Saturday, February 6, 2010


Yesterday my Critical theory class, with Peter Frank, met at the Scape gallery in Corona Del Mar to view the work of artist Ray Turner. Turner has painted portraits of local art collectors - for the most part on 12 x 12" pieces of glass. He then paints squares of various colors on the wall and arranges the portraits on the squares. The gallery contacts their collectors, invites them to attend a photo shoot, but tells them that just because he photographs them, does not mean he will paint them. Ah , how smart - dangling the carrot, instilling the fear of being left out... The guy knows what he is doing. The buyer chooses the background color and the gallery sends a painter to their home to paint the colored square on their wall. The portraits are very interesting. Each one is painted with colors and brush strokes unique to the sitter. He really seems to capture individual personality. There was one portrait that stuck out as not like the others. It was far too warm in tone and felt over worked - not as spontaneous as the others. The jaw line and neck appeared rubbed out. I commented on this and Peter Frank suggested that the subject may have had plastic surgery and this was the artists way of dealing with that. The gallery owner had over heard, came out and wanted to know which painting we were talking of. Sure enough, the woman painted had loved her portrait and claimed this is what she would look like after her "next" surgery. I was impressed that Frank had such a keen eye as to figure out what it was. The portraits were inspiring. I'd love to give something like that a go. Another student pointed out, that by painting on glass he was probably saving time by blowing up the images and putting the glass on top of the photos and painting directly. Hm. One can only say, why didn't I think of that first?

1 comment:

Fred Bell said...

Hi Serena, I enjoyed your report on your visit to see the portraits of Ray Turner. I was not familiar with his work but like it a lot. I wondered about using a photo and painting it on the glass. Do you think that's how he does them?