Here is a virtual tour of my solo exhibit at 4 Elements Studio in Utica, NY: https://artspaces.kunstmatrix.com/en/exhibition/5261327/emergence-recent-works-by-steven-specht
Sunday, April 4, 2021
Friday, April 2, 2021
On Thursdays, my hometown newspaper publishes "The Scene" to inform folks of upcoming activities and events in the area. Although it was April 1st, I'm not fooling... I made "The Scene" (thanks to the good work of the folks at 4 Elements Studio. Thanks Vartan and Holly)!
Friday, March 19, 2021
Joe Castro is very talented collage acquaintance of mine, and a great musician who leads "Mighty Joe and the Gravamen" (Philadelphia) recently posted this piece on Facebook (if you're not familiar with his work, check it out). I found it interesting that a prominent element that he used in this piece is also an element that I used for a collage I did (and sold) years ago entitled "Misred". I chatted with him about it and also found it interesting that neither of us could remember from where the element came. Reason #137 why I love this medium ;-)
Monday, March 15, 2021
After getting all of my artwork finished (with frames and wiring) and packed-up for my up-coming solo exhibition at 4 Elements Studio (25+ pieces), I took a short break from my studio (mostly to grade 75+ exams from my students, and to work on some music stuff). This weekend, I went down to the studio to clean-up and organize for the next round of creativity. I ended-up doing this small piece rather unexpectedly and quickly. I had been experimenting a little bit with multiple images of the H1N1 virus that were from a cover of Science News from 2010. I felt very lucky to have discovered these images, as I am "religious" about being an analog collagist and not using photocopying or digital manipulations of my images. The various sizes of these virus images would allow me to potentially create some nice depth cues in a composition. This is only my second COVID-related artwork; and I think this one is associated with some different feelings than the last one I did. I am lucky to have already gotten my second vaccination; and I feel like, as a society, we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, with regard to the pandemic. Perhaps those feelings are captured in this piece, as it is, at the same time poignant and humorous -- even three months ago, humor was "out of the picture" for anything COVID-related for me. There's also another aspect of this piece (and all COVID-related artwork, I think) which I find intriguing: What will become of them? I think they all will be interesting cultural artifacts of a very significant globally-shared experience. On the other hand, I can't imagine that 5 or 10 years from now, they will be particularly sell-able. In 50 years, will they be more valuable as an artifact, or less valuable? -- it's difficult to predict. But here it is! It's entitled "Thou Shalt Not Approach Me with an Ill-Donned Mask" (5" x 5", analog collage):
Saturday, February 20, 2021
As most of you know, I am an analog collagist -- I use no photocopies or digital elements in my work. Occasionally, I am able to procure duplicate images from multiple copies of a source magazine or book, however. This magazine advertisement for Equitable insurance company is an interesting example. I recently used the element for the "Day in the Life" piece which was the companion of a piece done by my friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan. I also used that element for a piece I did a couple years ago that was accepted into the National Collage Society Annual Juried Exhibition. I hadn't explicitly looked at the earlier piece when I created the "Day in the Life" piece. When I compared the two, I found it quite curious that the angle at which I placed the element was virtually identical -- and not horizontal as the original had been. Interesting, I think. That particular angle for that element just seems natural to me.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
So, here is the finished piece. It is entitled "Have you met Ona, Modigliani's Great Grand-Daughter?". For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Amedeo Modigliani's beautiful paintings, I have included a couple here. As you can see, I "channelled" Modigliani's signature eye treatment for my collage. I am pleased with how it worked for this piece. The "ONA" on the stamps, I think were 'store-specific' back in the day when these "green stamps" were being used by grocery stores as a marketing gimmick. I actually have no idea whether Modigliani had any children, or grandchildren, for that matter. But as I have written about before, I think titles are an essential component of the creative process.