Explorative Painting

Brandywine Workshop and Archive

The Brandywine Workshop and Archive is an institution in Philadelphia with a history of at least 60 years working with artist to make prints of their work. They have an extraordinary collection of prints from many of 20th-21st Century greatest artists. It’s really immense and impressive. One area  filled with gigantic printing presses is amazing to say the least. Just looking around the rooms with art hanging everywhere is awe inspiring. 

I am honored and grateful beyond belief to say I was selected this year through a Libby Newman fellowship grant to  create a print for their collection. 

Now the work begins and frankly I don’t know what I am doing . I feel in good hands though through the help and mentoring of director Allan Edmunds and Gustavo Garcia.

Tony Ward Exhibition at Jed Williams

I attended the exciting opening of Philadelphia number one provocateur Tony Ward on Saturday evening. His images captures a world which I have to claim I have not been privy to in much of my life.  I have had  small glimpses of it’s existence through stories and the lens of filmmakers and  photographers as Mr. Ward.

It’s a sexual narrative. Stories about peoples obsessions. The photographs look spontaneous. As if one walked into an unsuspecting  scene where people were expressing theirselves through bodily contact. Some have a certain staging. Like a scene from a great film. Lingering images which never really leave us. Sometimes it’s beautiful like a highly stylized fashion shoot. Other times it’s so graphic it becomes like a page from a medical journey. Maybe more than one might want to see. He taking us on a journey into forbidden territories. He can magically jump from microscopic views,  panoramic sets and bodyscapes  evoking  memories of the late Helmut Newton. His closeups of faces are simply gorgeous. His choice of models is part of the magic. Some are just so photogenic while others are just interesting characters within  the world. His eye for compositions is genius. No small feat when one is capturing many forms in one frame.

I think Tony has a kind of bad boy sense of humor. He dishes out his brand with an intelligence and a sense of frivolity. The disturbance in his work is intentionally. Like screaming to someone to “Wake Up”! Sometimes people have to look away or slightly squint . Like a  Joel-Peter Witkin photograph. Beautiful in print quality, haunting in content.Genius in its ability to transport us. Tony transports us sometimes to a beautiful setting where sex is a natural as drinking water or on a magic carpet ride through an orifice. Sheared and raw. A reminder of really what we look like underneath the surface we have elevated.

Tony Ward understands his craft. No doubt. He is a master .He now teaches at University of Pennsylvania. His students adore him and his work. He challenges them to greater heights of exploration in art .

Sometimes that art will take one to beautiful landscapes or deepest darkest secrets within the mind. Its the formula for all of the great works throughout history. 

The show is up for at least the month of February  at The Jed Williams Gallery 6th and Bainbridge .Philadelphia. Try to stop by. You won’t be disappointed. 

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