Time flies when you’re having fun both in the studio and out. I was in Paris again in June for a brief visit, this time concentrating on connecting with local galleries and interviewing artists for my Great Nude.tv article entitled The Nude in Paris. I revisited a famous installation by Daniel Buren, one of France’s most renowned contemporary artists. His art pays particular attention to the structures and environments in which they exist, and his signature stripes are magnificent in his Columns installation in the Palais-Royal (below left). I appreciate his work so much more after attending a lecture and slide show he gave at the American University in Paris. A lot of art created today is more than 50 percent about concept and therefore understanding the cerebral inspiration for contemporary work is vital to its understanding.
Since returning from Paris, I have been concentrating on some painting backlog. I completed my colored pencil piece for Women of the Book. The Torah section which was my task to illustrate and personally interpret was Ki Tavo which deals with various polarities – the balance between giving and receiving, between reward and punishment etc. My final illustration (below) hopefully invokes an ambiguity as to whether the hands are in the process of giving or receiving. The dramatic backdrop conjures the beginning of time when I believe our connection to the earth and the spiritual world was clearer. The pomegranate is a common Jewish symbol and also happens to be the meaning of my family name – Milgrom – in Polish. Working on tradtional klaf, or animal hide parchment, was a real challenge and also confirmed that colored pencil is a very difficult medium when working on a large scale. I look forward to seeing the completed artists’ Torah and its eventual travelling exhibition.
Last Friday night (9/9/11) I participated in a group exhibition Political Potpourri which was the result of a call for entry for political works which individual artists are passionate about. I was thrilled to be able to exhibit my video A Winter’s Tale with its new soundtrack provided by composer Gina Bever. My video was originally shot in Israel in 2002 during the height of the Second Intifada (Palestinian Uprising) when suicide bombings became a deadly part of everyday life. I am eternally confounded by the potential for Man’s cruelty to Man and suicide bombing is a most heinous, senseless and merciless act of cowardice. Apart from my video, I also exhibited several sculptures, and my Israeli flag painting trilogy at MOCA DC in Washington DC’s Georgetown district.
I also recently completed a very challenging painting set to be exhibited at The Great Nude’s booth at the November Contemporary Art Fair in New York City. It felt wonderful to get back to the challenge of photorealistic painting, but after spending three days on one finger, I do ask myself why I subject myself to this type of work. The result is usually my greatest gratification.
Finally, as an antidote for this type of meticulous painting, I am thoroughly enjoying creating primitive and whimsical illustrations for a possible French cook book collaboration with chef and recipe tester Fiona Reed who is based in Maisons Lafitte outside of Paris. What better combination than food and art??