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June 22, 2012 Page 63 EAST END WOMEN


Networking Meeting Wednesday, June 27 in Baiting Hollow

Sunday, June 24 Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race

Art with a Voice: Charles Wildbank


ou can view many of Charles Wildbank’s works at the big Westhampton Beach Art Show, August 4 and 5. Or, this weekend, you can pay a visit to Jamesport to see his work in a very special setting. This show is inside the barn at the Jedidiah Hawkins Inn, much like the restaurant and inn next door, it’s worth the trip! Luscious lips so moist that it requires real restraint not to touch the canvas. A young organic farmer, dreds gathered loosely at the nape of his neck, beard stubble that begs to be rubbed. Beaded sweat on the forehead of a young red-head boy, as the sun streams through the translucent cartilage of his earlobe. That is the genius of Jamesport artist Charles Wildbank. You know his work—it’s graced the covers of Dan’s Papers more than nine times, most recently in April of 2012. His photorealism compositions evoke deep emotion and his new abstracts delight the eye and the senses with swirls and layers. And you can see the originals now at the Jedediah Hawkins Gallery in Jamesport, through June 24.

that is 18 feet high. As the size of his canvases have grown, so has the scope of his work. His current show reflects a new direction with abstract pieces and a focus on the elements, particularly water and large waves. “Water is timeless,� he says. The computer has also altered the way he approaches his work. “It’s fast – you have an instant preview,� and he likes the effects he can achieve with tools like Photoshop and iBrush. It also allows him to show his work anywhere in the world. Always expanding his art and his perspective, Wildbank says “I have done some sculpture in alabaster and I am





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Born deaf and raised in Nassau County, Wildbank always knew he would be an artist. “I couldn’t speak and had lousy self-esteem,â€? he says with clear articulation. Mainstreamed in school at six years old, he was grateful when a teacher called his parents and said he should be taking art lessons. “It was a great relief,â€? he says. “When you are deaf, you have to have something you can do. You can’t talk. You can’t play baseball and follow the coaching‌it was very frustrating for me. Drawing was something I was good at. â€? And he was very good. At the entrance to his current exhibit a small watercolor is set on an easel. It is a portrait of his grandfather as a young man, painted by Wildbank at the age of fifteen. It appears to be the work of a far more mature artist, capturing the essence not just the image. On the strength of his portfolio, he was accepted into Pratt Institute. The environment at Pratt was exciting for a young artist. “I soaked in the entire art world, there was a group energy factor that I liked. It intensified everything‌â€? Concerned about making a living, he went on to receive a Masters Degree from Columbia in Special Education, “to have something to fall back onâ€? and taught for seven years. But he missed the art world and finally made the leap to pursue art full time in his late twenties. “I started in store windows on Fifth Avenue and had a few sales. Then Cartier gave me a show and I sold a big painting. That was my big break.â€? And when Wildbank says big – he means BIG! His canvases regularly measure upwards of eight feet. He recently completed a mural for the Queen Mary II

See more of Charles

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exploring glass and new materials. I am using a lot of metallic.� He is also more contemplative these days. “I do more meditation and I am loosening the boundaries, experimenting. I am interested in energy – the spiritual and organic. It’s arterial. If you are connected on all levels with your senses, you have more clarity. You don’t have any resistance – that comes with maturity.�


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Dan's Papers June 22, 2012  

Dan's Papers June 22, 2012 Issue

Dan's Papers June 22, 2012  

Dan's Papers June 22, 2012 Issue