Wishes (was originally made for the 4×8 show that Ron Naso and Tim Herron put together) The show wasn’t as well thought out as I would have liked. I was distracted by the 17 year cicadas that had arrived. I kept finding these beautiful orange insect wings. The 17 year cicadas have bright orange wings, all of the others have a muddy green. My friend Ben had brought me a horrifying bag filled with dead cicadas. I only wanted the wings! To my dismay and eternal gratitude, Ben and Colleen sat in the back yard, drank beer, and snipped the wings off of the critters. I spent a lot of time arranging them and seperating right wings from the more liberal left wings. Two of my paintings wound up with wings in them. (I couldn’t not use them after all of their hard work. ha).
It’s of great interest to me to incorporate natural fragile objects like the wishbones and cicada wings, but sometimes the objects themselves are more interesting than the art. Balance is always an issue. Presenting surfaces and space that highlight an emotion or precious object can be complex. If it looks complex, than I have failed. Most of the work show was successful. One of my favorite pieces is Veal, a drawing of a young cow staring at a box that is “just his size.” He’s innocent and humble, not giving much thought to the box, not unlike the many people who are ignorant of where their meat comes from and how cruelty plays a big part in it’s production. That piece has the biggest exhibition record but no one wants to buy it. Gee, I wonder why?
Living in Tremont has been a blessing for me. When I first moved from Little Italy in 1988 it was a safe haven for artists and criminals basically. Jean was here, and she and some of the other business owners saw the opportunity to use artists as a community draw. Now the neighborhood has something to tout about. The best part is Tremont is still producing challenging art, at one third of the NYC prices and Jean is still exhibiting it.
Judith Brandon July 1999 exhibition