dream of the soft look 2013
The Soft Look - oil on canvas 70"x88" collection of artist
Trick Or Treaters - oil on canvas 80"x65" private collection
Sleep Walking - oil on canvas 83"x73" private collection
Madame X - oil on canvas 92"x43" private collection
Getting Ready, 1,2,3,4 - oil on canvas 4x 48"x72" private collections
Prelude to a Kiss, triptych - oil on canvas 3 x 40"x60" private collection
In Focus - oil on canvas 36"x64" private collection
Shower - oil on canvas 36"x64" private collection
Shave - oil on canvas 36"x64"
A Shadow's Kiss - oil on canvas 36"x64" private collection
Remembrance - oil on canvas 36"x64" private collection
Crayons - oil on canvas 36"x64" private collection
Dream of the Soft Look, continues my exploration of the human life cycle. Building on my earlier work in the Elder Kinder series, these new paintings invite the viewer into intimate moments of truth, many of which are reflected in the model’s gaze in a mirror.
The resulting view sparks an external/internal conversation filled with moments of bewilderment, frustration, humor, and wonder as the aged body is reflected back at the still vibrant soul, dreaming of the soft look.
These new works explore the tension between the physical and psychological elements of aging. However the show also has much to do with memory, and its enduring role throughout the life cycle. My black-and-white paintings reflect the “realness” of now. They are the mirror of the present, while the “idealized” memory, often colored over time, is presented in myriad pigments.
I've also created a short video to further explore this concept of aging. A black and white lens follows my grandfather, Leonard Bard, waking up to one of Chopin’s Nocturnes. As my grandfather goes through his daily painstaking routine of waking, showering, shaving etc., he has contemplative moments interspersed with flashbacks to his past. These memories are of his wife and daughters and are represented by 8mm footage, which was filmed by Leonard in the 1950′s.
The video presents us with my grandfather now in black and white, and my grandfather’s actual memories in color. As the video dances between the present and past, Leonard comes face-to-face with his countenance and circumstance, ultimately finding equilibrium in his memories and the wisdom gained from a lifetime of living.