Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jay Rolfe: More no coincidences ... my journey From Starving Artist To 21st Century Picasso

Don't you just love the future Jay Rolfe is projecting for himself? I do!

This is another example of "there are no coincidences" from my artistic life. I wrote in my post on Feb 16, 2007 of the influence one of Ellsworth Kelly's paintings had on me. It freed me to create my unique artistic idea of Three Dimensional Shaped Stretched Canvas paintings (3DSSC). As you might imagine, there are some technical difficulties in stretching canvas on shaped stretcher frames. In May last year I got the idea of trying to talk about some of those issues with Ellsworth Kelly who had been doing shaped canvases for over 50 years.

I got the feeling on a Thursday last June that I it was about time I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I'm a member and I go a number of times a year, and I hadn't visited in several months. It was time for me to go to the 20th Century and Contemporary wing and feel the beauty and peace I get when I soak in the paintings of Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Duchamp, Newman, Kelly, Pollock, and others. Also the Brancusi sculptures. I always look forward to going.

The next morning, Friday, June 23, 2006, I had a strong sense that I should go to the Museum that morning. After a leisurely breakfast with my wife Randy Rolfe (http://www.randyrolfe.com/) we chatted for a while. Suddenly I felt a strong urge to leave for the Museum. I said to Randy, "Excuse me. I'm sorry, but I have a very strong urge to go to the Museum now. I don't know what's going on, but I think I should go. Can we finish this later?" Of course she agreed and I left.

When I arrived at the Museum I picked up the daily events list and glanced at it. I noticed that there was an ongoing special exhibit of Ellsworth Kelly paintings done in Paris and New York in the late 1940's and early 1950's in two galleries. What a coincidence for Jay Rolfe who wanted to meet Ellsworth Kelly and talk about shaped canvases! I guess I hadn't read my member newsletter carefully enough, because I wasn't aware of it. Anyway, I headed for it, stopping at the Impressionist galleries on the way to see some of my favorite paintings.

I finally got to the Kelly galleries was admiring the Kelly paintings, including one of his first shaped canvases, when I realized that Ellsworth Kelly and Museum Director Anne d'Harnoncourt were in the same gallery! I'm kind of shy, but I did work up the courage to speak to Mr. Kelly. He was very gracious, friendly, and engaging. I told him of the influence his "Blue Green Curve" (1972) had on me, and he told me about his first shaped painting. Anne d'Harnoncourt was also quite gracious. They were only in the gallery for a few minutes, and I was there at the exact right time. Coincidence? I don't think so.

That was another step on the journey of Jay Rolfe From Starving Artist To 21st Century Picasso. You can see some expressions of my unique artistic idea on my website at http://www.3dssc.com/.

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