowhere. At the same time it is very much like driving down a road to somewhere. The distance between the two is thinly veiled. A slice in time and space. With no GPS to guide this way or that. There is no up and down, no left and right. Only space unfolding. Intuition plays a great part in all of this. But, if you listen too hard or too often, intuition will turn on you as well. It cannot do the work. It is not up to this enormous task. The painter must find the path. The painter must struggle through the reeds, the muck, the mire, the bramble. Torn and bloodied the painter crawls up from the slippery slope back onto the road. Sometimes you see something in the distance, but it is nothing. Other times you see nothing but your own hand, your own doubt and the painting appears before you. This is the magic of painting: it chooses you as much as you choose it. The road comes to a turn. One gets out and walks under a full moon. The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear;...
Life, Love and Riding the Wave: A Sun Valley Komarin Art Show

Life, Love and Riding the Wave: A Sun Valley Komarin Art Show

Life takes many curious twists and turns. Generally speaking, life moves in a wave, as does sound, light, and the oceans that cover our planet – whether you are in St. Bart’s, Jones Beach or the far reaches of some distant island. It happens that light can travel through space in a complete vacuum, whereas sound needs some form of matter to travel. As I have a current exhibition of new paintings at Gail Severn Gallery in Sun Valley, Idaho, KK and I were fully prepared and packed and ready to go fly west. Upon arriving at La Guardia Airport (at the ungodly hour of 6 am) we were told by the sleep deprived flight attendant that “all flights were canceled.” Period. End of subject. We returned to our NYC pied a terre, at first a bit out of sorts, had a glass of champagne and decided, as they say, “to make the best of it”. Or similarly, we made lemonade out of lemons. We had attempted to ride the wave and fly west and, on this morning, there was no wave to ride. Life is very much like riding a wave, and it does one good to remember this. Things often go well until they don’t. Much of this is, it seems, beyond our control. It is a good thing to realize that things happen that will position you, for a while only, in a downward wave; if one breathes adequately and stays calm, they will be picked up by an upward moving wave. So KK and I hung out, as it were, saw several movies – including...
Questions From The Studio – A Conversation with DJ Carey

Questions From The Studio – A Conversation with DJ Carey

DJ Carey and I connected last November for The Art Issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. She was gracious enough to give me some insight into the ups and downs of being the editorial director of a top design magazine.    Gary Komarin: How did you arrive at Connecticut Cottages & Gardens? DJ Carey: In 2004 I was a field scout for Meredith and a stylist working in Connecticut and knew many CT architects who recommended me to Newel Turner, Editorial Director at Cottages & Gardens, for the position of Editor in chief for the soon to be launched Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. Gary Komarin: Were you born with an editorial state of mind? In other words, do you have the organizational gene? Do you need that as editorial director? DJ Carey: I didn’t ever dream or think about being in publishing I literally fell into it! After college, with a degree in anthropology and geography and looking for a job, there was nothing in my field. So my mother, a college professor, suggested I go to Katherine Gibbs and learn how to type and get my foot in the door. After a two-month course at Katherine Gibbs I was sent on an interview at Condé Nast for an entry-level job and the rest is history! I am very organized, which comes in handy when I am putting together an issue or a photo shoot, but I do have to thank both of my parents who gave me skills that I use every day in my position – my mother being the anthropologist taught me to pull back and observe and...
Tennis and Contemporary Abstract Painting

Tennis and Contemporary Abstract Painting

There is a very curious parallel between Tennis and Contemporary Abstract Painting. As an Abstract Painter who plays tennis nearly daily, I have noticed certain correspondences that neither Tennis Players nor Abstract Painters put into position, but nevertheless are present in both. A tennis court is a specified rectangle of a certain size with clearly remarked end points. Most abstract paintings are done on rectangular formats and not dizzy edged canvases or flobby pillow like surfaces. A Tennis Player is very aware of the edges of the court, just as an Abstract Painter is aware of the edges of the canvas. A Tennis Player is aware of the space between things: the space between ball and net, the ball and player, ball and Self and, particularly, if a ball is rocketing toward their head at 150 mph. An Abstract Painter is very aware of the space between things: aware of the center of the canvas, the edges of the canvas and the two and three-dimensional aspects of forms moving through space. Tennis players are forms who move through space; they know not where they may next move, though sometimes there is a several second awareness of where they should move if they can get there. An Abstract Painter has a similar built-in system of awareness of where they should move, or rather: where a form painted in free space should move and where the space around a form should move and shift in some fashion. Tennis is, in many ways, a very abstract set of agreements and circumstances. Players agree to abide by a set of rules. The court has...

Sex Sells and Sex Sells in Contemporary Art

It is no great secret that sex sells in advertising and has been doing this quite well for some time now.  A great many products from cars to clothing to perfumes to hair conditioners and even to food products — where sauces are slowly dripped into place and icings on cakes are licked with eager tongues — all use sex to help sell the product at hand. Sex also sells in Contemporary Art. Not only Contemporary Art, but art of the past several thousand years. Certainly images of loosely clad women in the Japanese and Indian and Chinese Silk drawings engaging in sexual acts illustrates that sex was on the mind of our ancient forebears perhaps as much if not more than in the present time frame. African sculpture, which is tribal and primitive and quite beautiful in its elemental simplicity, done since the time of Christ (and made for ceremonial  and tribal reasons and not for the art market which did not exist at that time), is chock full of phallic attachments. It is often humorous to me in its directness and simplicity. A standing figure will have a phallus longer than the individual is tall. Sex sells is evident in contemporary art More recently Courbet, the great French painter of the 19th century, created an infamous portrait of a woman who is nearly without clothes lounging on a divan, to the delight of the onlookers and the collector who finally bought the piece. It was exhibited privately for a number of years because of its saucy nature. De Kooning, the great Dutch painter of the last century, became...