Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring inspired this painting. My reference reminded me of his fabulous and famous piece. However there are major differences. He bathed her face in light, but here it is gently swathed in shadow with highlights produced by the light coming from the side. The background is lighter and more varied than Vermeer’s traditionally dark surface.
This young woman’s radiant smile comes from within. I sought to express it. In previous epochs a smile was impossible to capture as sitters can not smile for hours at a time. Look at Leonardo’s famous smile- captivating but hardly expansive. But with photography, art changed in many ways and the ability to study the smile is one such change.
I painted this using Leoni’s portrait of Carravaggio. He was 31 at the time. He died 9 years later, a victim of his propensity for violence. Her revolutionized painting with his observation of the subject together with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro, intense contrasts of light and dark. This came to be known as tenebrism, where the darks are a dominant feature of the piece.
Frank Zappa (1940 – 1993) was a a composer, musician, songwriter and bandleader. Most of his music was rock, with a strong note of heavy metal. His lyrics satirized American cluture. He composed classical pieces and had them performed. He also wrote jazz and pop pieces such as Valley Girl.
He produced most of his 60-plus albums and is the one of the most innovative of musicians.
My contribution to the L’Art de Career (Valenciano for Art on the Street) in Picanya, a small town on the south side of Valencia. It was sponsored by the Women of Picanya http://www.picanya.org/persones/dones/activitats. There are about 50 pieces hanging from the balconies celebrating women through March 20 2022.
Here are my comments:
Vivir tus sueños (Live Your Dreams)
This expressionist piece is about living our dreams, our desire to become who we want to be, to accomplish what we want to accomplish. We all seek the path we find most attractive.
Expressionism rejects the restrictions of realism while remaining largely figurative- you can recognize the object even if it’s not realistic. It also can include abstract elements. Here there are four women, two playing musical instruments, one singing. The fourth dreams of her possibilities. Not all the figures are attractive- beauty is not a requirement for success. There are two muses in the upper left and a third on the bottom left. They inspire the dreams.
The dreams of our youth influence the rest of our life. Those of our mature years, our 30’s and 40’s, are increasingly influenced by experience. As we continue to age, we tend to become more realistic but still can have our dreams, guiding our later years.
Vivir tus sueños (Live Your Dreams)
Esta obra expresionista trata el tema de los sueños que las personas tenemos, nuestras ganas de ser quien queremos ser, de lograr lo que queremos lograr. Cada uno de nosotros busca la libertad de seguir el camino que más nos atrae.
El Expresionismo rechaza las restricciones del realismo, y por eso nos permite explorar formas y figuras con menos límites. En esta obra, se ve a cuatro mujeres, dos que tocan instrumentos musicales, otra que baila. La cuarta mujer sueña con las posibilidades. También se ve a dos musas a la izquierda y otra al fondo quienes le inspiran a ella. Las musas vuelan en su mundo, invitándonos a explorar mundos nuevos.
Los sueños de nuestra juventud influyen al resto de nuestra vida. Los sueños de nuestros días más maduros, en torno a la edad de 30 y 40 años, se ven más influenciados por las experiencias que hemos tenido, haciéndonos más realistas, y reconociendo nuestros límites. Según vamos envejeciendo, volvemos a explorar nuestros sueños de una forma menos condicionada, ya que, en este periodo tenemos más tiempo libre y posiblemente más recursos disponibles, los sueños nos guían otra vez.