New Exhibition in London9th May 2018
Gallery : Zari Gallery
About the exhibition: Artsy Magazine
I am creating a series of paintings with the help of my wife Fanny (Marian Fannon Christian) who has a beautiful collection of scarves and a flair for tying them in a creative way. She has also created earrings to compliment the cloth in the turbans. I love painting them because I love painting drapery! Here are the first five paintings finished so far. It is a natural progression for me to go from the Mannequin Series to The Fanny Sleeping Series which was very elaborate, to the simplicity and elegance of a head wearing a beautiful turban.
A reflection of Me & Susan in front of my drawing of her in London 1973
My life as a world traveler has given me the opportunity to be a photographer as well as a painter and draughtsman. My most prolific period of taking photographs was in the pre digital era between 1967 and 1981 and during that time I wouldn’t go anywhere without my trusted Roleiflex camera.
I now have a vast collection of negatives taken during that time in seventeen countries on four continents. Although this part of my art is relatively unknown, for me the photographic collection is as important as my collection of paintings and drawings. Posted below are a few of my favourites.
At the end of 1984 I suffered a tragedy that so traumatized me I was hardly able to function. Happily I had enough wit left to realize that I needed to go somewhere so different from anything I knew or had seen before that it would stimulate me out of the terrible state I was in and might even give me inspiration to paint. No country I had ever heard people talking about with awe to amazement and unbridled enthusiasm fitted the bill more than India, and so within a few days of having the idea I was on a ‘plane to Delhi. I arrived in India for the first time at about 2am on a January morning in 1985.
Instead of the socializing and meeting beautiful girls to paint as I might have expected, within a few days I landed in the middle of nowhere. Well actually at the estate of a Maharajah whom I had befriended soon after my arrival, a two thousand acre mustard field about sixty miles outside Jaipur, in Rajasthan. There were many workers on the property and it had been arranged by the owner that I would be able to paint any one of them I wished, or any of the scenes in the villages on the estate. I was indeed inspired beyond anything I had experienced before and painted like a madman for three months, before returning to my home in New York, where I was living at that time.
This experience was so enriching, I soon returned to that extraordinary country, once again to be inspired and paint non-stop. My only regret was that my painting was so slow in relation to my visions thoughts and inspirations. And so, endlessly inspired, I kept returning until finally, in 1993 I actually moved there, to South India with my three children so that they might attend the American school in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. Living and painting in India has enabled me to paint many of the most amazing people and sights I have ever seen anywhere, and I don’t consider my various series, which have so far covered mostly Rajasthan and Chennai, complete yet.
This is a series of paintings of my wife, Fanny, sleeping. It is a natural progression from my well known Mannequin Series in which I concentrate on Drapery, one of my favourite subjects to paint. In that series, I draped the inanimate mannequins , giving them a sense of life and emotion. Here I have reversed that idea by taking a real person, the love of my life, and painting her in an objective manner concentrating once again on the fantastic drapery.