Exploring the world opened up by a work of art
This week’s showcase:
“After the Bath” Oil on canvas framed, 33.5″ x 27.5″
In this time of Isolation, to touch — a basic yet potent essential life force — has become fraught with hesitation, anxiety and fear.
“Art is a form of contactless consolation when the most elemental comfort we have — touch — is unavailable” (Annalisa Quinn)
Harry Carmean’s “After the Bath” brings us (Out of Isolation) into a moment of deep connection and elemental comfort, without any hesitation. A present reminder of our need and care for one another.
This is not a meticulous, definitive rendering from which little is revealed of either artist or subject. Rather, to love like this, to paint like this, involves a total giving over of one’s self, an exposure of self to the Other. Vulnerability of the artist is paramount to conveying such tenderness. These bathing beauties are more than an artist and his muse. This painting holds a genuine affection that is palpable.
Carmean is a living master of the figure painting. His total commitment to his “love” is mirrored only in the learned confidence of each brushstroke. His wondrous use of Chiaroscuro, creating solidity of form with the use of light and shadow, is unforced and completely natural. The carefully orchestrated blend of hue and color envelops us in a vulnerable sea of lush intimacy. The ease of gesture inherent in his understanding of the human figure is a hard-won hallmark of his work, and a testimony to 80+ years of painting.
I can’t help but admire an accomplished artist who is still willing to bare his own soul, risking everything — for some thing, for some one, he loves, so much.