Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Brothers" by Alison Nastasi

I acquired this gorgeous little reduction woodcut (image is 6" x 8") in a trade. Its creator, Alison Nastasi, attended graduate school at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with me. Since receiving her MFA in 2006 she's exhibited widely, mostly in independent art spaces, and she's also a prolific film reviewer for Moviefone/Cinematical.

This woodcut reminds me a bit of Gauguin's with its use of nautral yellows and browns and sophisticated use of primitive mark-making to create expressive figures. They are so abstract, and yet convincingly real; many marks suggestive of details, yet without firm commitment. Reminds me of when I recall the face of someone I know well, how the face at first seems photographic in my mind, and yet if I try to focus on specifics everything falls apart. The two "brothers" (who I assume are monks given their bald heads, dark robes, and hands clasp in prayer) emerge from a wooden background. The one on the right turns his head toward the other. I imagine him whispering something about whatever they are both standing in attention toward. The one of the left is hunched over, head turned in a solemn gesture, but one eye focused out. What is behind his focused gaze? Inner peace? Judgment? Guilt? Certainly something profound. For years this work has hung on my wall, and I never tire of examining that eye with wonder.

No comments:

Post a Comment