In the evening of a very hot day, I visited the opening of the show at Liggett Studios early. That was a mistake. I was thinking that an early visit would allow me to see the pictures in more depth, but next time, I'll wait until later in the evening so I can gauge the dynamics of the crowd. I am new at this game.
Here are my takeaways from the experience:
The space is wonderful for showcasing art. It's large and well lit. Even filling the space with two artists, it has plenty of room for both to display a hefty body of work. This show displays the works of two very different, but complementary artists, Allyssa Fields and Patrick Romine.
Allyssa's work is beautiful. Her paintings reflect the themes of love, romance, and emotion, often with a floral touch. Her portraits of her baby have almost a religious connotation, but being the mother of a newborn baby is somewhat of a spiritual experience for most mothers. At least it was for me, many years ago.
Patrick paints beautiful still lifes. Most have a rustic feel and include fruit, old fashioned cookware and lamps, etc. My favorite of his has a travel bag and a map. If I were to buy one painting from the show, I think that would be my choice.
Patrick's works tend to be fairly small, while Allyssa's, on average, were larger.
Both artists are talented and create intriguing realistic paintings. And they both seem to have a clear direction and purpose to their work. What I did not see in this show, interestingly, were abstracts, landscapes, and huge paintings for very large spaces.
I'd stopped by another gallery beforehand that is between exhibits, and was being painted and prepared for the fall season. Although they just had a lot of random pieces around, not a real show, I came away asking myself if size (huge) was more important than the paintings themselves and how they were rendered. The Liggett Studios show took my thoughts in another direction. Each painting told its own story. No chaos. The visit was a calm and uplifting experience. The crowds were just starting to drift in when I left. Like I said before, I will not be the early bird next time.
If you get a chance, take time to visit the studio in the East Village to view these artists' work for yourself.