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SUMMER 2022 • $20


“Did you ever hear that to conquer your enemy, you must repent first, fall down on your knees and beg for mercy?” –Bob Dylan day for decades was murdered by two thugs for whatever pocket change such a person would carry along with his rod, reel and bait bucket. No, I’ll not be aware that a one year old in a hospital in Kampala has no food or water. The reality is, Fine Art should be the Daily News — we should be coming out every day cheering on all that is good and beautiful in creation. There should be no 85 year-old fishermen murdered; there should be no autistic five year-old repeating the only word she knows—“Mom-mom”—for hours on end because her mother was run down by a truck in the act of saving the child’s life; there should be no screams knifing down hospital corridors from the shattered, burned and bloodied victims of plane crashes, jealous lovers, guided missiles or suicide bombers. You sons of bitches out Gallerist, author, publisher and long-time Aidethere who, in the name of whatever you de Camp to Donovan, Chris Murray, pictured deem holy — be it your god, your country Harry Belafonte, newly ensconced in Rock and above with Priscilla Presley, played a major Roll Hall of Fame at age 95. Page 55 role in putting Donovan’s tribute album to Harry or the Almighty Dollar—stop! In the name Belafonte. Page 65 of purity, in the name of peace, in the name walk to the corner of 57th Street and First of the one supreme being who created Pat Kirmer portrait by Paul Matthews Avenue with a quarter to buy the Daily us all: STOP. There is abundance on this News, the Daily Mirror and three packs of “I considered all the oppressions that are done planet beyond your comprehension. There Topps baseball cards. I didn’t stop with the under the sun: and behold the tears of such as is room for many millions more of us. There sports section, either. In those days, the atrick was born to John andcomforter, Johannah Kirmer in Hollywood, California on May 1, 1929. Pat was one of six children, four boys were oppressed, and they had no are resources available — right before our centerfolds of the NY tabloids were rife and girls. During his early with his father, John, in the family butcher shop. He enlisted in the Army during and on two the side of the oppressors there years was he worked eyes — that you, in your frothing hatred with action photos — derailing trolley cars, power; War, but they no comforter.” the Korean andhad served stateside for threenatural years. After leaving service, Pat completed the California andhis lustcollege cannoteducation see. Fromatfishing out the disasters, car the crashes. There was waters to deforesting the land to piercing the —Ecclesiasties College of Arts and Crafts in northern 4:1 California. HeCannon moved toand New York,Winchell; where he the received a Scholarship to the Brooklyn Museum Jimmy Walter ozone that keeps usHesafe — this mass but I may as well try to catch thecompleting wind.” to“Ah pursue his studies in art. Upon his education, he went to work at the Baldwinvery School in Manhattan. taught art there Inquiring Photographer, Leonard Lewin of arrogance and stupidity is carrying the —Donovan for 30 years, and retired in 1988. During his career at the Baldwin School, he worked at the Baldwin School Camp in Keene Valley, and Earl Wilson and later on, Pete Hamill human race out with the tide, careening from ChrisYork. Murray toldwas me “Victor, you have soul.” New This his introduction to the Adirondacks and his beloved Johns Brook. and Jimmy Breslin. Yet, between Mark crisis to crisis on aon one-way path to oblivion. With that retiring, benediction, here is my Upon Pat and hiseditorial. wife Therese,Fuhrer’s movedsick to Keene Valley revelations and eventually a home Market Street. Johns and sickening and purchased Even in this country, that was once reminders of Pat was very engaged with the community Brook became Pat’s muse and he devoted the the vastsadness majorityofofthe hisconstant time painting the brook. hailed as a He melting pot for the oppressed August 30, 1995. starting withFire the Department man’s inhumanity to tickets man...I’m goingAnnual to and volunteered at I’m the Keene Valley selling raffle for their Field Day. was very engaged with the peoples of the world, in which date because is the it became break Oh, school I’ll be uninformed. I also known as the “apple man”, immigrants Keene Centraltoday School and day he worked tirelessly on this sets habit. for many plays. He was because of with barely the clothes on their back could overwhelmingly that out I must notto trick won’t know Winona Ryder is dating some his yearly customobvious of passing apples or treaters on Halloween. at least think they would be afforded, read the newspapers anymore. When IPat pass grunge star,at orthe thatEssex Monica Seles nursing is back on Over the past several months, had been living Center facility. He took his last “brush stroke” on the upon arrival, an opportunity — our own aevening newsstand, I’m going to have to turn away. the courts two predeceased plus years ofby therapy, of May 3rd. Pat and Therese had no children andafter he was two sisters, and two brothers. He is survived by his citizens are killing each other and not only I’ll bringMichael computerKirmer magazines thewife deli.Sandy, I’ll or that herinattacker wasNew let off twice by the brother andtohis who live Santa Fe, Mexico. in the ghettoes. The threat is not solely learn how to launch a web page. I’ll bring a German courts, a child in Sarajevo Pat established an annual Johns Brook Scholarship Fundortothat support a deserving graduating student from Keene Central School from outside our borders. Militias, cults pad and scribble my own thoughts. Just keep calling out to her mother, after a bomb who plans to major in music, art, or theater. is Memorial donations may be made to the Adirondack Foundation, PO Box 288, Lake and government agencies are in constant the newspaper away. blast, that she cannot find her little hand. Placid, NY 12916 or visit gifts will preparation for war. Wake up All people.What I can barely fathom that almost forty Or that an eighty-five year old gentleman be added to the John’s Brook Scholarship Fund. An open house celebration of Pat’s life at is theit Keene Valley Congregational Church going to take for us to turn this around? years have gone by since I was allowed to who went fishing in Brooklyn every other was held at the Van Santvoord room on November 16 where many people came to share stories about Pat.


Patrick Francis Kirmer Obituary


2 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022


Original Material © 2022 SunStorm Arts publishing Co., Inc.

Artwork © by the artists

The Vermeerens take flight


“And in the end The love you take Is equal to the y Love you make.” — Sir Paul McCartney ss


ne of the most interesting, f a s c i n a t i n g, d y n a m i c a n d inspiring art world stories of the 21st century to date is the emergence of a one-time motocross racer and former construction demolition man as a top draw in big-time galleries from Hawaii to Las Vegas to Key West and points in-between and beyond. His name is Jeff Vermeeren and he is dedicated to creating new and innovative works of art that are completely different from anything that has gone before — creations that are playful yet substantial, dynamic yet mellow. When he comes to a gallery in your neck of the woods, be certain to attend his exhibition. From his initial exposure at Artexpo New York, with an explosion of color, forms and mediums, Jeff has developed a legion of collectors who are drawn to his work and not surprisingly. To get the vivid colors that

infuse in each piece a variety of feelings and moods, he uses fire, ice, pressure and a wide range of unstable chemicals. “It’s quite an extensive process,” he states, revealing just enough for the sake of an interview. “Chemicals ignite at different levels of heat and burn at different speeds.” There is no way to duplicate one of his pieces. This is not oil paint on canvas. He takes his visions to a level of heretofore unexplored territory. His artistic eloquence is evident in just about every creation. As does music, they speak in a universal language. His ever-evolving vision doesn’t necessarily pre-meditate to a full extent what the result will be, yet he somehow knows to some degree what will be the outcome. His stated belief is that what art really is intended to do is produce something that creates an emotion in the viewer and his latest body of work certainly succeeds in that goal. Following is an interview with Jamie Ellin Forbes, Publisher of Fine Art magazine. JAMIE: What I admire most about your success is that ever since we met at your single booth in that far corner of Artexpo New York some years ago is that you’ve included your family and many charities in all your doings. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 3

Heart of Hope, bronze edition of 10

“Let’s put wings on a heart so that it feels like it’s screaming ‘Love!’ ” 15. So we’ll see where they all go with it. But for now it’s pretty wild and we’re certainly enjoying it. I’m a very big family man and that’s one of our big things. This journey is not just for me – it’s for everyone.

JEFF: Thank you so much. It’s true and it’s fun. I didn’t get into art for the profits or money. I came into the art business to support my charitable endeavors. JAMIE: Oh, you’re doing a great job, Jeff. You’re doing a great job. And you bring your family with you, correct? JEFF: My wife LaDawn comes to the art shows with me and some of my kids travel with us at times. A few of the galleries we’ve been to actually offered my daughter Taya a job because she just gets up there and says whatever she wants and she makes sales! My oldest son wants to get into art. Taya wants to run a gallery and she’s only 4 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

JAMIE: Your career has grown phenomenally in a relatively short period of time. JEFF: Yes, it’s exploded. We used to have the demolition company and we actually sold that back in the fall of 2019. So since right before COVID we were just doing art and it’s been exciting.

The Vermeeren Family

JAMIE: Tell us about that Key West adventure. You’re jumping out of an airplane with LaDawn. JEFF: It ’s funny. We came in on

Wednesday night and we thought, okay, let’s go by the gallery and say hi to everybody and we’re there talking to a local gentleman who is saying my paintings bring to mind the view sky divers see looking out of the airplane at 13,000 feet over the ocean. It was 10 o’clock at night and I called the sky diving place and left a message inquiring about availability. They called me back super early in the morning. We were traveling all day so I was half asleep and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I have an opening if you guys want to come down here.’ We’ve never done it before, but we said, sure, let’s do it. So next thing I know, we’re going up in the airplane and for my wife — who doesn’t even like roller-coasters or anything crazy like that — she was a trooper. She jumped right on board and before we knew it, we were in the air and jumping out of a plane. It was awesome. It was exhilarating. It was crazy, but kind of how our life is going these days. JAMIE: Oh, how fabulous. Your art has changed over a period of time. Tell us about your recent work. JEFF: If you’ve been following me a little bit, something about me is that I’m always looking for bigger and better products. As I go, I don’t write things down. I don’t recalculate or stand on the things I’ve done because I find if I do that, I’ll never change. So I’m always upping my game. I’m always upping the products I use. My very first piece was created out of heating duct material. I have since tried everything from steel to copper to brass; different levels of aluminum, such as high aircraft grade aluminum. Even now I consistently change materials. Creation for me is always a thing of excitement. The result is way different. Nobody has ever seen this kind of art before. It’s moving and majestic, I’ve been told. Now the top coats

dimensional pieces are a whole new territory for you.

Jeff with artist Gear Duran

“It’s the love that creates your heart series to address people’s wounds and that’s the glue of the universe.” are even more solid, more durable. They have crystal diamond dust in every single one, UV protected, fingerprint resistant. I actually just upgraded my paint again. I’m probably on my tenth kind of paint that I’m using and I’m always upping the aluminum grade — everything just to give my collectors the best product that I can. So that actually leads into my next adventure. JAMIE: Jeff, could you tell us the process of making your sculptures. Your three

JEFF: I had about three or four different sculptures I designed and cast. I want the viewer to go in there and feel what I’m doing. I want them to know it’s a Vermeeren by the colors and the look and the feel. I also want the viewer to say that it is something they can relate to, that it is not just something for me but something about me so they will feel they’ve also experienced what I’m going through. There’s a couple of different styles and media I want to explore. I just completed my first one. I’ve done a few out of carbon resin, but this sculpture is a fully realized design to express my thoughts and feelings about the pains of abuse going on in the world, especially as it affects men, women and children. This sculpture is a limited edition of 10 and almost all are sold already. They’re all different colors, like my work, but as it is bronze, I’m actually spraying the color on. It’s a heart all ripped apart with stitches in it and bruises. You can tell it’s a heart, it’s definitely been beaten but it’s surviving, even thriving. It’s something I wanted to do. Most of the proceeds from this piece are going to charity. JAMIE: Oh, wonderful. Do you have specific charities that you’re donating to, or are you collecting charities now? JEFF: I’m collecting charities all over the place. We always have a few that the galleries kind of pick. If they don’t have any specific ones, I go to Make A W ish Foundation, St. Jude’s and various children’s hospitals.

At Coast Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

JAMIE: I understand something unique about you is that you were running a company that w a s q u i t e p ro f i t a b l e when you delved into your art work so that a considerable portion of your art proceeds went to charity and continue to do so. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 5

JEFF: Through life, you seek challenges and stuff comes through in your life and one of our family’s concerns is abuse, people grooming people and taking advantage of them. We’ve had our share of tears for that and this is kind of what is the basis around this heart sculpture series. This is how I tied into that. I wanted something that shows it’s a piece of us, a piece of life, a piece of history. I believe that Vince Vandurme at Art Space and Design, Calgary Alberta in one way or another — or on one level or “I really love the vibrant another — people have experienced heartache through themselves or through colors and wanted to do family. It’s just something that I think we something extraordinary all need to be united, hold hands and we’re there, we’re there. That’s what art’s about. that not everybody was JAMIE: I think it’s a very healing gesture that you would address the abuse. Most people shy away from any abuse in their families, and you’re to be applauded along with your wife and your family. And I know that grace benefits people who need a healed heart, and if you’ve got a heart there you’re healing and you’re healing it through your art, it’s a wonderful thing, Jeff. JEFF: Thank you so much. It’s not only just for the survivors, but it’s for the families too, who are helping the survivors. My message is that as heartbreaking and horrific as it is, there is growth. You can find growth in love and you can find a whole new unity and protection for everybody, even for the people that don’t see it firsthand. It’s just really hard to understand. Yet there’s just so much we’re understanding ourselves and learning through it and growing. The pain is real but the love is real. I wasn’t even done with the first Heart sculpture and we were in Key West visiting with a group and talking about how I came up with the concept. Right there we sold many before they were even cast, just because people were feeling and loving and hearing the stories and wanted to get into the art. The result is I’m going to do a whole Heart series and there will eventually be a collection, of them available. As far as where I’m going with this, I think there needs to be a 6 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

doing. I don’t want to have the same art everywhere. Each is different in its own way and impossible for me to duplicate.”

series of this kind of like Frog Man where he has a series of frogs or someone like Nano Lopez who has a series of giraffes or elephants that all kind of work together. That’s where I want to go with it. One can collect a handful of the hearts you’d know how they work because some of us are experiencing, let’s just say, love. So I put wings on a heart so that it’s screaming LOVE. Some of us are heartbroken and needing to be stitched back together. So I threw stitches in and bolts and pieces to look like it’s holding it together. Some of us are locked up so tight that we just don’t want to share anymore. So there’s key holes, and there are gears inside so you can see how your heart is turning and working, but it’s more robotic. JAMIE: It’s a beautiful concept. These are beautiful ideas and I really thank you for sharing them. This is so necessary in today’s world that has such pain. JEFF: For sure. I’d like to directly connect to everybody, to think that through so we can talk about the abuse that’s going on in this world, especially even during COVID

which was a tough time. A lot of people were stuck in homes where they couldn’t get a break from the abuse. JAMIE: Yes it was rough. I d o n’t t h i n k a n y b o d y came out of COVID unscathed. Depending on your temperament, it took different tolls. You were able to get out a bit though, right? I saw you doing shows every now and then. JEFF: You are correct, we actually did. The funny thing is, 2020 and 2021 were our biggest art years yet with commission after commission. Right now, we’ve just moved our family to the US to be closer to our clients and the bulk of our galleries.We actually just bought a house in Utah where LaDawn’s family is from. JAMIE: Oh how fabulous. JEFF: Yes and we have a lot of fun stuff that we’ll be announcing soon. We’re in the process of signing with a major art company and one of the agreements in there is I’ll be in their top 10 living artists. They’ll produce sculptures and new prints and giclees, stuff like that as well as take a good chunk of originals. With all the galleries I am in, I’ve developed a system where I can produce a good amount of art. Las Vegas is one of our biggest players, Signature and Wyland group. They sell a ton of my art, which is fantastic. JAMIE: A long way from that single booth at Artexpo where we first met you. JEFF: Oh my goodness. It has been a wild ride. JAMIE: How did that happen? JEFF: You know what, it’s funny. I started doing a few of those Expos and one in Las Vegas at which I had two galleries actually pick me up there. Right away they were selling quite well and then Signature Gallery came and offered me an eight gallery deal with their locations in Hawaii and Lake Tahoe and all the ones in Vegas. Since I began showing with them in the middle of 2019, I’ve never sold so much art — unbelievable. It’s pretty wild. JAMIE: Oh, lovely. Well, you had the mental vision, Jeff, and you pursued it and that’s more than half the battle.

With a collector at Coast Galleries at Laguna Beach

Boldness and originality come naturally to Jeff Vermeeren. His colorful outfits exude power, as does his art. Any observer can see there is something special about him — not just the artwork that stands out, but the artist himself. JEFF: Sure it is, Jamie, that’s totally what it is. I’ve had a few opportunities where I thought ‘I don’t know if I’m gonna do art anymore’ but we went out for lunch with Robert Bateman and he told me straight out ‘You’re one of the best metal artists in the world. What are you thinking? You better keep doing this because it’s going to take off for you. Just keep going. You have this. As soon as you hit your ten year mark,’ (I’m at eight years right now) ‘you’ll be unstoppable.’ And right now I feel like we’re doing fantastic. The people are awesome, and you know this just as well as I do: the art community is still very ‘hippie’ — if I can use that word. There’s very much love. There’s hugs, there’s friendship. It’s all about relationships and passion for something we’ve all combined to do and that’s what I love. Don’t get me wrong. I love painting, but I also love walking in a room where no one will ever

tell you anywhere that your work sucks (laughter) but they will tell you your work is awesome and they will work with you and talk to you. It’s all about friends and family. Most of my collectors become family. And every time we’re there, the shows just keep getting bigger and bigger and we hang out and we visit. We go for dinner and it’s all love. It’s awesome. JAMIE: Well, it’s a great life and I think you enrich many people’s lives even as you’re saying they enrich yours. The art community is a community of relationships and in order for the art to work and sell and communicate, getting to people’s homes and offices, it has to be nurtured. There has to be a positive, loving environment and that’s what galleries provide — the vehicle. It is the artist who provides the work, the engine that drives these interactions.

JEFF: That is a bonus for sure. JAMIE: You go into a loving environment where it’s the love that connects. It’s the love that creates your heart series to address people’s wounds and that’s the glue of the universe. JEFF: You know what? That’s totally something we’re finding now. It’s the law of the harvest. What you put in is what you get out. They’re universal laws — universe wide. If you throw something up in the air, it’s gonna fall down on you. LaDawn and I have always taught our kids — and we’ve always lived by the laws — that you put good out, good will come back. I’m not saying it’s all good all the time. There’s bad things that happen in this world. And we learn how to deal with those and work through them. If you are consistently putting out good, the universe comes back to you. You can call it Karma, the Law of Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 7

the Harvest, however you describe it. But that’s something we’re definitely feeling and learning quite strongly now, JAMIE: That’s a wonderful experience. But this success was waiting for you. Like I said, you had the vision. I remember you describing the vision and the general energy and enthusiasm that fuels it. So I think your success is a reflection of who you both are. Lately you’ve done some more figurative work along with the abstractions that we knew from the beginning. JEFF: Yes. There’s a handful of those out. I don’t do a ton of them, but a lot of the stuff that I do like that are collaborations with friends. Obviously some artists do not want to share their name or share their work. They feel it belittles them or whatever they think. But for me, I look at it this way: I like to do collaborations with my friends. First of all, because they’re friends. How much more fun is that than to work together and paint together. I’ve done stuff with Cat Tatz, who is with Park West, Fabio Napoleoni, and Gear Duran from Skin Wars, we’ve done a few pieces together. Lisa Herr has done her “sculpture relief illustrations” on top of my work, there are other great artistrs I’ve worked with as well. So those are kind of fun, but I have some theories behind that. I do it in a way that they have their fan base and their collectors as do I. Now their friends become my friends and my friends become their friends and so it helps build everybody up. I believe there’s enough art in the world, there’s enough difference that we should be able to speak positively and be excited about other artists and the work that they’re producing. That’s why I like doing a lot of collaborations with my friends. JAMIE: You did a very special piece with Dana Kennedy. JEFF: She’s a National Geographic artist, so she’s really fantastic. Dana’s awesome. Years ago when I first met you in New York, I viewed the art world a lot differently than I do today. You think you’re going to be a celebrity and you think these guys are larger than life. I’m not going to lie — a lot of these artists are larger than life, but after I came home from New York, it was like a plug was pulled from me. I thought that I was higher than life. We went out there, walked the red carpet, first class. It was big for us, we did it all. We met Fine Art magazine. It just took off for us, but I came 8 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

At Art Space and Design

home and I had to mentally adjust. People are people. My collectors, the artists, the gallerists…everybody is just doing their best to succeed. On this awesome playing field I understand and am very aware that the guy picking up my garbage is the exact same guy I am. He’s just doing something different. What we do and how much we have doesn’t define us. At the end of the day, we’re all the same and if we treat each other well and with kindness, this world’s going to be a better place. JAMIE: I’m in agreement definitely. You have to have respect for absolutely every human being you meet. And if you offer the respect, the respect comes back. And until you realize, even if you don’t think there’s a place for the respect, offer it anyway and hopefully it’ll come back. JEFF: You know what? That’s exactly right and you know just as well as everybody, even if someone treats you like garbage, you treat them the best you can. It always comes around and do we not feel better if we treat people that are jerks to us kindly?

It’s not a problem that we need to take on ourselves. It’s their own problem. JAMIE: Very well said. I like that one. JEFF: I can adapt to everybody’s behavior in everybody’s life, but the longer I carry that negativity around with me, who am I gonna be? JAMIE: That’s interesting. So you’re casting your artistic fate to the light. JEFF: Yes and the fun thing is in some of those ones you can’t even tell until you take them into the light because some of them glow in the dark and some of them don’t. It’s hard to paint that way, but once I’m done, the process adds a whole new element to my paintings JAMIE: And it’s fascinating, absolutely fascinating. What’s the biggest piece you’ve made so far to date? JEFF: I did a triptych with each panel 48 inchces by 96 inchecs — that’d be 12 feet long and eight feet tall. There’s some very large work from time to time. When they were planning the Olympics in my

Cosmo Glide

hometown of Calgary my name was on the roster to do the creative art for the Olympic rings. I’ll be looking for major projects along those lines in the future as we develop and grow. At this point, it’s nice that I pretty much do what I want to do and then I’ll have a handful of commissions every month. Some of them I like doing and some of them I don’t, depending on how hard they are (laughs). I still mix all my colors on the spot, don’t premix anything so every single red, every single blue, every single, violet, whatever is a different shade, different look, different kind. When you go into a gallery, it’s pretty wild because there’s just so many different colors, which is fantastic. But some of them are very difficult to make because it’s a one off like they’re all originals, they’re all one off. So, oh yeah. When someone says, oh, I’d like that, but I need it two inches smaller. For example, I’m working on one right now. They want one that is not even joking, two inches smaller. And the one they love is sitting at the gallery, but they want me to commission. I’ve painted that one eight

times and I still can’t get it. Right. But I’m too much of a perfectionist. I keep working with the client until I see the exact look they love.

JEFF: I get all kinds of shirts and shoes from all over the place. Sometimes I give the shirts away for a donation, the proceeds go to charity. If I’m wearing one of those shirts, I get recognized all over the place. If they’re wild, loud and look pretty cool, I’ll just grab it. I buy most of my stuff in Las Vegas, a fun place to buy any kind of clothes because no one carries what those shops do and I can find the craziest things. So anytime we’re on a trip and I see something, I’ll grab it. But there’s some shirts I’ve worn once and there’s some shirts that I haven’t even worn. There’s some shirts. I really like that I wear all over the place and then the shoes kind of come and go a little bit. Sometimes I joke and say it’s like putting on a show. But as I said, it’s fun. You have to live it up a little bit. Have some fun. I don’t know why when I put on a certain shirt or pair of shoes, it gives me a different energy and you’re just ready to rock and roll your art show.

JAMIE: Another thing, Jeff. People want to know where you buy your shirts?

JAMIE: What’s your favorite gallery in Las Vegas? Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 9

JEFF: Both Signature Gallery in the Venetian and Wyland Galler y are awesome. Those are two pretty good places to be. The art world is so small, so we’re getting to be friends with a lot of people. I could have three or four more galleries in Las Vegas right away but because of the parameters of contracts, I can’t do that. One of my friends owns the Bill Mack gallery and she’s actually invited me a handful of times. JAMIE: Bill has been a stalwart in the game for a long time. JEFF: He’s rocking and rolling. Bill’s really good. I rarely run into all the artists we get to be friends with because they’re in one area, I’m in another, the only time we really see each other is if we’re both in the same locale. We meet up for a lunch 10 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

or dinner and then we all go our ways. JAMIE: You’re a very artistic person, because that’s what you developed and that’s what your life has become. The energies channel through you and once you begin to channel them, they just continue. JEFF: That’s for sure. I’m starting to have people come to my art shows and they wear their own crazy shirts. It’s kind of cool. Collectors come and they all want to take pictures with me with their shoes or their shirts and some are pretty outrageous. Yeah. So that’s kind of been happening the last couple years that almost every show, there’s one person that comes up and says, Hey, I like your shirt. And then we take a couple pictures. JAMIE: I was talking to somebody this

morning and I was saying, well, the thing to do during this period of time on planet Earth is just manifest your highest artistic self with a lot of love and express and spend the love, spend the art, spend the creativity because it does change things. And that’s what you’re saying. It changes people’s experiences. JEFF: I don’t know where the future brings us. All I know is if you take today and you do your best today, and you do that every day, it’s bound to rock and roll. All we can control is now, right? JAMIE: That’s a good note to conclude our interview with Jeff. JEFF: That’s perfect.

Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 11

Signature Gallery, Las Vegas

The Vermeeren Process & Techniques JAMIE: How have your techniques developed over the years with use of the heating and cooling processes in the construction of your metal art, which they call it. Have you elaborated on it or expanded upon it, figuring out different ways to use it? JEFF: Everything’s evolved, even what I do now. In the very beginning, I experimented a lot with different things, especially fire and ice. I haven’t used ice for years, but because I’ve done it in my pieces, I still leave it there. It really doesn’t do very much and it actually slows the creative process in the time that it takes to build in. Fire does its own thing. Obviously it’s a nature that kind of takes over but I’ve also learned how to hone it in so I can kind of know what’s gonna happen now within reason, if that makes sense. I used to go with a lot of bigger torches and really flame it up. I now go with smaller torches and isolate areas to get things to move and then slow them down, stuff like that. It is a little bit different than when I first started. It’s interesting. I just feel like I keep getting better and better the more I work on it. Mostly because I don’t write anything down, every day is a new discovery. I don’t want to be where I was yesterday and if I do the same things I do 12 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

every day that I did yesterday, I’m stuck there. So that’s why I always do more and better. JAMIE: Do you still allow the material to behave in its own way? JEFF: Absolutely. JAMIE: Very much in the way Pollock allowed the paint to drip, you also adapted a process. He grew up in Arizona and he watched native American ritual and he passed the paint in, I guess embodying the essence of the principle of the ritual of the spirit. So when you started to talk about this, I could just see paint drizzling or paint firing and moving. And you’re doing very much the same thing that Pollock did. JEFF: Some of the things that I’ve changed over, I guess, one of the things that when you guys first met me, I was using wood backs, adhesives for holding the backs on flat paneled metal, spray on clear coats, stuff like that. Everything that I’m doing is different. I don’t have any foreign material besides the paint and the metal. So all my metal now is bent into frames so you can hang it from any direction you want. That’s why my signatures are on a unique angle, because you can hang them vertical or horizontal and they can be hung anywhere. We have

collectors that have eight to ten pieces outside in living spaces. I’ve never done that, but one of our good friends, Dave and Tina in California, they have an outside patio and half of their pieces are outside, which is really neat. I’m trying to design and make my materials better and different in every way. We have glow in the dark, color-changing, heat-changing, infrared changing. It’s really cool. There’s always things that I’m trying to do to up my game with. I have a few new ones that I’m doing. I work with an aluminum base. It’s still aluminum but now I’m actually not going with the stainless steel aluminum base look to start where I grind it. It’s actually either a colored background, like a black or a white stuff like that I’ve never done before. So it’s changing the whole look of the design of it, making colors jump in a certain way that I just never had before. JAMIE: You are involved in a spontaneous moment as you’re creating and then you are allowing the color to speak through the piece, but change as it’s viewed. It’s an experience for everyone to enjoy. JEFF: I’m looking forward to creating new and innovative pieces of art that will capture and expand upon the Vermeeren experience. See you at the next show.

Lisa Herr at Signature Gallery, The Venetian, Las Vegas

Wyland Gallery, Miracle Mile, Las Vegas Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 13

With Collectors at Key West Gallery Artist Michael Cheval

Coast Gallery

At Coast Galleries with collectors 14 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Signature Gallery with Lisa Herr

Edmunton Art Space a& Design

Jeff, Trevor Mezak, Kevin Pieropan

Corvette Commission for collectors Dave and Tina

Dave and Tina with Jeff and La Dawn

Signature Gallery

Collectors at Coast Gallery Collaboration of Jeff Vermeeren and Gear Duran

Keven Pieropan Coast Galleries getting ready to deliver a large commission Key West Gallery Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 15

16 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Fabian, Sadness

Editors Note: In 1994, SunStorm Press printed and produced a beautiful over-sized 132 page coffee table book for Ukrainian Fine Art publishers Sergei Zholobetsky and Mark Kleyner, who were exhibiting at Art Miami where SunStorm Fine Art publisher Jamie Ellin Forbes met them. Shortly thereafter — before the desktop publishing revolution — we made some 200 color separations for printing plates and had what now strikes us as one of the most important books we have been involved with in almost 50 years of printing and publishing on press. Reading Sergei’s introduction some 26 years later evokes all kinds of feelings. The more things change, the more things stay the same. We are grateful that we were able to participate in such an important project of such beautiful and heartfelt works of art. Looking over this remarkable collection in 2022 ... well, what can we say but the destruction of this country and its people is a crime against humanity. Words and pictures are no weapon against modern bombs and brutality but thankfully we have these powerful and emotional images as a tribute to the art warriors who created these immortal treasures of a forgotten country. The following pages are but a fraction of the uniformly great paintings and sculptures in the book. We are in the process of digitizing Treasures in its entirety and will keep you posted when it is fully available online. The following is Mr. Zholobetsky’s poignant introduction, written in 1991. Even more heart-breaking today than then.


My homeland, Ukraine, is in the midst of perhaps the most crucial years of its recorded history. The economy is in such a state of ruin that a majority of the people are literally starving, i­ncluding many extremely talented and hard-working artists. Despite all this hardship, these artists, nevertheless, are absorbing the vibrations of a new-found freedom, which has come about as a result of the collapse of the Communist regime. This is a most interesting time that we are capturing in history. The artists are virtually reborn into a society that, despite its difficulties, is rife with new-found opportunity, at least to ex­press oneself in a way that reveals the inner depths of each. I found that the art created by my fellow Ukrainians, rather than reflecting the despair inherent in many aspects of day-to-day life, was com­pletely the opposite. Elements of profound joy, beauty and harmony ‚ simple pleasures sought by all mankind and taken for granted by many — find their way into the multi-faceted styles and creative abilities of the artists and sculptors. Recognizing the importance of this moment in history, I felt that it was my duty to capture this energy at its most dynamic, before it became organized into competing schools, or fragmented into more organized branches, and present it to the world in general and the art world in particular. I have been asked many times, ‘Why a forgotten country?’ Before the collapse, the entire geographical area was called Russia and the history and cultural heritages of the individual states of the USSR were generically categorized as Russian art. It is with great pleasure that I invite you to enjoy these talents, hidden for so many decades: these treasures of a forgotten country — ­ Ukraine.

Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 17

RECOVERING MODERNISM: UKRAINIAN ART POST-GLASNOST, 1991-1994 Among the many misfortunes to which we are heir, it is only fair to admit that we are allowed the greatest degree of freedom of thought. It is up to us not to misuse it. To reduce the imagination to a state of slavery — even though it would mean the elimination of what is commonly called happiness — is to betray all sense of absolute justice within oneself. Imagination alone offers me some intimation of what can be ... – Andre Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism

BARBARA LEKATSAS, PH.D. Hofstra University, New York This pioneering exhibition of paintings, sculpture, prints and mixed media from Ukraine, produced, with rare exception, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, offers us the first compre­hensive look at the flowering of a Ukrainian Modernist sensibility. Featuring twenty-two contemporary artists of national and international stature, between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-one (with most between the ages of twenty-seven and forty) this group show brings to light the importance of Kiev’s art academies in effecting a transition from Socialist Realism and academic themes and styles to a recovery of early Modernism as well as the historical value of Kiev as an art center. For artists now free to once again explore the past, it is to Impressionism, Expressionism (of the Kandinsky variety), and Surrealism to which they turn to reframe their vision. The art that was once considered bour­geois, decadent and escapist, that Zhdanov and Radek — the theorists of Socialist Realism — accused of “arousing the beast in man,” now serves as the basis for shaping a new identity./ The rejection of Realism becomes a way, as well, to reject the immediate past, even the present, still contaminated by Stalin’s collectivization policies, the explosion at Chernobyl, and Sovietstyle nationalism and its repressive sinister char­acter. The artists, constituting an intelligentsia in crisis, seem unanimous in embracing Modernism and rejecting the still pervasive popularity of folk and religious art, as well as polit­ical manifestations of nationalism. History has been replaced by imaginative reality. If these artists celebrate anything in their diverse images and styles, it is liberty itself. “Liberty, color of man,” wrote Breton in his poem, There Is No Exit From Here. The art in front of us gives evidence of a liberated spirituality, where the artists are themselves the high priests of their own imagina­tion and bring about a private synthesis of the physical world and psychological reality. In this respect, theirs is a delayed rebellion against the tyranny of academic style. The art before us is blithe, serene, joyous. No bleak cities, no traditional landscapes, no folkloric realism, no portraits of bureaucrats, no dogmatic religious art; but also no pure abstraction. The art hearkens back to a golden age of stillness, serenity, light, water, flowers, fruit, animals, solitary beings, in primary and simple day to day actions of life. The exuber­ance of a still life of flowers and fruit, or a girl on a swing, or a woman lounging, or an empty room opening up to the sea, full of the signs of life lived, or light filtering into a barn, is tinged with a deep nostalgia, one that is almost mystical, yet made earthy by a focus on concrete signs of daily life lived with an uninterrupted rhythm, a life sufficient unto itself, attesting to our capacity for happiness, reverie, and creativi­ty. While all the works introduce abstraction, none totally abandon the figure. 18 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Back cover detail of Treasures of A Forgotten Country

What is significant is the dominating presence of the solitary figure, perhaps a sign of the artist glo­rifying a newly-found individualism. Even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to the Slavic scholar, Alexander Mihailovic, very few artists and writers took Socialist Realism seriously. It was consid­ered hack work. Artists could travel to the Hermitage in Leningrad or to Moscow to view generous collections of Impressionist paintings. Catalogues circulated much like worn-copies of books of contemporary European exhibitions. It was more or less illegal to work outside the Socialist Realism canon, but artists found ways to covertly educate themselves.4 Just about all the artists in this exhibition live and work in Kiev, the ancestral center and oldest city of Eastern Slavs (Ukrainians, Russians, Belorussians). Nationalists in Russia and Ukraine lay claim to it. In this respect, the curator’s title for chis exhibition, Treasures of a Forgotten Country, is symbol­ic and significant. Here, the country itself becomes a metaphor of a lose treasure and its young vibrant artists, hid­den finds, recovered from the debris of Soviet history. Recovery in all its ramifications is the primary theme of this exhibition, as it is the primary goal of the Ukraine - recov­ery of the past, recovery from the past, economic recovery, recovery of uncontaminated nature, recovery of love, plea­sure, play, solitude. This longing for the return of a golden age has even inspired a Kiev-based movement incorporating several of the artists in this exhibition (Dobrodiy, Eliseyev, Fabian, Gerasimenko, Perepelicsa, Yasenev), as well as the curator, Sergei Zholobetsky, entitled, “Citizens of the Golden Age,” whose aim is the recovery of happiness and peace, a search for Atlantis, which Plato speaks of in the Timaeus as a lost par­adise. The lost spiritual center, a pervasive theme that has haunted the Orthodox world since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, re-emerges in the search for a new identity. It is said that Prince Vladimir of Kiev adopted the Greek Orthodox faith in 988 after examining various religions because of the stunning beauty of the mass at Hagia Sophia. The Orthodox faith syncretized several ancient religious streams, including the pagan cycle of fertility, based on sacrifice and rebirth. It suppressed the sexual manifestations of the earlier fertility religions, with ramifications for the subsequent treatment of sexuality in Slavic art.

Vladimir Nedaiborshch, Creation, 1994 Oil on Canvas, 39.25” x 39.25”

The rebirth or metamorphosis of Kiev and Ukraine, in general, occurs in the arc in front of us. These works invent what is lacking - a space to dream of a space. The artists aim for something universal and internationalize, yet specifically related to their current spiritual needs for peace, serenity, and repose, as their country undergoes harsh poverty, upheaval, and restructuring. In the process they recover a road along which they might move and like Prince Vladimir place their faith in the immediate yet eternal experience of arc’s beauty as the basis of an ideal higher than history. There are certain paradoxes, as well, that are brought to light by this exhibition. Despite the affinity of the art work to that of early European Modernism, a classical idealize streak also persists. While the artists do not form any unified cohe­sive school or movement and borrow from the Modernist tra­dition in individual ways, they seem to reach certain limits together. The vitality of the Modernise and Avant-Garde tra­dition as a source for contemporary arc is evident in

these works, but the more surprising recovery is chat of classicism: attention to draftsmanship, craft in general, to a statuesque sense of the figure, muted but apparent sensuality, upbeat orientation. It is no wonder in this respect that even the most Expressionist of the paintings have an Impressionist feel to them. Impressionism was the most classical of the modern orientations in its idealism. The celebration of light tends to create an idealized space, where, as in the Matisse painting by the same name, “luxe, calme, et volupte” hold sway (after Baudelaire’s line in L’Invitation Au Voyage). An innocent sen­suality governs the depiction of the figure. The stream of classicism in the Slavic world which is fil­ tered through Byzantine Hellenism via the Orthodox faith was somewhat paradoxically secularized by the Communist party as a new orthodoxy (apropos this one might note the penchant for troikas or ocher crinitarianisms). The sense of idolatry attached to the image or icon (tending to create human icons, as well, such as Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 19

Zoya Lerman, In Repose, 1993, Tempera, 24.5” x 15.5”

Lenin) is liberated from the original Communist orthodoxy, but it persists in the bias of revering the object viewed, virginizing it, so to speak. Under current historical circumstances, such an orientation also reflects a longing for a return to innocence and unspoiled nat­ ural purity. Sergei Zholobetsky’s pioneering effort on behalf of chis talented body of diverse artists to represent the current art trends in the Ukraine is admirable and informative. For the works together-their stylistic and spiritual affinities­reflect where the artists wane to be right now and how they aim to define themselves. It is evident that they do not choose to recover Russian Constructivism as a departure point with its hard geometric and cool urban abstraction. They choose soft Modernism with its undulations and its hearkening back to elemental nature. At the same time, they maintain an underlying sense of restraint. Some focus has to be brought to bear on the Kiev acade­mies of arc and their significant role in preparing these artists for their leap into artistic freedom. The artists have obviously benefited from their classical training. All the works reflect a highly sophisticated level of draftsmanship and composition; and as mentioned above, they maintain as well a certain philosophical element of the classical: Art reflects a striving after serenity and freedom from disturbance. There is no wrenching spirituality, no sinister moods, no sexual debase­ment or overt eroticism, no maudit posture, no assemblages of debris; rather the works as a whole are unified by an ele­vated, generalized, and reverential attitude coward the body, nature, and everyday life. The sea is one of the more-repeat­ed images in the paintings, as is a mania for light. The images act as light traps. The recovery of nature as well indicates a trend chat is different from chat of the contemporary West, where nature is of secondary importance. Perhaps chat is why abstraction is not taken to the point of dehumanization. The artists wants to be “part of the picture” so to speak, after being forced to be subordinate to it. They reflect a reaction to a specifically intense historical moment, as an old culture is reborn into a new nation after the collapse of Communism. The arc compensates for what is lacking, by providing images chat exude innocence and grace. There is a quiet contempla­tiveness even in the most expressionist manifestations. Perhaps this current trend will change. As Herbert Read writes in his essay, Realism and Abstraction in Modern Art: “It is quite possible for the individual artist to alternate between fear and cheerfulness, and to express himself in forms appropriate to each attitude ... Such ambivalence in the artist proves that the human will can intervene as a process. The freedom to create is thus to be interpreted as a freedom to affirm and intensify the life-process itself (which would imply a naturalistic art) or as a freedom to create a new order of reality ... enhancing the independent spiritual powers of man’s isolated consciousness (which would imply an abstract and transcendental art).’ 20 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Alexander Agafonov, Escape To Egypt, 1992, Oil on Canvas, 39.5” x 39”

Can art be both naturalistic and transcendental? In Slavic and Greek culture, the icon serves such a purpose. The term, icon, even though its definition has gone beyond its original usage, specifically refers to paintings by Orthodox believers on panel, utilizing prescribed themes and styles. Communise orthodoxy as well as religious orthodoxy demand the same function of the image: that is remain stable, static in value. This coincides with classicism’s emphasis on perma­nent forms and ideals. Free of prescribed subjects and styles, Ukrainian artists nonetheless are vessels of the past, as well as the present, using arc to express their current faith, to iconize it: Dogma is gone, but faith persists. The largest category of works in this exhibition are oil paintings on canvas, although there are also some tempera on canvas, and some oils on wood panel. Zoya Lerman, Alexander Agafonov, and Valeria Spiridonova, are in their for­ties and early fifties and constitute some of the senior artists in this exhibition, representing a pre-glasnost intelligentsia. Zoya Lerman’s In Repose, (1992) and Two at Rest (1992), both tempera on canvas, reflect the wide, comma-like strokes of Impressionism. In Repose, whose title also announces the main theme of chis exhibition, features a reclining alabaster-white nude whose outline is formed out of a soft ochre impression made by her robe. The background is almost the same shade as the body. If it weren’t for the robe framing her, she would sink into the background much as one sinks into sleep. In Two at Rest, as well, the comfortably seat­ed female figures are just a few shades lighter than the background. The women who are featureless, except for the long red hair painted with thick shore strokes of the woman in the foreground who is resting on her knees, seem to be draped with sheer gossamer-like cloth on their hips that enhances the sense of bodies about to shift their position, conveying the inner dynamism of repose. Alexander Agafonov’s Escape to Egypt (1992) and Accent of The Moment (1993), both oil on canvas, play with the values of flatness and volume respectively. In Escape to Egypt, a Chagall-like atmosphere is created by two figures — a female and male — playing a flute and a small French horn respectively. The framing of the scene reminds one of the Byzantine paintings that narrate the life of Jesus, where scenes that defy perspective narrate a tale from every part of the frame. The large figures that are elongated in a Byzantine manner are balanced at their feet by a miniature escape into Egypt

Zaitsev, The Dream, Oil on Canvas, 22” x 23.5”

of Mary and Joseph. On the right a tiny white horse is about to go into flight. The musicians who might be circus musicians announce and counter-balance the tiny religious scene. The large figures seem to be heralds for the smaller ones. The large female figure wears a skirt that seems to frame her like a lamp shade. It is voluminous and at the cen­ter of the canvas, creating a juxtaposition between the flat elongation of the figures and the sculptural quality of the skirt. The muted blue background is offset by soft orange and brown mounds on left and right from which the male fig­ure emerges as well as the holy family. The sense of celebra­tion and escape from harm has symbolic and mystical over­tones, as well, as it describes the situation and hope of the new independent republic. In Accent of The Moment, two female figures with accordion-like skirts seem to convey the quality of columns.

Valeria Spiridonova’s Lot’s Wife (1991) and Siren (1991), both oil on canvas, are among the most abstract and vibrant in their use of color. In the first, stark contrast is created by placing the highlyabstracted figures on an upper and lower plane, creating parallel movement and juxtaposing what seems to be a brilliant red winged figure with a dark blue sphinx-like figure with black wings. Lot’s wife is an elongat­ed losange of white in black relief. These blocks of color are offset by lighter shades in the background. The composition, made of parallel spaces and exhibiting a free and generous application of paint, creates an exuberant canvas. Siren, as well, conveys an Expressionist dynamism, as if it were a wild mosaic in pastels. The siren seems to be some abstract hybrid of bird and fish. Many of the painters representing the younger generation were born in the 1960’s and exhibit even greater abstraction in their Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 21

Alexandre Zaharov, A Man in Red, 1994, Monotype, 18 x 22.75

strongly Expressionist works. Oleg Yasenev’s oil on canvas, Laying in the Sand (1991) ,creates a window of yellow­ish orange light as a can curved wave of a figure cuts diago­nally across the canvas, her elbow Vitaly Shishov, The One That Is Walking, Bronze/Stone, 22” x 16” x 4” touching the small trian­gle of light blue sea that enters the lower part of the frame. The sensual languor and light-filled pristiness of this “A clearly classical approach to canvas is countered by Igor Eliseyev’s oil on canvas, The Hat (1994), which has a deKooning-style energy and freedom in its brushstrokes technique and heroic…” and a more fleshy eroticism than the other works in the exhibition. Alexander Dobrodiy’s highly original and joyous, A Girl and a City (1994), as if painted from an aerial view, is made mostly of swirling sky with a solitary kite flying among the clouds in the upper right-hand frame of the canvas, and a parabola cutting across the lower frame, the same color as the clouds, represents planet earth. On its rounded surface on a frame stuck to the earth, a flying wisp of a girl swings joyously with her body upside down, feet pointing toward the kite. A small solitary square stands for a building in the city. Olga Solovyova’s Still Life of Pears (1992), also an oil on canvas, with its gorgeous yellowish-white lilies in an elon­gated greyishbrown vase, balanced by a brown background with various hues and strokes and resting on a pale aquama­rine table on which two Igor Grechanyk, Caledonian Wild Boar, Bronze/Stone, 8” x 8.5” x 12” 22 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Natalia Vitkovska, Meditation, Oil on Canvas, 35.5” x 31.5”

dark brown pears stand upright and one on its side, is a perfect composition, centered by the stark light filtering through the lilies. Alexander Zaharov’s Man in Red (1994) and Fisherman (1994), both oil monotypes, indicate a more geometric sense of space than the other works. The surface is divided up in arcs, circles, and squares of bright reds, whites, and greens, the figure evident by the slightest of signs. The color grada­tions are controlled by a variety of exclamatory brush strokes that give both works a vividly happy feeling. Igor Zaitsev’s The Dream (1994) and In the Barn (1994), both oil on canvas, are light studies. Both show sunlight fil­tering through a window, the first with a sleeping figure, the second, without a figure, diffusing light through shades of the color brown. In the first, the dreaming figure is illuminated by a diagonal crack of light from her waist down. The light creates a marvelous mood of solitude. In fact it caresses and protects the sleeping figure. Its palpability is even more stark, In the Barn, where the figure is absent and the light falls on various surfaces and fruit. Again this is a study in grada­tions of shade. Yet the intent is to capture and to celebrate the serene intensity of light. Of a different orientation and variety, the paintings of Evgeni Gordiets indicate the strong influence or perhaps affinity to the Belgian Surrealists, Rene Magritte and Paul Delvaux. Yet there is

something even more ethereal in Gordiets’ illusionism and he doesn’t break the spell of seren­ity and the right to dream. Whereas Magritte’s work conveys both a strong sense of irony and threat, Gordiets has the feel of a Puvis de Chavannes. The Large Apple (oil on canvas, 1991) is a massive red apple with its tom-green leaf in the center of the picture. Two entranced female figures in gowns, the one in black on the left with her back to us, stand beside it like guardians of eternity. Gordiets uses lavender hues, cream, blues-pastels-to create a serene, dream-like impression. The large apple stands as an enigmatic symbol. The meticulously smooth application of paint creates a kind of flat muted surface, offset by the large red apple. The strong sense of pastoral is created again in Interior with Apples (oil on canvas, 1991). A room opens up through a wide cur­tained entryway on the upper right corner of the wall to the sand and sea, which we view framed through the wide door window. Within its frame, waves wash up in a diagonal line on the sand that extends to the entrance. On the left of the door­way, resting against the wall are two unframed canvases. The smallest one, in front, is of a seascape, repeating the motif of the surf outside the doorway. The larger canvas is of a portrait of a woman. Gradations of shade from green to brown make up wall and floor. The viewer is closer to the floor, where a large blue conch shell, repeating the Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 23

Gordiets, Large Apple, 1991, Oil on Canvas, 47” x 45”

“Gordiets sets up several frames and creates a feeling of openness and interiority…” color of the sea, stands in the middle of the picture. A green lizard with bright orange dots to convey its shimmering outline, slinks off the shell. Crab apples of the same color as the spots on the lizard, but casting dark reddish shadows are scattered around the conch. Gordiets sets up several frames and creates a feeling of openness and interiority with these two works. Vladimir Nedaiborshch’s Creation (1991, oil on canvas) with its evangelical symbolism is an abstract work, except for the angels governing the four corners of the canvas. The cir­cle, which seems like an eye with a spinning pupil of brown and an iris of radiating white light, is being supervised by the angels. A radiating, spinning aperture opens up to pour out whirling light. Natalia Vitkovska’s Young Girl and the Sea (1993, oil on canvas) is one of the few works in the Realist mode. A girl with long brown hair, her back to the viewer, looks out from an elevated coastal edge to the sea. The light is made palpable by gradation of shade and contrast 24 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

of color. The elevated brown coastal rock is flecked with white to show the effect of direct sunlight, casting its grooved shadows. Again there is the sense of reverie, contemplation, and innocence. Vlada Ralko’s oil paintings, Adventures to the South (mon­tage, 1992), Summer Dream (1993), Encounter (1993 ), synthe­size values of flatness and volume, as Byzantine figures with their oval features and their static, column-like portrayal are subjected to Modernist re-interpretation. Encounter with its weird, mysterious feel and static and calcified embracing fig­ures reflects the erotic life of art itself, for the figures seem stone-like and mysterious as ghosts and match the table and the bowl of fruit, which also seem made of marble. Evgen Naiden in his mixed media paintings on wood, Passion for Rembrandt ( 1994 ), Portraits ( 1993 ), The Square of Happiness (1994) likes to create several frames within each painting, giving a storybook window effect, as in The Square of Happiness, or an artist’s

journal with text in Passion for Rembrandt, consisting of four paintings that unfold a narrative in pictures with cryptic text beside it. The scenes are pastoral and flooded with white against brown shades and text which is used pictorially to offset the visual difference between writing and drawing. Two artists represented with etchings are Lyudmila Bruyevich and Fedir Fabian. Bruyevich creates grotesque, humorous and touching portraits, as in A Girl with Puppy (1991). Fedir Fabian’s etching in relief, Self Portrait (1991) has a cool minimalist feel to it. The jagged irregular black frame is a square which contains three triangles. Two of the triangles are an olive green. The bottom triangle is a grid of white containing an even whiter abstract torso of a man. Both artists are concerned with pattern and texture. Bruyevich however uses the figure in a caricaturistic and obsessive man­ ner, whereas Fabian sees the human figure as an abstract value in space. In Three plus One (1992), the seated females create a space of white in the black pattern, just as the small white window does in the upper corner. I g o r G r e c h a n y k ’s Stegasaurus (1994) in bronze is dynamic and Expressionist. His pointy hide gives him stature as he forms an arc from tail to head and arches toward the ground. Prokofiev (1994), also a bronze, is elegantly elon­gated as he is poised on his cane. Theseus (1994) and Ariadne Lyudmila Bruyevich, Holy Family, 1991, Etching, 19.75 x 25.25 (1993) continue the narrative thread of prehistoric creatures. Ariadne seems as if she were formed out of some dinosauric extensions. jaunty little skirt and tiny but very evident nipples and calls it Youth Vitaly Shishov’s Adam and Eve (marble 1993) and The One (bronze, 1994). Evgen Derevyanko’s long-stemmed Bronze Lily That’s Walking (bronze on stone base, 1994) conveys the most (1994) buds into a torso. This irrepressible flow­ering of the solitary clearly classical approach to technique and heroic, as well as sensual human figure like a bud out of a flower becomes a central metaphor view of the figure. His mastery of technique and sense of movement for the metamorphosis that the artist hopes to effect spiritually and and rhythm gives each work authority. The marble Adam and Eve aesthetically. depicts the fused couple just emerging from the stone. The One The enthusiasm and naturalness with which these artists That’s Walking (bronze) reflects an idealized naturalism, but again embrace Modernist abstraction and maintain signs of the fig­ure, its feeling is deter­mined by the dynamic impression of movement reflects their particular need for a synthetic approach, where classical of the figure. and modern are integrated. Nikolai Perepelitsa’s Three Wise Men (bronze, marble base, It seems logical that Ukrainian artists would embrace classical 1994), who are slightly elongated and abstracted natural fig­ures, show Modernism, as their glasnost departure point; and it seems an equally sophisticated sense of dynamic move­ment and powerful profoundly natural and satisfying that these works celebrate serenely representation as Shishov’s figures. contemplative solitary figures baptized in light, dreaming in daylight, Vyacheslav Prytula depicts a long lithe young woman with a about to waken to a new day. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 25


2012 Collection - Acrylic on Canvas - 7' by 7' - $18,500 Oliver Painting and Ceramics 26 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 3

Tracy Harris, Delaware River, 7:51 pm, June 27, 2022

Tracy Harris, Delaware River, 8:11 pm, June 8, 2022

Tracy Harris and the Magic of Light


f course I’d heard of the light on Eastern Long Island. I’d seen it in countless art books and art history classroom slides, and knew the stories about artists coming from all over the world to be transfixed by the elusive, unquantifiable, almost indescribable light. I didn’t quite believe it until I saw it for myself. My family moved a lot when I was growing up, from Oklahoma to Texas to Bangkok and back to Texas. Like southeast Long Island, Bangkok had light that changes space. Sheets of monsoon rain became opaque walls. Canals running through our neighborhood were often covered with fluorescent emerald algae that looked firm enough to walk on until you saw the splash of a fish. After Bangkok I lived mostly in Dallas, where light is flat and hot and doesn’t play tricks unless you count the shimmering waves of heat floating above the pavement. In Texas I got a BFA and an MFA in painting and intaglio printmaking, and exhibited my work and taught painting and drawing in community colleges and the Dallas Museum of Art for ten years. In 1992, I moved to East Hampton, and the light changed my work. It’s not that I painted al fresto landscapes. My paintings were abstract, and I made them in a basement, but somehow the light and movement of the water got into me and my art. For many years I worked in encaustic, a process of painting with layers of molten wax that felt like the closest thing to painting with light. In 2010 I built a studio in East Hampton Village that had a special ventilation and exhaust system needed to paint with encaustic, but five years later I had to move and lost it. Almost by accident I landed in a small studio on Springs Fireplace Road with the most magnificent view I had ever seen.

My bedroom window and back door looked out over Accabonac Harbor, with Gerard Drive and Peconic Bay in the distance. It was the same body of water Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner saw from their house and studios just a mile up the road. I couldn’t use encaustic paint in my new living/working space, so I started making photographs of my view of Accabonac Harbor. I wanted to photograph the light itself, and the best way to do it was to show the same view at various times of day and night, so that the landscape elements stayed in the same place but were changed by the light on the harbor. I thought I’d make these daily photographs for a year, but one year turned into five, and my boyfriend, writer Lucian K. Truscott IV, moved in with me, just in time for the pandemic shutdown. We married in August 2021, and shortly afterwards learned that the owners of the studio were planning to sell it. We looked all over Long Island for a place we could afford, but the pandemic had driven already high real estate prices into the stratosphere. We expanded our search to California, Oregon, the Adirondacks and the Hudson Valley. And then we remembered Milford Pennsylvania, where we had visited when Lucian spoke at the Milford Literary Festival. It’s a small, beautiful town of only a thousand people. You can walk to everything you need, and you’re surrounded by the Poconos and flowing streams. When we went to see the house we now live in, I asked the caretaker how to get to the river. “I’ll show you”, he said and led us to the end of our street, only a block away. There it was, the Delaware River, bathed in a new extraordinary light. — TRACY HARRIS Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 27

Tracy Harris, Accabonac Harbor, 6:55 am, February 7, 2022

Tracy Harris, Accabonac Harbor, 6:30 am, August 8, 2021 28 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Tracy Harris, Accabonac Harbor, 8:06 pm, August 3, 2021

Tracy Harris in her former East Hampton studio. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; The Telfair Museum, Savannah, GA; The Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo,TX; The Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, Tx; The Longview Museum, Longview, TX, and many others. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.

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“Signs and Wonders”

The Mystical Revelations of Ray Grasse By ELIZABETH AVEDON


ay Grasse is a writer and photographer based in the American Midwest. He received his degree from the Art Institute of Chicago with a double major in painting and filmmaking. He studied with teachers in both the Kriya Yoga and Zen traditions, and worked for ten years on the staffs of Quest Books and The Quest Magazine. He is author of eight books, including The Waking Dream (1996, Signs of the Times (2002), Under a Sacred Sky (2015), An Infinity of Gods, (2017), Urban Mystic,(2019), and most recently, W hen the Stars Align (2022). His visual influences include artists like Vermeer, Caspar David Friedrich, Salvador Dali, Caravaggio, Arnold Bocklin, Jean Delville, and William de Nuncques, 30 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

“…An insightful observer of the universe.” —Barbara Keller and cinematographers like Gregg Toland, Stanley Cortez, and Karl Freund. He also credits the influence of his film professors from college, John Luther-Scofill and Stan Brakhage. “Brakhage’s visual style was dramatically different from my own, but he had an extraordinary talent for seeing conventional subjects in unconventional ways. That had a major impact on me.” Photographically, he has a special interest in capturing the surreal or spiritual dimensions of ordinary subjects and scenes. About his “Night Vision” series, he writes: “Night photography offers a way of uncovering worlds hidden both within and behind the surfaces of daily

life. Particularly through the use of time exposures, the lens becomes a tool for exposing secrets normally invisible to the ordinary eye, and to ordinary time. The result can be imagery that resonates more in some ways to the language of nightly dreams than the daylight of waking logic.” Ray is also an astrologer, and has been associate editor of the Mountain Astrologer for over 20 years. His websites are and www. “As a modern-day Renaissance man, not only is Ray Grasse a published author and composer, musician and professional astrologer, but he is also an accomplished photographer. There are many hidden treasures to find in his impressive cinematic series, ‘Night Vision.’ All of the photographs in this selection capture an ethereal world of mysterious

“The Extended Moment”

scenes difficult to interpret, combining the distant past into the present in a way that may all only be a dream. ​He has created a rarefied atmosphere with hidden treasures throughout his work. Viewing his dramatic image ‘Threshold,’ we find ourselves entering a hauntingly beautiful park alone at night, seemingly lit only by moonlight. There is an eerie stillness to this scene. It brings the viewer right inside the frame; disturbingly real, it still may only be a dream world. The entire series is replete with scenes that mix the distant past with the present in a way that seems almost too perfect for this world.” ​ Elizabeth Avedon is a writer and independent curator, photography book and exhibition designer. In 2017, Elizabeth received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Griffin Museum of Photography. The preceding is excerpted from the foreword to Grasse’s book-in-progress, “Night Vision.”

“Night Vision #12”

“…One of the world’s greatest and most accurate astrologers.” —Whitley Strieber, author Communion, The Hunger Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 31

Seals jockey for space as the tide rises on this sandbar in Shinnecock Bay. Seal can tolerate incredible wounds and tend to heal well. Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMSEAS) track the harbor and gray seals in the waters around New York, observing their health and how they interact in the ecosystem. Bonnie Bredes photo

“My mission is to create a world where we can live in harmony with nature.” – Dr. JANE GOODALL

Bonnie Bredes and her partner in this photographic adventure, Jamie Ellin Forbes, captured images on the South Shore of Long Island illustrating harbor seals within their natural coastal habitats. Our coastline appeared to be the Seals’ winter getaway. Each shoot demonstrates the character of the seals gathered in small to larger groups to develop a photographic relationship between the seals and other birds or waterfowl wintering. The images are collected photos of wildlife and wintering seals. This project intends to engage the viewer in environmental observation of the seals to document within photos the intrinsic value and benefits of diversity to the natural beauty of the landscape. Populations of animals and people co-habitating within a healthy diverse coastal shoreline ecosystem benefits all. These images display how intersectionality and activity between people and the shorelines’ current ecologies form a portrait of the landscape. Animals and people combine to affect the quality of the shared socially connected environments. These images are intended to encourage the concept of stewardship of the ecosystems documented to clarify the viewers’ understating of what may limit the ability of seal groups to remain in our waters. Seals, once easily seen are now difficult to find in pockets of protection, relativity undisturbed. Bredes and Forbes seek to draw awareness to environmental challenges as they apply to the human condition intersecting the environment. The ethical priorities of the project address the abuse of the water ways and adjacent landscapes by pollution. Public personal participation in environmental preservation is promoted via the images. Seeing the beauty is believing. Photographs are used as the ethical presentation of an historical representation to foster value and induced participation in the ecological husbandry of our costal waterways inclusive of “place and time”. These taken during multiple shoots depict a story anew 32 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

regarding conditions and ongoing migratory changes to the Long Island south shore. Seals basking, some injured, collecting in community on sand bars at high tide, Sea Tucks in large gatherings in coves, with seals, and on creeks and wintering hawks and owls captured the Winter 2022 ecological landscape. “My photos display the essence of the nature as well as a literal, real chronicle of what comprises the setting of explicit historical record. Shared perceptions form as images captured connect external conditions to internal territories of the Anthropocene. A timeless quality of interconnectedness tells a story of the environment and the complicated exchange between the natural world and our imposed cultivated human limits. Observing my surroundings, I study the exchange between the animal and the landscape. My engagement with the moment shared with a viewer delivers my intent. Making creatures real within their environments is my goal. While participating in our exchange together, I capture portraits, of creatures as they watch me watching them. A bond is formed for a brief second in the moment,” comments Jamie Ellin Forbes. Bonnie Bredes is a Long Island photographer with an interest in communicating the beauty in the natural environment through photography to promote conservation of endangered ecosystems and bring attention to environmental issues affecting these ecosystems. Her online exhibit, Poetry In the Nature Around Us, offers a view of the natural beauty near her home on Long Island through an examination of nature in several Suffolk County parks. The Haiku poems she wrote to accompany the images portray the simplicity, intensity, and directness of nature. Bonnie’s photographic endeavors are fueled by her interest in society’s effect on natural systems and a love for research. She also receives continuous inspiration and support from her husband Scott - a New York State certified Arborist, her daughter Amy – an Environmental Engineer, her daughter Megan.

Harbor seals sunning themselves on the rocks in Moriches Bay at Cupsogue Beach County Park. Bonnie Bredesphoto

This harbor seal pup was hauled out at Smith Point Park. Likely left there by his mother while she fed offshore. He was being harassed by some people who didn’t know better and were upset that he was not in the water. Once it was explained to them that it was normal for the pup to be up on the beach and that he just wanted to rest, they reluctantly backed away. The agitated pup seemed to be in disbelief that people would not just leave him alone. Bonnie Bredes photo. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 33

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Seals in large group at the end of the sandbar, Shinnecock Bay, Southampton, February 12, 2022, photo by Jamie Forbes Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 35

Reclining, Comsewogue Beach, Moriches Bay, Westhampton, February 6, 2022. Jamie Forbes photo

“Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.” – Dr. JANE GOODALL

100 Seals on a Sandbar, Shinnecock Bay, Southampton, February 12, 2022. Jamie Forbes photo. 36 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Seal Watching Me, Shinnecock Bay, Southampton, February 12, 2022. Jamie Forbes photo.

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” – Dr. JANE GOODALL

Happy Seals Sunbatheing, Shinnecock Bay, Southampton, February 12, 2022. Jamie Forbes photo. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 37

Marianne Della Croce Appointed Executive Director of the Art League of Long Island Successfully emerging from a period of unprecedented challenge, the Art League of Long Island happily announces a leadership transition that will cement recent gains and continue moving the organization forward. Executive Director Charlee Miller, who for 10 years led the Art League with skill, integrity and determination, has accepted the new, part-time position of Director of Development and Donor Relations. After a long careful search, the board has appointed Marianne Della Croce to be the new Executive Director. With a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Arizona State University, over 20 years experience in nonprofit management, leadership and programming here on Long Island, and having served as Executive Director at the Smithtown Historical Society and Oysterponds Historical Society, and as the Director of Visitor Experience at the East Hampton Historical Society, Marianne is highly qualified to lead the organization and to create new programs and relationships. “We owe Charlee Miller an enormous debt of gratitude for giving the Art League a stronger financial foundation and for creating new partnerships and initiatives. Without her leadership, and her ability to mobilize critical community support, we never would have survived the pandemic,” said board president Janette Simms. “As it is, we are coming back stronger than ever. And with her knowledge and experience, Marianne Della Croce is well positioned to continue the task of reopening classes and programs, and to explore new ways of serving our community. All of us who value the Art League...whether as students, attendees, teachers, staff and donors...can be confident that the Art League will continue to thrive and bring the joy of fine arts to Long Island.” The Art League of Long Island, located in Dix Hills, is a not-for-profit visual arts organization that offers classes and workshops for children and adults, from beginner to advanced

levels. The Art League of Long Island is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to broad-based visual arts education, providing a forum and showcase for artists of all ages and ability levels. Since its inception in 1955, the mission has focused on enhancing Long Island’s cultural life by promoting the appreciation, practice and enjoyment of the visual arts. Their art gallery hosts a dozen exhibits per year, featuring contemporary works by many local artists. For information about classes, exhibits, and events call (631) 462-5400 or visit www.artleagueli. org.




38 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Sotirios Gardiakos 1943 - 2022 “GARSOT – The Greek Picasso” By JP AUDRA Yes, our friend GARSOT was amazing — one of the greatest artists of our generation — and deserves to be remembered. His human qualities were about love and friendship above all. He was not money oriented nor a selfish, nor a greedy man. He professed that Art is the highest form of all material things on our planet Earth, so that even money is merely nothing more than paper and coins. Garsot knew that life is a gift of God and that what we do with our lives is our gift to God’s unlimited universe. Garsot understood that his first purpose in life was to create art and not to make money and work just to pay bills, taxes or buy useless things! Garsot got it right that we are manipulated to the point of becoming blind to the beauty of simple things in life, because we are brainwashed by the mass media. Garsot was free and happy to live the present moment and to love others — especially women — who were his inspiring muses. Garsot showed us that to save the world we must protect the oceans and all lives on our beautiful planet earth. Garsot guided all of us to focus on expressing our creative sides in painting, music, dancing, teaching, cooking well, etc.. Garsot showed us that all beautiful things must lead to Artistic creations and that should be the #1 goal in our lives. Garsot was full of positive energy, expressing his talents in cooking, painting and playing music every day and night !!! Garsot was a smiling and cheerful young man at heart who told everybody around him to enjoy life, have a great day and stay optimistic — inspiring and amazing to all of us who have been fortunate to met him that we miss him. Garsot was showing us the very ways how to stay away from all negativity, boredom and depression. Garsot lived his life on the basis of being a great master of the almighty expression of creativity. He worked hard every day happy and free — a true artist, a great painter destined to create beautiful artworks ! From now on, Garsot is going to be painting in Paradise where all is so beautiful and goodness is in abundance. God speed my dear friend Garsot. All of us your friends forever!, Jean-Philippe Jamie Forbes, Victor Forbes Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 39

Neil Zukerman - at his gallery. Fini painting hanging and Spaniel in his arms. One always knew where one stood with Neil as his essay below clearly shows.

The Definition of Art, or What is Art? A Diatribe By Neil Zukerman

Victor Forbes at Neil’s office, working on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Let’s begin with an unassailable definition. Art is Communication. The artist wishes to communicate something to the viewer and the viewer wants to understand what that message is. It is this writer's opinion that this definition strips the question, “What is Art?” to its essence. For obvious reasons the academics like to put everything into categories. It is easier to study assigned groupings then to recognize and address differences. Fortunately, however, artists come in all shapes and sizes as well as engender art in all shapes and sizes. They, by definition, can't be categorized. Many years ago, in my youth, a new denizen of "New York City" (!), I paid my hard-earned $2.50 and entered, for the only time in my life, the vaunted Whitney Museum. The first thing that greeted me was a 12' x 12' room, painted all white; walls, floor and ceiling. In the far corner I spied 6 bricks in a row. Curiosity being my driving force, I went over and looked at the tag. “6 Bricks in a Row.”!!! I turned around, walked out and have never again given them any of my money - or respect. The point of the story is that I do not accept, and will not accept, that six bricks in a row is anything more (or less) than 6 bricks in a row. I don't care what the critics, gallery owners or museum directors decree. When assaulted by a self-important 'expert' with the supercilious, “it is great because no one has ever done that before” or “He [sic] was the first person to do it.” My response is, unless it was actually something that warranted being done, “why did they bother?” Different to be different is only different. It is not art! It’s my opinion that the elevation of mediocrity and empty expression posing as art does nothing so much as turn off the general public to the true challenges and enjoyment that Art could afford them. They are constantly being told, “Oh, you don’t have the necessary (fill-in-the-blank) to understand this,” Not being assertive or educated enough or too polite to reply, “Bull----,” the masses are then excluded . . . and another club is created. Think about it. Clubs are formed, usually by people who were excluded by another club, so that they can then find someone to exclude from their club. If someone does not understand what they are looking at; if someone needs a written explanation as to what they are looking at; they are not the one who is deficient, it is, in the end, the artist who did not successfully communicate. Maybe someday there will be different words to differentiate between ‘good’ artists and ‘bad’ artists. The word ‘artist’ will apply to only those who actually not only have something to say, but also have

the skills to say it effectively. One without the other is useless. Whether it is music, visual art, dance, the written word, or some other form of communication, if the audience does not understand it intellectually, viscerally or emotionally, it is the artist who has failed, not the audience. Andy Warhol saw this more clearly than any other artist of his generation. When the pundits started to eulogize his tongue-incheek, amusing pastiches and turn them into a “new movement in art,” he consciously started pushing the envelope to see just how far the ‘art worldlings’ - thank you Tom Wolfe for the phrase - would go in their fervor to show how they ‘knew’ and everyone else “just didn’t understand.” Ronnie Cutrone’s pissing on paintings was not “a social statement” or even a “pushing of mores.” It was Warhol seeing how far he could go in his quest to make fun of the new art establishment. He was waiting for them to get the joke. They didn’t. His final word on the subject was to leave a large bequest to the New York Academy of Art with the proviso that they must continue teaching figure drawing. Somewhere along the line, untalented people made it ‘in’ to be inept. Express how you feel! Throw the paint! You don’t need to know how to use the materials! Just let it hang out! Throw an egg against a canvas and say, “That’s how I feel!” No need to know technique. It is passé. Is it any wonder that more money is being spent to restore artwork from the 1950’s forward then is needed for all of the art work generated before that time? As a footnote to my Whitney Museum anecdote I add that when the ‘cutting -edge’ gallery exodus to Chelsea began in the ’90’s, I went to see what was going on. I stepped into Mary Boone’s gallery and was greeted with a 10’ x 10’ room all painted white; walls, floor, ceiling. In the corner there were nine bricks in a row. Forty years and three more bricks. Now that is what I call artistic growth! There has been a movement in the last 20 years, to, once again, venerate those artists who did not lose their way; who honed their skills; knew how to paint and properly prepare their painting surfaces. An atmosphere wherein Beauty is less and less being considered ‘kitsch’ and artists are beginning to stop feeling that there is something wrong with them because they are passionate about creating beauty. Although Art does not have to be beautiful to be art, it does need to be both meaningful and well executed. One without the other is not art, it is an opinion. It is currently only a grass-roots effort, but more and more people are starting to realize that the Emperor is naked and that the ‘experts’ are not as pure of heart as they would like us to believe. Maybe we do have the ability to judge for ourselves.

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Gallerist As Art Book Publisher

Zukerman then engaged SunStorm to print and produce La Vie Ideal, his tribute to the acclaimed artist from Argentina, Leonor Fini. Fini was and is extremely well-known and accepted as a colleague A collection of conceptual art books for Neil Zukerman’s of Dali, Picasso and all the giants of Europe. Zukerman, a major CFM Gallery in Soho began in 1992 with the publication of collector of her work and personal friend, lovingly put together Rose Daughter: A Re-Telling of Beauty and the Beast. For photographs dating back to the 1920s to the present of Fini with this project, the gallerist Zukerman engaged his star artist Anne major luminaries of the Surrealist era, and beyond. This Bachelier to create a series of paintings to illustrate the book came into play just as the revolution in desktop classic tale. For text, Zukerman commissioned a noted publishing was taking place and any of the scans were British author, the award winning Robin McKinley. done from older books that could not be cut up and The pre-production on this project entailed many placed on our drum scanner. This was a challenge in that weeks of typesetting, choosing a particular typeface, Mr. Zukerman scanned them on his tabletop scanner Colwell, released in 1934 which was gleaned from a with questionable resolution. In the end, the book was book purchased from a SunStorm advertiser (who had a resounding success and the publisher had us create an antique shop in Port Washington, NY ), and then a special limited edition hardcover version. We used a finding a suitable paper. Zukerman planned a certain variety of special papers and hand-mixed inks to meet segment of this book to be a limited edition and through the very specific demands of the client. Leonor Fini the use of various fabric wrappings and bonus art works, “La Vie Ideale” (The Ideal Life) contains 64 pages of was able to produce a sell-out book that is now quite personal memories and discussion of Fini’s work. Over collectable. He also affixed the images of color plates to 75 rare photos of Fini, her friends and her environment; the pages with a painstaking process of gluing each art more than 85 illustrations of paintings, drawings and work — printed on coated paper separately — onto the watercolors, many seen here for the first time. This is text pages of the book. With this book, CFM Gallery the catalog for the largest retrospective and sale of Fini’s has revived the “Livre d’artist.” Literally translated as work to take place outside of Europe. This book was “Artist’s Book,” they have a long tradition in Europe. published in a limited edition of 2,000 copies, composed Picasso, Dali, Buffet, Chagall and Fini are but a few of and printed by SunStorm Arts Publishing Co., Inc. the major artists that have illustrated texts by writers We followed up this project with another such as Baudelaire, Genêt, Hugo, Flaubert and Poe. Zukerman/CFM tome: The Princess of Wax / La This collectors edition was limited to 1,000 copies. Princesse de cire, Inspired by the life of the Marchesa The varied levels within the edition are marked by Casati. This book received much critical praise: binding intricacies as well as the option of original art “In this Edgar Allan Poe-esque nightmare, Venice work accompanying the book. Choices include the Anne Bachelier “Alice” and La Casati have never been so enchanting and actual original mixed media illustrations by Bachelier, decadent. Anne Bachelier’s illustrations, so surreal four different signed and numbered original etchings and so wonderfully rich in detail, are the perfect visualization of an by Bachelier, and a suite of 24 offset lithographs of the illustrations intriguing, never-ending journey through eccentricity, obsession, pencil signed and numbered by the artist. The book itself measures love, cruelty, glamour and destiny.’ Grazia D’Annunzio, Special 14” in height x 17” wide. Inside, over 160 pages feature a beautiful Projects Editor, Vogue Italia. ‘An innovative, dark fairy tale.’ Gallery flowing text printed with red-orange and black inks on a textured Guide. ‘A sumptuous limited-edition volume.’ WHERE New York. linen white paper. Thirty-three sparkling color illustrations were then This was a particularly challenging project in that it was printed painstakingly “hand-tipped” into their rightful places in the book. in both English and French with the dual languages meeting in the The process was time-consuming but the reaction to the fantastic middle with each cover being a “front” cover. There were also pages images has proven this historical technique worthwhile. of UV coated paper inserted over the images making for a very Needless to say, Rose Daughter was a production challenge on complex production challenge. Coupled with the dark nature of the a very short time frame. Once the typeface was chosen, the editing images, much color correction was involved. I had to mix special and proofreading process began. We then created a border for each inks on press and on two occasions, stop the press and re-shoot the page from one of the artist’s drawings and set the type within the works on paper on a state-of-the-art digital camera located at a very border. The paper was thick, so that in order to fold it, we had to run modern printing plant less than a mile from our shop. Bringing the the entire book through the press again with a “score.” Wrapping the image in late at night, the shop’s owner/photographer accommodated fabric was another challenge and we drove with Mr. Zukerman out our needs, luckily, and she transferred her photo to CD which we to a plant in New Jersey to meet the people who would be doing the incorporated into the document, re-ran the film and made a new binding. The additional creation of the series of lithographs entailed set of plates, to the delight of all concerned. The hard-back bindery hand-tearing each and every one to make a deckled edge on all four on this was exquisite. “This is a beautiful and marvelously produced sides. It made for a breathtaking and beautiful collection. book and quite a wonderful fairy tale.” –Lady Moorea Black, Following this, Mr. Zukerman engaged SunStorm to create a Granddaughter of the Marchesa Luisa Casati. Another critic wrote, number of smaller projects, including an 8” x 8” monograph on a 90 “What a fascinating, beautiful book ........ I am first impressed with year old Surrealist who had been out of the artistic picture since 1950. the production of it, that makes it feel like a piece of fine art in the Her name was Stella Sneed, from Great Britain, and her work created hand. What a thrill how heavy and substantial the plate page paper quite a stir. This was more of a straightforward process of offset is, and how gossamer the text overlays, the hand-feel is sumptuous. printing and perfect binding, requiring, of course, attention And the story, not to forget the substance, is evocative and heady, specifically to accurate color representation and typography. Mr.


Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 41

requiring a slow savoring of the words and phrasing. Wicked, as all fairy tales should be.” –Pat Fish of Luckyfish. com. And finally, “...I found both the writing and the illustrations ... to be exquisite.” –www. There are four Editions Available: 1. Roman Numerals I through XII: Deluxe Gold Embossed Leather-bound Edition; Signed by the Authors and the Artist; Original, multi-media illustration ($4,500) There are only 3 copies remaining; 2. Roman Numerals XIII through IXX Deluxe Gold Embossed Leather-bound Edition Signed by the Authors and the Artist Original, multi-media refusée (This is an illustration for which there was no room in the book). $4,000; 3. Roman Numerals XX through CXX, Deluxe Gold Embossed Leather-bound Edition Signed by the Authors and the Artist $750 Limited to 101 copies; 4. Standard Edition Red, Gold Embossed Cloth-bound Edition, Beautiful Full Color Dust Jacket $39.95. I include this information to show how certain books we produced are still on the market and generating revenue for their publishers. The most successful to date is the recently completed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the LookingGlass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll & Anne Bachelier for CFM Gallery. Following in the tradition of the aforementioned books, Zukerman created a menu of special items to go along with the set of limited edition books, differentiated from the regular run by very specific bindings. The first book (I/I) included a painting and sold for $15,000. The entire production is sold out and the publisher is considering a second printing. This book, like Princess of Wax was a two-in-one with each book starting at the beginning and meeting in the middle. Plating, composing, binding and printing posed extraordinary difficulties, as in addition to making the two books (one printed upside-down, so to speak) meet in the middle, there were four fold-out pages and gold and a special mix of red ink used throughout. The images were color separated and corrected to near perfection and the book was bound and delivered on time for a major gallery opening in Soho, NY, “A Tea Party.” Due to the odd size of the pages of this book, there was room on the printed sheet — 9” x 27” — that would be blank unless we could create something to fit on this. We advised Mr. Zukerman of this and he created an 84 page catalogue raisonné of his collection of Leonor Fini books. These were printed on the same sheet as the pages so that there was no waste of paper. This was another very successful project coordinated by SunStorm Arts Publishing Co. of exceptional detail and difficulty. Prior to this, we printed and coordinated Le Livre (The Book) a massive 256 page monograph on Anne Bachelier. Nearly 500 color separations went into this and the oversize pages limited production to printing only 4 pages at a time. This was a massive printing and platemaking process and quite taxing. Just banding and skidding the paper for shipment to the bindery was a major task. In addition, at the height of the stress of production, the attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. A devastating event, especially for New Yorkers. CFM Gallery is within a short walk of the towers and the opening debut of the book was slated for October 11. Driving the skids to New Jersey to the bindery was harrowing with checkpoints and time limits for the major roads and bridges we had to use to get from Long Island to New Jersey, but when thinking of the poor souls who lost their lives in such a horrible way, and what their families went through, our difficulties should not even be mentioned. The show went on and what was to be a major exhibit with a large sale of art and books, was, of course, sadly limited by the events of September 11. The international collectors did not fly in, the gallery was sparsely populated that evening. Yet, just having the event, in the eyes of Zukerman and Bachelier, was a victory. That book is still selling to this day and a wonderful collection of essays and art, weighing in atabout four pounds per book. 42 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Neil Zukerman’s foreword to Ailene Fields monograph, Out Of The Nowhere Into The Here, published by CFM Gallery, produced by Fine Art books


Unique: [yoo-neek] – adjective

1. Existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics 2. Having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable 3. Limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area 4. Limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities 5. Not typical; unusual 6. The embodiment of unique characteristics; the only specimen of a given kind 7. Ailene Fields



s a gallery owner who has the luxury of exhibiting and selling only the art I personally love, I am frequently asked how I choose the art for the gallery. I can’t answer that. It is visceral. I usually reply that when my heart, head and groin converge the decision is made. The first time I saw Ailene Fields’ sculptures I was a private art dealer, selling from my home. I was captivated by the work but didn’t feel I had the venue that was best for her. Eventually I bought a few small pieces for my personal collection but, more importantly, came to know Ailene as a friend. When I opened my retail gallery in SoHo in 1992, it was a natural progression to bring her into the CFM family of permanent artists. The only negative turned out to be that I kept buying more and larger Ailene Fields sculptures for my home, to the point that I have become one of her biggest collectors! Rabbits, dragons, snails, sphinxes, flowers, dragonflies, frogs, monkeys and even a potato linger along the byways in my home. It is hard for me to turn around without my eye delightfully lighting on one of her creations. There is a sense of fun and what I call a ‘Pollyanna’ aura that surrounds Ailene and her work. She approaches life as if each new moment is a gift to be savored and embraced. This innocence finds its way into her progeny, causing what she thought would be a ferocious dragon to morph into “Casper the Friendly Dragon” or “Mister Silly!” Her genius is the ability to distill each sculpture to its essence; to bring the ‘story’ to that one magical moment when the flash of recognition ignites. Frequently having had the privilege of watching Ailene sculpt, I am continually astounded at the hard work that goes into the simplicity which she brings to whatever she is doing. For me it is this very simplicity which exemplifies the crux of her talent. Working on this book has only intensified my sense of awe at what she has — and is continuing — to accomplish.

Ailene Fields

Reaching For The Sky •

Fine Art finds a home in New Jersey Skylands Museum - a new home for fine art in Lafayette, New Jersey founded by Neil Zukerman and Ailene Fields


eil Zukerman was passionate about art and introducing it to new audiences. In addition to owning the CFM Gallery in New York City, he participated in a number of collaborative projects that connected him with artists from all over the world. Neil believed that art was only enjoyable if it challenged people and that it can come from anywhere. Skylands Museum reflects his adoration for art and its versatility, Every project that Ailene and Neil have committed to, including the Skylands Museum of Art, has a personal, spiritual, and communal value that is meant to connect us further to the best parts of ourselves. To reconnect with nature, our inner dreamer, and kindness towards ourselves and others. We all sometimes struggle in the day to day, and their hope is that the museum will you give you a moment to breathe and enjoy the beautiful gift of our lives. Every artist has a unique story and follows a personal journey through various aspects of life, and Ailene is no different. Her mission is aptly captured in her own words, “I am a sculptor. I express myself through my sculptures. They say things that my words cannot. But I will try words. Carving stone is different from most other forms of sculpture. It is a process of finding what has been trapped within since time immemorial and allowing it to reveal itself to the world. For much of my career, what I liberated were animal and human figures caught in particular moments of reflection that revealed some essential aspect of their being.” David Fields first met Ailene more than half a century ago, when she was Eileen Rubin, ten years old living in Brooklyn. “I was twelve,” he recalls. “She knew immediately that I was to be hers. She’s that way, always has been. She gets it — whatever it is — intuitively, at a glance…in life and in her sculpture. Her aim…as a sculptor, is to capture the essence of her subject in a moment…that contains their essence.”

Dr. David Fields, Ailene Fields, Neil Zukerman Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 43

“ I express myself through my sculptures.They say things that my words cannot.” In Ailene Fields’ world, anything and everything is possible. Peace, love and happiness prevail. The neighborhood bears roam and romp freely in her back yard — undisturbed. In the words of Yogananda, “It is a world where time is taken to enjoy things — the beauties of God’s creation and the many blessings of life in a circle of boundless love, a vast home of sympathy, a vast heart of feeling (with) all creatures living with you in peace.”


NCE UPON A TIME, there was a very big art show held at that great relic of mid-20th century architectural bluster known as the New York Coliseum. The even more blusterous Time/Warner towers occupy that site today. There, amidst the Auto, boat and airplane shows as well as all manner of trade conventions, a trio of enterprising gentleman gave birth to the New York International Art Exposition. It was the place to be in the Spring in New York City for almost a decade, until the art world with a capital “A” moved on to

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greener pastures. But back in the 80s, it was thriving and fresh with vibrant talent and it was there that we first came upon the work of Ailene Fields, and more importantly, my future friend and college classmate (we didn’t know each other back then), the artist herself. It was almost as if I was drawn by some mystical power to this booth…or maybe it was the crowd excitedly milling about her exhibition space. Here there was no threat of a prospective buyer tripping over a sculpture whilst stepping back to look at a hanging work of art affixed to a wall. With its array of creatures and figures, the liveliest stones and most alluring bronzes ever, this was indeed a paintingfree zone. Pulsing with life; energetic force fields doubling as works of art. As if within these strong and silent (and sometimes silly-looking) stones, secrets of the universe could be unlocked. This, of course, is what Indiana Jones movies are made to exploit — our need to know. Ailene, it seems to me, somehow knew – even back then as a young sculptor – and we see it in her work and life. The gift she was given, and which she has honed and honored by using every

imaginable second of time alotted to her on earth to go about creating and — really — doing good, is not lost on those of us who know her. This is important to convey to the many of you who may never get to meet Ailene or view her work in person. The tactile perfection of her stone, glass and bronze carvings are masterful and reminiscent of Henry Moore’s smooth and luscious spheres with an almost Dr. Seuss-like frivolity. “What I want more that anything else,” she said, “is to make a difference in the way people see the world, so they can make a difference in how it is.” Ailene’s craftsmanship and creativity emerge equally victorious in her work, evident to the New York crowds at the art fair, and later on to attendees at museums and galleries on the world stage. Ailene Fields bangs stone unabashedly. She says it’s good for New Yorkers to do so. Her work is her play and the result is creativity-gone-wild. It is never-ending. It is a universe waiting to be inhabited by her imagination, upon which there are seemingly no restraints. A great artist, Frank Owen, told me the secret to his

success in his career and life is that he never lost his child-like awe. At the age of ten, he figured he knew what was what. Hope is an ever-fleeting glimpse of perfection; perfection that can be found in a van Gogh brushtroke, a Ruthian swing with a baseball bat, a delicate stroke of chisel to stone, or a thoughtful couplet that brings us nearer our destiny. Ailene often sculpted in the Vandam street basement of her son Marc’s business, The Compleat Sculptor before they recently moved uptown. Marc is somewhat of a savant when it comes to sculpture supplies, an acknowledged leader in his field. He doesn’t mold beauty from mud, or scare form out of marble, but he knows the composition and usage of just about every product ever invented to aid the sculptor in their work. These words are a fitting tribiute: “As some of you may know, TCS was born from the notion of Mother’s Day! My mother @ailene.fields was the impetus to the creation of this place that now feeds the creativity of so many. Every time we work with a client and help them realize their goal, it reminds me of what a great mother she is. Glasses up, mic down….” Between opening her new Skylands Museum in New Jersey or wielding a pneumatic something or other on a new creation, Ailene makes time to teach a class at TCS’s new locale. The original location was in its infancy when the unspeakable happened and our enemies took down the World Trade Center, less than a half mile south. Ailene’s ensuing body of work — a solemn and majestic series of alabaster and acrylic sanctums — are something to behold. They are fortress-like caves or little castles, contemplative comfort zones in which beleaguered souls can find peace and protection. Each sanctuary houses a staircase rising up to a pinnacle of…hope; our own stronghold to recharge, reflect and re-arm our spirits for the next battle. Ailene is a chosen soul whose success is based on two things: a child-like awe holding fast to the mentality of her tenyear old self who found in her playmate, David Fields, her future husband. When she was a college student at Lehman in The Bronx, she sealed the deal by bringing the soon-to-be-Dr. Fields back from “the other side” when he was literally crushed by a Jerome Avenue bus. This is one family never short for pets, either. Alligators, frogs, owls, mermaids, did I say dragons? and a host of mice, birds and butterflies cohabit with the bears and various other life forms. Her creations

range from folkloric to life size, delicate miniatures from table top to pedestal. Like her Sacred Space Sanctuaries, these works stand firm — be they six inches or six feet in height; six ounces or six hundred pounds in weight. They collaborate in unision of an artist’s vision of a more perfect world etched in the perpetuity of her carvings. These rocks will outlast us all. They will survive flood, famine, all manner of fussing and fighting. They will be heirlooms for future generations who will laugh with glee at the life work of a modern stonecarver and equally adept creator of magnificent acrylics and bronzes. Many may wonder what exactly was an Ailene Fields? The short answer is that she is in an elite group of sculpting immortals and just when you think there are no more worlds for her to conquer, she comes up with a doozy — some kind of structure prancing about on chicken legs. It’s not as though she is thumbing her nose at what is known as “the art world” today, where Andy Warhol throwaways are fetching $150 million. Ailene will never have works that venture into that lofty stratosphere, but as much as we all love Andy, did he ever bring a dragon to life? In the past half century, few have created as extensive and diverse a body of work as Ailene Fields. She is a free spirit who soars, sharing her great gift of love through vibrant, poignant and hilarious characters — sometimes all in one piece — starting with the title. This is her calling, and she invites others to join in the fray with works such as Forgot Your Bone, We’re Not Going Back, Nuts To You, And What, Pray Tell, Is a Gryphon and a host of others that Neil Zukerman, her friend, gallerist and curator of her book Out Of The Nowhere and Into The Here, culled from nearly 1,000 sculptures in stone, bronze and acrylic, and those were the ones of which either a photograph of or the original itself, exist. Themeatically, one gets the impression through this mammoth body of work that life for Ailene is sweet. She puts hands and heart togeter and makes something sweet out of the day. Hilarity is not a soda sweetened with high fructose but a sincere chuckle, a long-lasting smile, maybe a whooping belly laugh at either the expense or intention of her wonderful cast of characters. That doesn’t mean that we will not gasp in awe at the sheer virtuosity of Ailene’s very special set of skill. The Left Hand of God holds its own with any figuratives of the great masters, as do a a

considerable number of her other works. I hope this is not beginning to sound as if Mrs. Fields is about ready to get out of the boat and walk across the Hudson River, though it wouldn’t surprise me if I were to read about that accomplishment in tomorrow’s paper. What I would look to get across to you, gentle reader, many of whom may never come into actual contact with an Ailene Fields work of art other than through the beautiful images contained herein, is that Ailene brings the party with her wherever she goes. It is a sense of happiness, hope and the ultimate happy ending of which she is an adamant advocate as a passionate sculptor of fairy tales. “I am a storyteller... in my childhood, one of the stories I was most taken with — and afraid of — was that of Baba Yaga, a witch and nature spirit of the forest of Eastern Europe, the place of my ancestors. I have always thought of myself as a child of the forest. Baba lived in this forest that I loved. As a child, I wanted to be worthy of the magical gifts she gave to heroes and the pure of heart. I did not want to be foolish nor unworthy,” notes Ailene. The joy of creativity is evident in every element of Ailene Fields’ abundant body of work. Even the titles have that ring of amusement, of a childlike happiness at her own capacity to entertain herself, and her ever-growing legion of admirers, with the fruits of her labors. Ailene continues to “rock on” with a youthful exuberance that thumbs its nose at the aging process as her work continues to entertain, inform and amaze. She is a master with an insatiable appetite to produce, setting an impossibly high bar for those who would seek to follow —VICTOR FORBES her path.

Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 45


Messages of Grace, Creativity and Beauty I met Ailene Fields for the first time in the mid 1980s when Fields was exhibiting her sculptures at an international art fair. While I was walking the aisles at the event, the mystique and alchemy of Ailene’s enlivened works caught my eye. As I approached the stone and bronze creations I noticed that old mythic friends had come into being, accompanied by new imaginative creatures and animals imbued with the possibilities of Fields’ unfettered imagination. Gathered together and arranged for presentation, these sculptures as abstracted, symbolic, figurative bronzes and works done in stone impressed me as masterful, artistic compositions. I can still remember the artist standing in her booth, connected to the atmosphere she and they created. I walked toward Ailene to introduce myself, as if the muses had called me to witness the parade provided by the cornucopia of Field’s imagination laid out for display. Halcyon, Leda, and Cassandra may have been among the early works I was viewing. For the moment, I was drawn into each one, participating in a symbiotic creative event between artist, artwork and art appreciator. A friendship was sealed that has run the course of time. I am honored as a professional to know such an outstanding creative and prolific talent as Ms. Fields. It has been my privilege to write about these works. As I was lucky enough to meet Ailene Fields that day over 27 years ago, I am still duly inspired by the messages of grace, creativity and beauty Ailene has shared with me—and the world—through her voluminous outpouring. As if they had arisen from the common ground of universal dreamscape, Fields sculptures came to life. All uniquely capturing the possibilities of Fields’ unrestricted imagination. Sculptures rooted in classical style and form became a composite of whimsy and elegance molded together—the expression of her line dancing as each piece spoke to the fancy of my own imagination. Personalizing her accented universal vision of metaphor is the defining genius of Fields pieces, which she couples with uncanny ability to breath animation into the inanimate form. I was mesmerized. Thus began my odyssey of learning about and from Ailene Fields directly; her love for sculpture and story telling as a mythic, symbolic, abstracted or figurative means of conveying personal messages of value resulting in a rich historical and individual experience all can share when connecting through sculpture as a complete visual metaphor of experience. As the artist defined her mission statement, I understood Fields’ work is set apart due to her enhanced technical prowess and connective story-telling ability. Fields’ sculptures offer a unique encounter she is sharing with 46 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Sanctum Arum

Sanctum Futura

the viewer as living experience. Each stone, when sculpted, speaks to her and unfolds its intend form. Fields, through her chisel, channels the messages contained therein. The works deliver a serious compositional concept, yet playful humor runs rampant, outlined in the messaging of the work, contained and easily seen in most every piece. – JAMIE EIILN FORBES


The mystery of creation and its offspring, creativity, have been and re­main consuming questions for the human race since we discovered ourselves here on this planet. Of accompanying interest is the gift of talent and the ability to manifest something of lasting value from nothing but one’s inter­nal thoughts and vision. As I lie next to my beloved poodle, on what passes for a grassy knoll at the entrance of the printing plant, a soft summer breeze cooling us on a cloudless evening, the infinite azure of the sky propels my meditations to the task at hand: understanding the mind of the pure artist. A dazzling collection of finished canvases readily shows us concrete results — manifested as they are from the ethereal — but the question still remains: from what substance are they derived? As faith the size of mustard seed can move mountains, Anne’s visions bring forth entire universes. Anne Bachelier and her art have been aptly described as theater. Her characters and imagery have a life, whether they be designed explicitly for the traditional stage or the theatre of the artist’s mind. A collaboration with Neil Zukerman, CFM and SunStorm Arts Publishing Co. resulted in the 2009 publication of Le Fantôme/ The Phantom of the Opera, as theatrical as any book ever printed. It was presented in four distinctive versions: Deluxe, Black Leather Edition, 15” x 11”, 160 pages, in fuchsia slip case; Portfolio, 17.5” x 13” , 104 pages, bound in matching fuchsia boards (contains a complete set of all the oil on paper illustrations and Refusés); Folio, 15” x 11”, 160 pages, unbound in matching fuchsia box; and Standard Edition, hard-bound in black silk with a pictorial dust jacket. It was a tremendous success. So many are enthralled by Anne’s vision and ideas which is just a wonderful by-product of talent coupled with the blessing of having an intelligent admirer who hap­pens to have an art gallery on a well-travelled street. Anne’s impact on soci­ety will be measured far beyond the confines of what we so restrictively call the art world, long after we have all gone on to our greater reward. This is based on the fact that one person who labors under the guise and protection of art has made use of the power infused in us all. The gift of talent, simply, is the power to be remarkable ­— a glimpse into endless possibilities by an artist coming to terms with her own formi­dable potency. Using it, honing it, sharpening it as one would treat a sword. The paintbrush as weapon. Brushstrokes warding off evil. Emptiness filled with light. Lack has no room where abundance reigns. Time has no impact where

Anne Bachelier, l’épouvantail, 20/50cm

high forms of artistic endeavor sing to us daily. In tapping into the attendant spirit from which Genius comes to grant Creativity, one understands that there is no other explanation for a talent such as Anne Bachelier’s. In his transcendent masterwork, Ode to the West Wind, Percy Bysshe Shelley invokes the unbridled force that provides inspiration to act through him. “If I were a dead leaf thou rnightest bear,” he pleads, “If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee.” Bachelier is a descendant in this lin­eage. Her characters may be seen as brooding, ominous in their silence, yet, in true Romantic vision, whatever evil may lurk in them is at once converted to good in the context of the creative. I hope.....................VICTOR FORBES Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 47

Anne Bachelier, Jeu de dupes- 92/73 cm

Anne Bachelier, Tout est si léger, 80/80cm 48 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

-Anne Bachelier, Leda, 30/50cm

Anne Bachelier, En Majesté-30/50cm

Anne Bachelier, Peux-tu croire la parole de l’oiseau ?100/81cm

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“The Sweet Smell of Success

On the phone with Penny Dell recently, we are happy to report the following conversation: “I’m giddy with sales after a long pause. One work sold at the Woodstock Art Association and Museum in May, two more at Jazz Forum in Tarrytown NewYork and just yesterday, one found a new collector at the Banana Factory Art Center in Bethlehem. Pennsylvania.” The artist’s decades of drawing, painting and printmaking are coming together these days in works that combine all three with other adventurous mediums. States Penny. “Presently, I use collage, encaustic, handmade paper, and gilding to layer over a print — building pattern and color. Hexagons cut from the decorative interiors of envelopes have been a driving force.” Educated at Simmons College in Boston and City College and Lehman College in New York, Penny Dell was born in Mexito and lived there until she

0range Crush, Mixed media encaustic collage, 10”x 8”

was thirteen. The artist Francisto Dos Amantes and the zoomorphic figures of Aztec friezes influenced her early work. Dell studied art at the Triveni Kala Sangam Akademi in New Delhi as well as other art centers. She was a bi-lingual teacher in the New York City schools. For many years she taught printmaking and cartooning to adults and children at the Old Church Cultural Center in Demarest and at the Art Center of Northern New Jersey in New Milford. She also presented Polaroid and other image transfer workshops at the Hunterdon Museum, The Printmaking Center, Soho Photo, Rockland Center for the Arts, and other organizations in the New York metropolitan area. As former Director of the Gallery and Special Projects at OCCC, Curator at the Williams Center for the Arts and the Haworth Municipal Library, Penny put together hundreds of exhibitions. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 51

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Above: Aurora, ixed Media collage on canvas 10”x 8” \Left:Tutti Frutti, Mixed Media monotype with encaustic & collage 29”x 21

Hive II, Monotype 32¾”x 25½”

My latest work recycles patterns from the interiors of security envelopes — pattern against pattern. Some are collaged onto woodcut or monoprint backgrounds and integrated into work reminiscent of patchwork quilts.

Her prize-winning prints, hand-made artist’s books and paintings have been exhibited widely, winning numerous prizes. She has been honored with residencies at the Woman’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale NY in 2003 and 2008 and at the Vermont StudioCenter in 2004 and 2008. On the Board of the National Association of Women Artists, she served as President from 20052007. “I studied English and French Literature at Simmons College and the Sorbonne in Paris, and painting at the Triveni Kala Sangam Akademi in New Delhi, India. These intersections of cultures, techniques, and philosophies have fueled my investigations of states of mind, scenes from dream, fantasy, and interior life – through drawing, painting, print, encaustics. “People ask me how I build my work. Starting with a monotype and a pile of security envelopes, I define passages of color & optical interest, then collage and add translucency and more color with hot encaustic. Sometimes I emphasize and extend linear elements with wire and netting. The hot flow of encaustic color is beginning to phase out my previously tightly controlled assembly of patterned hexagons. Those are still strongly represented in my work , and the optical and ‘tumbling block’ effect is still noticeable. What is new is greater freedom in the fungible marks of hot encaustics—letting the lava flow and fuse. The pigments sparkle in my latest works!” “PS: the beeswax in encaustics makes the work smell like honey!” © 2023 by Penny Dell. •

WITNESS 27, Xerox Lithography 2013 Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 53


October 30, 1997 At the age of each Miliennium, there arise scholars, sages and scribes that guide discreet ones into new realities. SunStorm’s Fine Art magazine, with it’s founders, Jamie and Victor Forbes, propel such a vision to new heights with their grand style and clever prose. The timeless insights that are so eloquently portrayed throughout the pages of this stunning work of art captivate the imagination and transport the viewer to the enchanted realms of creativity.

Jamie Forbes, Lady Lori Churchill Spencer at Artexpo, California

Its solar flare pierces through the veil that sometimes obscures fine art, and delivers the reader into a sensuous embrace of artistic refinement. This high caliber of penmanship truly inspires one to reach new levels of awareness and appreciation for the visual arts. As I reflect upon the symphonic melodies of SunStorm’s Fine Art magazine, I realize that I shall treasure such brilliance as a cherished morsel of my life. With Warmest Regards,


Jamie Ellin Forbes, Joan Goldberg, Paul Wegner, Carlos Santana, Lady Lori Churchill Spencer

SunStorm Arts Publishing Company FINE ART MAGAZINE • FINE ART BOOKS DESIGN, WRITING, PRODUCTION & PRINTING Jamie Ellin Forbes • B. Forbes • • (518-593-6470) 54 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Michael Gaudreax channeling Elvin Bishop’s “We’re gonna party till the cows come home.” Catch his work at the Corscaden Art Barn, Keene Valley

Dan Plumley in his Keene, NY studio, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains with his “Black Cougar Moon No. 2”. Dan is a man of many gifts and talents and a true champion of the environment and all the creatures who inhabit it along with him and his loyal companion Ranger Danger to reach Dan about any of his interests and his new company, TOTEM Adirondack Consulting Group, Email: danplumley@ or give him a ring Cell: (518) 524-7771

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CALYPSO PAVES THE REGGAE ROAD The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff, Mango 9202, Released: 1972, Chart Peak: #140; #119 on Rolling Stones top 200 albums of all time; Rolling Stone ROCK MOVIE OF THE YEAR 1973

Reggae is one form of Jamaican music that is gaining attention around the pop music world. This soundtrack LP is a good collage of reggae done authentically. The tunes show the smooth flow of the percussion instruments and the excitement inherent in the voices, individually and collectively. Shades of calypso and Belafonte. This is modern Jamaica, and Cliff is assisted by several local groups like the Melodians, Maytals, Slickers and Desmond Dekker himself, the top reggae name. - Billboard, 1975.

MAY 4, 2022 – Formally and finally recognized to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “Early Influence”, in his latter days, at 95, Harry Belafonte is having quite the career resurgence. A serious activist from the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, the first singer to sell a million albums and receive the first Billboard Gold Album, Belafonte is no stranger to controversy or the controversial Hall. In 1996, he was there to induct Pete Seeger. In 2013, he and Spike Lee inducted Public Enemy. Now the question is, “Who will induct Harry?” Would it be Dylan who backed him on harmonica on a 1961 release, or Jimmy Cliff, the lead living proponent of classic reggae, or his good friend Donovan whose tribute album sheds a 56 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

whole new light on the power and influence of Calypso. Esther Anderson, acclaimed photo-journalist, filmaker and author, who was Miss Jamaica and starred in A Warm December with Sidney Poitier, says of Belafonte, “A Singer, Actor, Producer and Humanitarian, he was at the forefront of Live Aid American contribution to the famine in Ethiopia..A Jamaican of mixed heritage born in Harlem grew up in Jamaica suffered racism but overcame all his obstacles to become one of the leading Artists — who’ve contributed to Esther Anderson guest on John Hearne popular cultureas much as “In Town,” Jamaican Broadcasting Bob Marley Corporation, 1973. Day-O, Day-O-OO-O. These lines ring out in stadiums across America and around the world with few these days understanding the meaning behind the melody. Described as a “catchy Calypso tune,” it is much more than that: A blues, a Lament, an Incantation, a rebellion against oppression. Yet, a ballplayer comes to the plate or is announced over the PA and thousands of fans full of enthusiasm but loaded with ignorance cheer their heroes. Do they know that… “A beautiful bunch of ripe banana Hide the deadly black tarantula? (Daylight come and we want go home)…” Well, now they know. Then one may remember the famous phrase from the advertising world: “What Becomes A Legend Most?” The proverbial question, straight out of a Mad Men’s real-life episode, can be answered this way: “Another Legend.”


A Tribute To Harry Belafonte

Belafonte was handed the mic by Lionel Richie to be the first soloist in the USA For Africa - We Are The World (Live Aid 1985)

In this case, it is Legend-on-Legend in which Greatness begets Greatness as evinced in this stunning, spectacular, riveting and very danceable collection of music produced by a Legend in tribute to his Hero. States Donovan in the liner notes credits,“It took me a while but I knew one day I would make a ‘Covers’ album of another artist’s work. Harry is a natural choice for me. There is a simple connection of Roots Folk Music, and after a young fascination with Jazz when we first began, Harry and I chose to sing Folk Music And not just any Folk Music, but songs of Freedom and Social Justice. I saw in Harry and I a natural and committed understanding of how an artist can dive deep into Roots Music of Jazz and Folk, and change the content of the Pop Music World with important lyrics and Social Commentary.” At the age of 95, Belafonte has epitomized the life of a world citizen, living by a single truth: “Get them to sing your song, and they will want to know who you are, and if they’ve made that first step, we can find a solution to hate.” At the age of 16, Donovan set his artist vision — to return Poetry to Popular Culture — and he has done so on a worldwide scale. He was four years younger than The Beatles, Dylan and The Rolling Stones when he achieved all this. Widely regarded as one of the most influential songwriters and recording artists working today, at his induction into the R & R Hall of Fame in 2012 it was stated, “Donovan single-handedly initiated the Psychedelic Revolution with Sunshine Superman.” Drawing from many musical traditions and Belafonte’s lyrical baritone and emotive singing, Donovan’s new album has eight Belafonte classics plus two new songs. One written by Donovan titled No Hunger which is a direct UNICEF appeal for donations. Donovan says: ‘Harry was a UNICEF Ambassador and my tribute cover album to Harry is to remind new generations of artists to include in your work Social and Ecological Issues to help save our Planet for the future children of the world.” The other new song is Jamaica Time, written by Wayne Jobson (Co-Producer of seven

tracks on this album) which highlights Jamaica’s positive music influence on the world. Jobson, an expert on Jamaican Music History, states: “Donovan was first in the 1960s to bring into his recordings Jamaican influences. On his breakthrough Mento Music Hit Record, There Is A Mountain (1967), Jamaican Jazz Flautist Harold ‘Little G‘ McNair was featured. Donovan also recorded the first Reggae Fusion track Riki Tiki Tavi (1970) where he anticipated the Reggae Music explosion into Pop music.” Hailed in the 1960s as Britain’s Bob Dylan, Donovan became one of the most influential songwriters of his generation. His early backup bands were the Jeff Beck Group and a pre-Led Zeppelin band, minus Robert Plant. That’s Jimmy Page’s guitar solo on Sunshine Superman. Donovan caught the wind with his very first single in which he amplified the words of King Solomon. Catch The Wind, came out when he was living on a beach, a park bench for his bed. It skyrocketed him to fame winning the very prestigious Ivor Novello Award. Paul Wales wrote that Donovan is “a musician that never became a hypocrite and whose music stands the test of time, trust me, a rare thing. His songs have a rare beauty.” He emerged onto the scene in 1965 with three UK hit singles: Catch the Wind, Colours and Universal Soldier, the last written by Buffy Sainte-Marie. In September 1966, Sunshine Superman topped America’s Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week, followed by Mellow Yellow in December 1966, then 1968’s Hurdy Gurdy Man and Atlantis in 1969. He counts the BMI Ikon Award,The Mojo Maverick Award, LifeTime BBC Folk Award among many additional international awards. 2014 saw Donovan inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also Doctor of Letters for Ecology, Hertfordshire University and Officer of the Order of Arts & Letters of The French Republic. This masterwork album he created late 1965 at 19 years of age, one year before his friends The Beatles, influencing their album Sgt. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 57



Pepper’s Lonely heart’s Club Band, and leading the way for many other artists. Can’t argue with that and while Donovan is an international superstar, rising to mercurial heights in the Flower Power era as not just a poet, bard, prophet, historian and proponent of all that is good and beautiful, it is now history that Donovan became the tutor of The Beatles on the famous trip to India. He was a genuine guitar hero, teaching both Lennon and McCartney finger style techniques that would later show up in such Beatles classics as Julia and Dear Prudence by Lennon, Paul’s Blackbird and George’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps. “Donovan was all over the White Album,”noted Harrison in the 1995 documentary The Beatles Anthology. Donovan encouraged and nurtured Harrisons’ songwriting, in particular teaching him secret descending chord patterns that he did not share with John or Paul, patterns which resulted in George writing the hugely successful Something from the Abbey Road record covered by everyone from Sinatra to Billie Eilish. And yet Donovan is much more than the creator of the first Psychedelic Album — Sunshine Superman announced Flower Power for the first time and presented to the world the first World Music fusions of Folk, Classical, Jazz, Indian, Gaelic, Arabic and Caribbean. As highly influential and successful as the Sunshine Superman album was, Donovan had already scored four Top 20 singles, E.P.’s and albums in his so-called ‘Folk Period’ of early 1965 in which the seeds of what was to come were sown. This was evident on his Classical – Jazz fusion track on his Fairytale album of that year, Sunny Goodge Street. The lyric was first to describe the coming Bohemian invasion of popular culture, the return of Gaelic Mythology and True Meditation as the door to The Source. Donovan was oddly compared to Bob Dylan when it was Ramblin’Jack Elliot that both Donovan and Dylan emulated in their initial works. But Dylan never sang “that would” as “t’would.” The true similarity between them is that they are Poets of the highest Order. Donovan is chiefly responsible for introducing meditation and Eastern Philosophy into modern lifestyle and songwriting and also known for pioneering new production recording techniques in the studio, influencing many. Donovan in his “Songs of Innocence,” has been compared to William Blake; his metaphysical songs to Donne and Herbert, his Gaelic-Celtic songs to Yeats, his children’s songs to Stevenson, his Nonsense songs to Carroll and Lear, his Yoga songs to the Vedic Hymns, his Jazz Classical compositions to Ellington and Lewis, his poetic public appeal to Auden. It cannot be overstated that Donovan has displayed the widest variety of songwriting skill, surpassing any songwriter one can name today. The sheer range of his accomplishment is Bardic, empowering our human journey through all stages of life and, most importantly, he displays a Poets’ true vocation, reuniting us with The Source. Donovan’s most lasting achievement to date is that he was first to have created songs to save the earth from ecological disaster. He began this in the sixties and went on to compose 21 songs concerning what we now call ‘climate change’ highlighting the threat to the Ecosystem of our Planet Earth. Thus returna Donovan to be once again a poet of current events and a champion of climate change youth It is clear there is no such composer/artist like Donovan. Listening to his versions of Bleafonte classics on the tribute album, one also realizes there are few in the music world who have the breadth and scope, as well as heart, to bring back to life such well-known materaial as in his terpretation of the classic genius of Belafonte as in his sweet yet mournful version of Day-O.

According to post by Barbara Harris, “The Banana Boat Song (a traditional work song), most likely originated around the turn of the twentieth century when banana trade in Jamaica increased. It was sung by workers who loaded shipping vessels with bananas down at the docks. The dockworkers typically worked at night to avoid the harsh heat of the day. When daylight arrived, they knew the boss would come to tally up the loads so they could go home. The tune had a ‘response’ chorus, meaning the workers were supposed to chime in with a response to the singer’s statements. Like most work songs, the lyrics of The Banana Boat Song often changed or were altered to fit the situation.” Belafonte was born in Harlem in 1927 to multiethnic parents from the Caribbean. As a child, he moved to his mother’s native Kingston, Jamaica – “an environment that sang” – where he was exposed to the captivating music of calypso as well as prejudice based on his skin tone. Back in New York, Belafonte began acting classes at the New School’s Dramatic Workshop in 1945, where he befriended actor-singer-activist Paul Robeson, the inspiration for Belafonte’s social activism. Swept up in the New York folk scene in 1950, Belafonte created a new repertoire of folk songs, work songs, and calypsos, providing an authentic and dignified look at Black life and earning him a contract with RCA Victor in 1953. In 1955, Belafonte met Irving Burgie (aka Lord Burgess), whose songwriting on Belafonte’s debut album would forever change Belafonte’s career. The first album to sell over a million copies in a year, Calypso (1956) introduced Caribbean folk music to American audiences, who dubbed Belafonte the “King of Calypso.” This early sound made a lasting impact on American music – Gotye, Lil’ Wayne, and Jason Derulo have all sampled “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” in recent years, while Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora) was featured in the 1988 film Beetlejuice and its 2019 Broadway musical production. In the 1960s, Belafonte returned to his musical roots in American folk, jazz, and standards, while also emerging as a strong voice for the civil rights movement. Belafonte was a close confidante, friend, and supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr. He helped organize “We Are the World” and has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1987. He was a Grand Marshal for the 2013 New York City Pride Parade and advised on the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. He also, almost single-handedly, integrated Las Vegas. According to Rosemary Pearce’s post Segregation and Celebrity on the Strip, “The top black artists could earn between $25,000 and $50,000 per week in a residency at one of the big Vegas hotels. ‘Residency’ is a perhaps a misnomer, however: black entertainers were frequently banned from staying in the hotels they performed at. Las Vegas was so strict in its segregation policies that it was known as the “Mississippi of the West.” It was, after all, a town built on tourism and to allow blacks in was to affront white tourists from strictly segregated regions.” For example, Belafonte recalls his first Las Vegas engagement in 1952 at the Thunderbird. Forbidden to stay at the hotel, Belafonte was told to leave by the back door and stay in a motel room that smelt of dog urine (singer Pearl Bailey’s dog had been staying there previously). When he attempted to cancel or buy out the contract, he was told the only way he could leave Vegas without fulfilling his obligations was “in a box.” Belafonte managed to turn the situation around and was welcomed back to the hotel to stay, although this was through a family mob connection he had back in New York. Belafonte took revenge on the Thunderbird by plunging into

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Harry Belafonte, Martin Luter King, Jr., King, Sammy Davis, Jr. at the Broadway production of Selma.

Singer, actor, producer, activist and ally, Belafonte used the arts as a mechanism to effect social change on a global scale. their swimming pool, the first black person to do so. His swim was a bold move in consideration of the prevailing stigma around African Americans being “unclean”; in 1953 the Hotel Last Frontier drained their pool when actress Dorothy Dandridge dared to dip her foot in. This was at a time when Dandridge was a movie star who became the first African American to receive an Academy Award nomination for best actress for her role Carmen Jones (1954), a well-mounted modernizing of the Georges Bizet opera, set in the U.S. South with an all-black cast that featured Pearl Bailey and Harry Belafonte. Belafonte’s next role was in Island In The Sun, Otto Preminger’s film about race relations and interracial romance set in the fictitious island of Santa Marta. As a result of playing interracial love scenes with Belafonte, Joan Fontaine received poison pen mail, including some purported threats from the Ku Klux Klan. Fontaine turned the letters over to the FBI. Belafonte’s refusal to accept the discriminatory hotel policies foreshadows the intensity with which he later became involved in the Civil Rights Movement during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Though Belafonte describes the incident as a personal affront, his later Civil Rights work shows clearly that he was not a man who wanted to be an exception to the rules, but used his influence and wealth to further the civil rights cause In his autobiography, My Song, Belafonte compares his attitude toward the policies to that of another black performer in Vegas at that time: Sammy Davis Jr. Part of the famous ‘Rat Pack,’ Davis Jr. hung around hotel suites with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin while in town performing his song and dance routines at the Frontier. Belafonte reflects that he did not fit in with the Pack, perhaps being too serious or proud, but observed that Davis Jr. “oozed deference and accommodation” in the way he clowned about for the others’ entertainment. Despite being paid more than Belafonte, Davis Jr. did not even have a suite of his own, having agreed to stay in a black motel at the edge of town. The hotel management also barred him from the casino and restaurants, and Davis Jr. omplied. “You have to be twice as good to get half a chance,” Earl Woods often said to his son, Tiger. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 59

“Calypso”—Harry Belafonte (1956) Added to the National Registry: 2017 Essay by Judith E. Smith


arry Belafonte, the Harlem-born son of poor undocumented Jamaican immigrants, an untrained singer whose heart was set on becoming an actor, made music history with “Harry Belafonte: Calypso.” This record was the very first by a solo performer to sell a million copies, holding the top spot on “Billboard’s” pop album charts for an unprecedented 31 weeks (in addition, 58 weeks in the top ten, 99 weeks among the top 100). The higher-ups at RCA had doubted the commercial potential of a thematically unified recording of “island and Calypso songs,” but the “Calypso” record, released at the end of May 1956, quickly soared in sales, knocking Elvis Presley’s first album out of the way to take over the top spot within a few weeks. The “Calypso” album also reached the top of music charts in most of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, and was “covered” via native language recordings in many countries. Belafonte often joked that it took him 30 years to become an “overnight success.” He had dropped out of high school after one semester and joined the World War II Navy at age 17. His experience in the military included political education from college-educated soldiers about how the Jim Crow racial status quo would have to be challenged as part of a national system. From this moment on, Belafonte committed himself to “help make things different.” Through the American Negro Theatre, acting classes at the New School’s Dramatic Workshop, and a friendship with Paul Robeson, he found the postwar black and interracial left dedicated to keep fighting to end Jim Crow. But he couldn’t find paid work in the theater. A jazz club he frequented invited him to sing jazz standards; although his voice was untrained, he projected something powerful and compelling on stage. His performing life had begun. Participating at left-wing political events in 1950 and 1951, Belafonte experimented beyond the jazz standards he was paid to sing, trying out songs associated with Robeson, such as “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and “John Henry”; Dizzy Gillespie’s “Cubano Be Cubano Bop” and the Calypsonian King Radio’s 1946 calypso song “Brown-Skinned Girl.” When he quit singing jazz in clubs in December 1950, and reintroduced himself as a folk singer at New York’s famed Village Vanguard in October 1951, he drew on this experimentation for his new repertoire of “folk songs, work songs, [and] calypsos.” Belafonte felt these songs signaled to an audience: “here’s Negro life with as much dignity as I can give it.” Singing with guitar accompaniment freed Belafonte to draw on his dramatic training to use his hands, his face, and his body to inhabit and convey the world invoked by a song. His musical style, appeal and charisma were inseparable from his uncompromising political stance, personal beauty, and emotional expressiveness. Reviewers described him as the “total package”: “his baritone, his facial expressions, and bodily movements become part of the words and music, and the result is a rich dramatic portrayal.” With this repertoire of “folk songs, work songs, and calypsos,” Belafonte was not seeking to embody one particular cultural tradition, but instead to present himself as a Black world citizen who drew from and respected multiple traditions. Rejecting the segregation of musical genres was one of the ways Belafonte chose to protest racialized boundaries and to resist white supremacy. He did not have the vocal resonance or concert presence of Robeson. He did not convey the experiential authority or musical ingenuity of southern born blues performers like Lead Belly, and he didn’t possess the facility with wordplay of the Trinidadian calypsonians. But his 60 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

juxtaposition of folk songs, work songs, and calypsos renewed each form. His clearly articulated calypsos, absent the island costumes, enabled him to represent calypso as part of other forms of black and non-elite culture, repositioning the music away from colonial associations with “native” inferiority or tourist-driven exoticism. Belafonte’s intensity, his dramatic authority, his phrasing and his vocal emphasis made his audiences feel they were hearing the music for the first time, engaging directly with a world that came alive through his performance. The collection of songs that constituted the “Calypso” album resulted from several fortuitous events. By August 1955, Belafonte was a full-fledged celebrity as a result of nightclub and stadium appearances across the country, performance on Broadway, and his starring role in the hit film production of “Carmen Jones.” This gave him the clout to bargain successfully for an extended time slot on television, and more control over the musical selections, as his conditions for an appearance on the television show “Colgate Comedy Hour.” Belafonte’s good friend, the left-wing writer William Attaway, then working for NBC, was assigned to write the show. Attaway introduced Belafonte to his friend, left-wing singer, composer and folklorist Irving Burgie, who was then collecting and performing Caribbean folk music. Burgie explored black diasporic musical borrowings, including meringues from Santo Domingo and mentos from Jamaica. With five of Burgie’s songs as thematic core, Attaway and Belafonte went to work on a Caribbean script, introducing ordinary working people and Caribbean culture on the island. In advance publicity for the TV show, Belafonte promised “authentic West Indian work songs and love ballads, something no one has ever done on TV before.” He argued that the well-known Calypsos “covered” by American singer Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan’s well-known “Stone Cold Dead in the Market” and the Andrews Sisters’s “Rum and Cocoa Cola,” were no more representative of West Indian culture than Patti Page’s novelty pop song “How Much is That Doggie in the Window” was of American culture. Burgie’s songs included two that would become indelibly attached to Belafonte’s persona: the Jamaican work song “Day-O (Banana Boat Song),” dramatized

with a capella opening and a call-and-response chorus, and the sweet love song “Jamaica Farewell.” The television show itself was limited by its “Caribbean as tourist haven” framework, but the integration of songs and theme, and the appeal of the music generated great excitement. Within two weeks of the broadcast, the recording process for the album began. For the recording sessions in October 1955, Belafonte gathered his close friend, the jazz clarinetist Tony Scott and members of Scott’s orchestra (Belafonte wanted to inject “a jazz feeling” where it seemed to fit) and other talented musicians, including Burgie’s colleague, Jamaican pianist and penny-whistle player Herb Levy, and Haitian guitarist Franz Casseus. The powerhouse chorus of singers was led by actor/singer Brock Peters. Burgie played guitar and sang harmony on the chorus of four of the songs, and Attaway wrote the liner notes. The album included eight songs written by Burgie, one written by Attaway and Belafonte, and two songs that were King Radio calypsos Belafonte had been singing for several years, “Brown Skinned Girl,” and “Man Smart (Woman Smarter).” The album’s rich and varied orchestration, Belafonte’s articulation, and the versions of new and older songs made this album a departure from Belafonte’s previous recordings and from other calypso recordings. Attaway’s liner notes signaled this when he wrote that the collection was “not just another presentation of island songs…. Here are songs ranging in mood from brassy gaiety to wistful sadness, from tender love to heroic largeness. And through it all runs the irrepressible rhythms of a people who have not lost the ability to laugh at themselves.” The “Calyso” album’s extraordinarily enthusiastic reception had many sources. It drew from the synergy and cross-promotion of Belafonte’s multiple sources of celebrity from the nightclub stage to radio, television, and film. Recording for national sales through RCA, his repertoire of folk songs, work songs and calypsos was well suited to the new long-playing album format, purchased primarily by record buyers with more discretionary income. Belafonte’s recordings became increasingly commercially successful in the cross-over pop market, offering diverse audiences of black and white steelworkers, grandmothers, symphony patrons, bobby soxers and school children a Black alternative to rock and roll. His first long-playing folk album “Mark Twain,” composed of songs he had sung on Broadway and on television, had been released in 1954, but rose to third place on the “Billboard” charts in January 1956; the folk album “Belafonte” released in 1955, rose to first place on the charts in February 1956, holding the top spot for six weeks. After release in May 1956, “Calypso’s” rise on the charts was immediate and long-lasting. The unprecedented national and international success of the Caribbean folk songs, the occasional calypso, and songs composed in the folk song mode, written by Burgie and performed by Belafonte performed on “Calypso,” attached Belafonte’s celebrity to calypsostyled music, and generated a commercial “calypso craze.” Music fan magazines tagged Belafonte as “King of Calypso,” a title normally reserved for the winner of Trinidad’s annual carnival competition. The success of this recording accelerated an already well-established process of calypso reinvention, which West Indian literary critic Gordon Rohlehr described as traveling in the 1930s from Trinidad into the United States, the United Kingdom, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Surinam, Venezuela, Ghana and Sierra Leone, all places where singers began to refer to themselves as “calypsonians.” In the US, the success of the “Calypso” album encouraged Latin artists Candido, Tito Puente, and Perez Prado, jazz singers Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, pop singers Rosemary Clooney and Pat Boone, and even actor Robert Mitchum to record calypso songs. Rohlehr noted that, after Belafonte, distinctly different folk singers from throughout the Caribbean would call themselves “calypsonians” or “calypso singers,” as long as it was profitable to do so. In interviews, Belafonte tried to distance himself from the

“calypsomania” spurred by the album’s success. In one interview published early in 1957, he described himself as a “singer of folk material…from every section of the world” and described the hit singles “Jamaica Farewell” as a West Indian folk ballad and “Day-O” as a “West Indian work song.” He praised the topicality of “True calypso” as a “kind of living newspaper,” and promised to keeping singing “true calypso as I see it [and]…every other kind of music that carries truth in it.” The timing of Belafonte’s celebrity, and his chosen political commitments connected him with the new stage of civil rights protest, with growing conflicts between challengers and defenders of racial segregation and backlash following the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision. Belafonte’s rise coincided with new demands for racial equality, which he thoughtfully shaped his performance to embody. Buying and playing his records may have provided audiences with a tangible connection to the combination of Black and multi-racial and international cultures he and his music represented. A survey of New York area male and female high school and college students reported in Billboard in December 1956, found that although more students ranked white performers Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Teresa Brewer and Doris Day as their favorite singers, Belafonte had “the highest percentage of record buyers.” Perhaps when students at Marquette, a Jesuit university in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, petitioned to replace Presley with Belafonte in the student union jukebox, they wanted to associate themselves with the civil rights promise Belafonte represented. When in March 1956, the young minister from Montgomery, Martin Luther King, Jr., approached Belafonte to ask for his support for the bus boycott underway, Belafonte’s second record was at the top of the music charts, and the “Calypso” album had been recorded but not yet been released. Belafonte answered the call, and from then on, he drew on his star power to lead demonstrations and raise money for the civil rights movement. The Black press enthusiastically covered Belafonte’s stunning accomplishment and his commitments to the struggle for racial equality. White audiences may have wanted to embrace Belafonte as a token of racial progress. But Belafonte consciously used all his interviews and superstar media attention in white spaces to open doors for other performers, to challenge racial exclusions and discrimination, and to associate his name and his music with the freedom struggle. The enormous popularity of the Calypso album gave Belafonte’s stunning performance of Burgie’s songs an outsized impact on defining “calypso” music for American audiences, and around the world. The long life of Day-O offers one trace of the music first introduced here. The Nashville sit-in students would sing Day-O when in jail in 1960; the Freedom Rider protesters wrote new words, singing “Freedom’s Coming and It Won’t Be Long” in their cells in Mississippi’s Parchman Penitentiary in 1961. In the 1980s, new generations encountered its memorable presence in Tim Burton’s 1988 film Beetlejuice; New York Yankee fans have heard the song reverberating throughout the stadium; it has been sampled in recent releases by rap artist Lil Wayne and popular singer Jason Derulo. The work song of the Caribbean labor gang still “carries truth in it.” Judith E. Smith is Professor of American Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston where she teaches courses on media history, film history, and US culture since 1945. She has published essays on postwar film, radio, and television, and is the author of “Visions of Belonging: Family Stories, Popular Culture, and Postwar Democracy, 19401960” (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004) and “Becoming Belafonte: Black Artist, Public Radical” (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014). * The views expressed in this essay are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Library of Congress. Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 61

Co-producer Native Wayne Jobson with Donovan, Trojan Records Studio, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.


Leave it to Donovan to produce and record a tribute to one of the all time greats, Harry Belafonte. Jump In The Line is not just a brilliant tip of the hat musically speaking. It is also Donovan's shout out to Harry as a great champion of social justice, an actor and everything else that we all love about Belafonte. After all, both Donovan and Belafonte are ‘folk artists’. Donovan made sure Belafonte was the first to hear the album and when he did, he told Donovan how pleased he was. Donovan’s album was now part of Belafonte’s legacy. Donovan’s take on Calypso is timelessly enchanting. Everything he sings is pure heaven — beautiful, haunting and evocative. Yet, even beyond this, it is an emotional and poetic work of art. I hope he never stops singing. His message is iconic, encapsulating the sixties and bringing it home to today. Who doesn’t love Donovan? Chris Murray: “I was delighted that Donovan asked me to come with him and assist in Jahmaica during the recording of Jump In The Line at Zak Starkey’s studio. It was an amazing two weeks. Donovan’s muse and wife Linda and his grandson Joolz were also on hand for inspiration and good times. Recording with all Jamaican musicians, Donovan was assisted by our mutual friend Wayne Jobson as coproducer. Wayne lives in Ocho Rios and is a remarkable talent. I had assisted Donovan during his producing and recording of his album Shadows of Blue in Nashville in 2013, which featured the cream of the crop of the Nashville session cats. John Sebastian also came to Nashville to play harmonica on that beautiful album for his life 62 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

long friend Donovan. Both Jump In The Line and Shadows of Blue are remarkable and demonstrate yet again the genius of Donovan. It was a thrill to be with Donovan for both of those endeavors.” Beginning with Devon Ferguson’s rough and tumble banjo, and with his Wooden Flute featured on the fills and solo, Jump In The Line rocks one’s body in time. It is happy music with brilliant lyrics and enough background chatter to bring to mind the similar effect used in Mellow Yellow. Donovan gives an acoustic guitar reggae strum to Where Have All The Flowers Gone? No effects are needed - the tremolo in Donovan’s voice carries us where we need to go. “Gone to graveyards everyone…when will they ever learn?” A beautiful choir featuring Jeffrey Starr (arranger), Earl Smith, Paul Lymie Murray and Matthew Christie brings it home. Shenandoah is equally touching and The Banana Boat song becomes a poetic call and answer with the choir adding more than a touch of power, grief and anger to what is definitely not a pop ditty. Clarity of production is the keynote to this recording and producers Wayne Jobson & Donovan get the most out of the studio. and features the percussion of Prince Michael. “Sounds of laughter everywhere and the dancing girls sway to and fro” lighten the mood even though it is Jamaica Farewell. Throughout all the cuts, Donovan’s acoustic guitar comes through soft, loud and clear. “Ackee, rice and fish are nice,” you know that’s why the singer’s heart is down and his head is turning around.” because he has to leave his little girl in Kingston Town.

Donovan and Prince Michael of Kent talking about Harry Belafonte and his music at Trojan Records Recording Studio, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Light up your spliff/ Light up your chalice Make we burn it in a Buk In Hamm Palace

—Peter Tosh, “Mystic Man” ne evening Wayne Jobson arranged for Donovan and Linda along with myself and my wife Carlotta who was visiting for three days, to visit the Golden Eye resort built by Chris Blackwell, who was also in Ocho Rios. I knew Chris as I launched the illustrated book about his label “Keep on Running: The Story of Island Records” at Govinda Gallery in Washington, and Chris was at the launch signing books. We had dinner together after, and Chris is good company. Donovan and Linda rested after long day recording, but I went with Carlotta and “Native Wayne”. At Golden Eye was Prince Michael of Kent, and the beautiful Caroline St.George, and we all had a great chat together. Though the sessions were ‘closed’, I did invite Prince Michael and Caroline to stop by and meet Donovan and Linda. The next morning when the day’s recording began all was running smoothly and I exited the studio and went out front. There was Prince Michael and Caroline just then arriving. I was so glad to see them both, and welcomed them and brought them into the studio and the session. When Donovan took a break, he came over to Prince Michael and I introduced them. It turns out Prince Michael is a big fan of Harry Belafonte and he and Donovan talked about the music. The next thing you know Prince Michael is playing percussion in the session! He is credited on the album, but you will have to listen to the album to hear on which track. It was great day for all. I sent Prince Michael the album on its release. He wrote back a lovely letter with words to the effect that “Jump In The Line” was being heard in the hallways of Buckingham Palace.


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Donovan with backup singers Jeffrey Starr, Matthew Christie, Earl Smith and Paul Lymie Murraya.

ZAK STARKEY (SON OF RINGO AND LONG-TIME DRUMMER WITH THE WHO) OPENED HIS STUDIO IN JAMAICA IN 2018. “II first got into reggae music through my mother who had a copy of Toots & The Maytals “Funky Kingston” and then I got into punk and “White Man (In Hammersmith Palais)” name checks a bunch of artists like Dillinger and I started checking them out. Then when I was about 12, my dad gave me a copy of “Man in the Hills”. He’s a big Burning Spear fan so basically my first exposure to Reggae came through my parents and The Clash, which is a bit weird.” weird.”

Donovan talking with recording engineers Barry O’Hare and Bravo, with Wayne Jobson and Chris Murray, at Trojan Records Studios 64 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Donovan with his wife and muse, Linda Lawrence, and aide-de-camp, Chris Murray, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

“Tripppin’ down the rhythm of time to the Fountain of Youth / Escaping to another world to discover the truth – I’m on Jamaican time.” — Donovan, “Jamaican Time”

CHRIS MURRAY Aide de Camp For The Ages

Aide-de-camp It’s a term you don’t hear with regularirty addition to the Donovan/Belafonte CD came the JOOLZ JONES these days, but in the last couple of weeks, I came upon it twice, both & The Jukes “BLUES TRIBUTE TO BRIAN JONES BY HIS times used by the heroic folk poet balladeer Donovan Leitch, simply GRANDSON JOOLZ JONES - M.C. DONOVAN LEITCH. known as Donovan. Like Dion and Dylan, Madonna and Elvis, one That’s a long title but a must have for any collection. Brian never sung a note on a Stones album and listening name more than suffices for this living icon. to Joolz, makes you wonder what Brian might In the first instance, chronologiclly, The Bard have sounded like. referenced longtime tour manager Gypsy Getting back to the Aid-de-Camp, Chris, Dave (David John Mills). Most recently, I owner of the heralded Govinda Gallery in found it in the liner notes to Donovan’s great Washington D.C., as well as publisher of books new Harry Belafonte tribute album Thanks by an awesome collection of writers, artists and to : Aide-d-Camp : Chris Murray. is French photographers has been everywhere lately — expression meaning literally “helper in the NYC for Andy Warhol’s 35th Anniversary [military] camp”) is a personal assistant or Memorial Service; the launch of Christopher secretary to a person of high rank, usually a Makos’ just published book Andy Warhol senior military, police or government officer, Modeling Portfolio (G Editions) at the or to a member of a royal family or a head of state a subordinate military or naval officer Speaking of Silvio, here he is with Victor Forbes, legendary Strand Bookstore also in Manhattan; acting as a confidential assistant to a superior, Capitol Theater for the Rascals Once Upon a the major Dylan art show in Miami followed by the openeing May 4th of the Dylan Center in Dream Show, 2012 usually to a general officer or admiral. Tulsa. Chris’s blog is an on-going travelogue of Oh - you mean like Silvio in The Sopranos? cultural happenings not to be missed. You can find it easily on line One of the cool things about knowing the A-d-C is that here . and take the trip sometimes you get stuff along with information. In this case, in Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 65

Chris Murray: “I went to see the extraordinary exhibition of Bob Dylan’s pantings, drawings, and iron works at the Frost Museum in Miami. I was blown away by Dylan’s art.”

The Amazing Bob Dylan Retrospectrum Exhibition I believe that the key to the future is in the remnants of the past. That you have to master the idioms of your own time before you can have any identity in the present tense. Your past begins the day you were born and to disregard it is cheating yourself of who you really are.” — Bob Dylan, The Beaten Path, 2016

66 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Dylan or Donovan? Fortunately, we have both (I) Don’t think Donovan gets enough props. He started that whole singing in a posh English accent thing copied by Syd Barrett, Mark Bolan, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Nick Drake, Al Stewart etc.. His psychedelic stuff with strings is ace too. People just thought he ripped off Dylan but he gives a good account of himself here “The one who really taught us to play and learn all the traditional songs was Martin Carthy – who incidentally was contacted by Dylan when Bob first came to the UK. Bob was influenced, as all American folk artists are, by the Celtic music of Ireland, Scotland and England. But in 1962 we folk Brits were also being influenced by some folk Blues and the American folk-exponents of our Celtic Heritage ... Dylan appeared after Woody [Guthrie], Pete [Seeger] and Joanie [Baez] had conquered our hearts, and he sounded like a cowboy at first but I knew where he got his stuff – it was Woody at first, then it was Jack Kerouac and the stream-of-consciousness poetry which moved him along. But when I heard Blowin’ in the Wind it was the clarion call to the new generation – and we artists were encouraged to be as brave in writing our thoughts in music ... We were not captured by his influence, we were encouraged to mimic him – and remember every British band from the Stones to the Beatles were copying note for note, lick for lick, all the American pop and blues artists – this is the way young artists learn. There’s no shame in mimicking a hero or two – it flexes the creative muscles and tones the quality of our composition and technique. It was not only Dylan who influenced us – for me he was a spearhead into protest, and we all had a go at his style. I sounded like him for five minutes – others made a career of his sound. Like troubadours, Bob and I can write about any facet of the human condition. To be compared was natural, but I am not a copyist.” – From a post on a youtube comment by Roddy Fraser.

“Season of the Witch, Catch The Wind, Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Mellow Yellow, Atlantis, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, Riki Tiki Tavi, Lalena, To Susan On The West Coast Waiting. And those are just the songs that were on the radio. The further we get away from the original, the worse it gets.” – John Mellancamp Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 67

He was so shy....So quiet...And overwhelmed by his success. ® He went from sleeping on the beach and park benches to stardom literally overnight.


omewhere between Their Satanic Majesties Request album in what Sid could only describe as a Turkish wedding gown, the and the recording of Sympathy For The Devil, Brian Jones, Sunshine Superman took Sid up on his offer to take a short walk went to the dark side. back to his studio, locatUnceremoniously canned ed around the corner. “We from the band he started, hung out, smoked a couple Jones, arguably the heart and of joints, talked about all soul of the Rolling Stones, kinds of nice stuff and he was found (still-breathing invited me to his sold-out some say) at the bottom of Carnegie Hall show and his swimming pool at Enthat’s how our friendship glish countryside home, started.” Donovan, belatedCotchford Farm. In one of ly elected in 2013 to the those yet-to-be-solved legRock and Roll Hall of endary rock and roll deaths, Fame, readily states, “Sidthe mystery remains. Yet the ney did all my album jackfacts of his life are indisputets and design in the ’60s able. “He formed the band. He’s the best there is. His artworks are to be treasured He chose the members. He and we are friends to this named the band. He chose day.” the music we played. He got In those halcyon times, us gigs…he was very influen“Don would phone me from tial, very important, and then England,” recalled the artist slowly lost it,” said Stones in recent interview from bassist Bill Wyman. None his Atlanta studio “and say, other than Bo Diddley called ‘What are you doing this him “a fantastic cat who hanweekend?’ and I would hop dled the group beautifully.” on a plane and we’d have Enter Sid Maurer, a maa visit. He had a beautiful jor league New York City art cottage in Hartforsdhire director/artist who helmed with a very colorful large an agency that produced albird painted on the roof. bum covers at the rate of one In those days, we’d sima day for a few years in the ply hang out, which one psychedelic era. It was during could do back then.” Visithis period that Maurer’s tors might include George work gained major recogniHarrison or one of the othtion with best-selling records and sales of his paintings in Sid Maurer with portrait of Brian Jones and Linda from a photo he took of them in 1967. er Beatles as Donovan had galleries from Manhattan to Below, left, is Sid’s graphic rendition on a baby picture (inset above is Sid’s from 1927) just returned from a trip to showing details of what would become the famous tongue logo. Below center is the London to where he regu- painting by Sid bought by Jones in 1968 which eventually morphed into the logo ultimately India to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with the band larly commuted to visit his executed by a British design student John Pasche after a meeting with Mick Jagger. to study with the founder of best friend, the legendary Transcendental Meditation, troubadour/teen idol/rock star etc. It was there that Donwho still goes by the sinovan taught John and Paul gle name of Donovan. They his unique guitar style of met on his maiden voyage which Lennon’s Julia is the to America when “Don” was most famous example. freaking out over the excesDuring one of many sive enthusiasm of secretarparties Sid attended in ies-turned-groupies and the business persona of label (l) Sid’s original concept; Brian Jones bought Sid’s painting (c) for $1500. (r) John Pasche’s London, he met Andrew president Clive Davis at the version sold at auction for $92,500 to Victoria Albert Museum. Another artist, Ruby Loog Oldham, managalso claims he did work on the logo and was paid $10,000 for its use. According er of the Rolling Stones, Columbia/Epic offices. At Mazur to Novagraaf/ “The Rolling Stones are one of the longest running acts in the the time, Sid was under con- history of rock music, having remained wildly popular and prodigiously productive over who went on to dedicate a tract with Epic to produce their 50-year career. They are also well known for the lips and tongue logo, one of the chapter to Sid in his book all their album art and was world’s most instantly recognizable symbols of rock and roll. (Ed. note: with a value 2Stoned. Sid recalls one called in by Davis to meet of $100 million USD). The global music rights of the Rolling Stones are being handled gala with Princess Margaby Musidor BV in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in Partnership with Novagraaf and hold his newest star. Barefoot and Intellectual Property rights of the trademark The Rolling Stones, including the iconic logo. ret and Sean Connery in 68 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Fine Art Magazine • 2014 • 27

attendance where Oldham and Sid bonded over a warning to not touch the punch. “‘It’s loaded with LSD,’ he told me. That’s how it was back then. You had to be careful. Our ’60s conversations were mostly, ‘Take a hit. Far out. Have another hit. Too much. What’s your sign?’” Through Oldham, Sid met the doomed Brian Jones who commissioned him to paint a portrait of himself with his girlfriend Linda Lawrence, mother of his son Julian. Sid recalls, “Brian loved collecting. He had tidbits here and there, and many photographs. He loved my baby picture from 1927! Unfortunately, the photo was old and not in great shape so I found an alternate (not of me) and embellished it with a little graphic concept with a tongue and lips penciled in, basically to reflect the Stones as they were: the bad boys of the era sticking their tongues out at authority, as opposed to the Beatles, who were considered more safe. He liked that image a lot and asked me to make a color drawing, which, unknown to me at the time, morphed somehow into the famous Rolling Stones tongue logo, which originated from my baby picture, of all things. I first offered the drawing to their record label, Decca, who were willing to give me a few hundred dollars for it but Brian liked it enough to pay me 500 British Sterling pounds, which was about $1500 back then. I thought nothing of it until years later. In 2013 I was commissioned to make shirts and other items in France featuring my original tongue painting. Shortly after they were placed on display in a Paris department store, they were seized by Musidor and taken off the shelves for Sid on the boat with Donovan, ‘trademark infringement.’ Greece, 1968 Without Brian around to tell the real story, the manufacturer had no choice but to comply.” The next thing Sid created for Brian was a portrait of the Stone and Linda. The photo Sid is holding (preceding page) became the basis for the initial small painting. “This shows how beautiful a guy he was,” said the artist. “I painted that picture somewhere along the line and tucked it away. After Brian died, Linda married my best friend, Donovan, and they became a family.” In 2013, by Linda’s request to honor the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones, Sid was commissioned to re-create the portrait on canvas from his initial painting done all those years ago. The final painting is exactly the same but on canvas. The new version now resides in Ireland with Linda. “I traveled all over with Donovan, and even accompanied he and Linda on their honeymoon. After one of his concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Tommy Smothers threw a party for him. Hendrix, Janis, Morrison, Mama Cass, and a new kid on the block who didn’t even have a record out — Elton John — were all there. Many of the people I met became casualties, but Don did not. He was always very careful where he hung out and didn’t do drugs. After he made some money, he asked me to invest it for him so I put it in a bank in the Bahamas that I found out was ready to go under a year later. Somehow, I managed to salvage the dough and we bought a boat and took it to Greece with a crew of 12 and three hippies — me, Don and a friend. We landed at the Island of Hydras, to visit Leonard Cohen, who had a house up on a hill, accessible only by donkey.” 28 • Fine Art Magazine


long way from The Bronx, where Sid was born and raised when “the streets were black from horseshit, not asphalt. I was going to attend Taft (high school) but somewhere along the line a typographer friend of my family saw some of my work and suggested that I would be more suited to attend The School of Industrial Art on Jones Street in the Village. There were two teachers there, one for art, the other for academics and it was great, kind of like being an apprentice in the Renaissance. In the morning, we’d find our teacher on the stoop recovering from the night before and the first who arrived was designated to get him coffee. One of my classmates was Anthony Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, singer and artist. Anthony Benedetto is the name the signs his paintings with. I wrote the class theme song and conducted our band. After graduation, I worked for Columbia Records in the art department. Their office was then i n Bridgeport, Connecticut and I made the commute every day via the elevated Jerome Ave. line, bus crosstown to Grand Central and then a train ride. I was drafted, injured and sent home. After the war and I was OK, I started knocking on doors of record companies and was hired by Decca.”

Sidney Maurer album design for Donovan’s Barabajagal

During the late ’50s and early ’60s, Sid frequented the fabled Cedar Tavern where he met artists such as Rauschenberg, Johns, and Larry Rivers in their salad days and witnessed the zaniness of that particular scene. “Every night they would knock each other to the floor, fueled by alcohol. This was just before grass became mainstream in the mid ’60s and in those days I would run into Dylan, Joni Mitchell and many others in small clubs in Greenwich Village. That’s where I became especially close to music. My whole life as an artist has been fueled by my love of music.” Sid’s career in the art and music field flourished in New York City where among his friends were Alan Klein (the businessman who helped form Apple Records for the Beatles and managed the Rolling Stones) and Bob Guccione. “He came to my exhibit at the Beilin Gallery on Madison Avenue, liked my stuff and asked me to show him a few things. I also met him in London. He was a slick guy, loved the girls and very handsome. I painted his portrait and helped him style the girls for photo shoots. He had his own penthouse, the girls were there and that was his life. We hung out,” Sid continued, “and I began to write chapters — not a book — about El Sid The Kid.” Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 69

George Harrison on the twelve string with Donovan and the artist Sid Maurer at Donovan’s castle in Ireland; wonder what tune they’re singing?


people know it but Lennon and McCartney are Irish names from Liverpool and I became aware I was from that tradition of the DONOVAN. I am a fan. I lived the 60s. Freedom of troubadour sound. I dressed up the songs in different costumes at imagination ruled. Season of the Witch was my favorite song as well times. as his. The resurgence of popular style in music, clothing and artLike many of his era from England, as-graphic from the era is not nostalgic including Ronnie Wood (who is also for me, rather a comfortable place to be. being inducted as a member of The As if I were visiting where the Season of Small Faces), Donovan cites his art the Witch lives. A good fit. Donovan was background as the impetus for the visual and is the seminal leader of innovation, quality of story-telling in his poetry a clear and channeled voice for this mid and music. The team of Donovan and to late 20th century generational art Sidney Maurer used graphic art, classical renaissance movement beyond Pop. It art and even Kirilian Photography to is easy to understand why the Rock and expand the possibilities of the 11” x Roll Hall of Fame will be inducting him 11” album cover. Visuals as stories that into the ranks of cultural rock trailblazers would change 60’s art forever, words this spring, as a poet/artist/musician who used as pictures; metaphors long alive inspired the icons of his era. Donovan with meaning are infused with an the troubadour bard formed the vision electric jolt when brought to new life and the artistic framework implemented by Donovan. in the 60’s as style, drawn upon from his Fine Art Magazine spoke with art school years. “We singer songwriters Donovan and Sid from Maurer’s home from Britain who are very prolific…you Donovan and Sid Maurer, 1968 in Atlanta. Friends since meeting in can see colors and landscapes in songs Clive Davis’ office at CBS in 1966, they full of images when we put down paint completed each others sentences, lending insight as to how deep and brushes and picked up the guitar… Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds easy the artistic rapport is between them. The cascading ribbon of ideas - One of my first songs was called Colors. In Wear Your Love Like flashed as they spoke. For an instant as I listened I saw the evolution Heaven - Sid saw that right away here comes a singer/songwriter of their art as process; how it manifested in the album packaging as a who wants true art on his covers. visual concept unfolding allowing the route—the continuance of the “We come from a tradition,” continues Donovan, “not many 33 •• Fine FineArt Art Magazine Magazine •• Summer, Spring 2012 70 2022

One of Donovan’s Sapphongraphs, with Sid Maurer

Special edition of Fine Art Magazine features Sid Maurer

story telling—to be seen. Each described how they collaborated on the albums that showcased both of their formidable gifts: Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Barabajagal provided a vehicle for the multi-dimensional impressions that Donovan envisioned and with the help and encouragement of Maurer was able to convey. “I was under contract to CBS/Epic to create all their album covers when they signed a young man named Donovan to the label,” said Sidney. “They invited me to come up and say hello. They called him Mr. Donovan and it was just the beginning of long hair. He was wearing a white Hungarian wedding gown down to the floor. I thought I was talking to Jesus…no shoes, just barefoot in a robe in Black Rock and all the girls in the offices were gaga. It was quite a thing. He and I struck up a friendship when I said, ‘Let’s get out of here and go over to my studio.’ I rolled a couple so we could relax and we spent the next few days working on the first of his album covers for Epic - Sunshine Superman.” Here Donovan picks up the story. “I am an artist myself and I wanted my covers to be visual just as I was making my appearance on stage visual to illustrate my lyrics. I was a bit ahead of the scene. Nobody really cared or had done this before. At most there was a photo of the band or the artist and ‘Let’s get that album out as soon as possible.’ I wanted Sunshine Superman to be Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite because my songs were so romantic. Sid said to Clive ‘This boy’s right, you’ve got to do it.’ Clive went along and Sid became my champion. “The first album was really why I was nominated. That’s the one that initiated the psychedelic revolution.” Sid continues: “A year later, I’m sitting in the office and get a call from England. ‘What are you doing? Why don’t you come over this weekend? We’ll do a few things.’ Donovan had a cottage in a small suburb of London. It was painted all lavender in the woods and on the roof was a large white dove. This is where Don lived. He and I spent the entire weekend working on a project that became kind of history: the first boxed set that was ever done in rock and roll: A Gift From A Flower To A Garden.” Back in New York, Davis was reluctant. Donovan recalls the conversation. “A box? This is impossible we can’t do this. This is gonna cost a lot of money. It’s fine art paper, individual sheets, in a box! No pop singer gets a box! They are for classical and jazz.’ I said, I want one. I actually had to pay out of my royalties or it would never have been done. Clive said ‘we’ll release the two albums on their own 34 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2012

Copyright © 2012 Donovan Disc Archive & Barabajagal LLC.

On Donovan’s yacht, Greece, 1971 Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 71

before Christmas and after Christmas we’ll release it as the box.’” Sid recalled, “Either of them didn’t reach #100 on the charts and the box set went gold almost instantly. I said, Clive - you should have got that box set out before Christmas. I knew what I was doing with marketing from art school.” The upshoot is that Donovan owns all the original art and is now making it available worldwide through Museum Masters International which also has a history in music. “In 1996,” said Museum Masters President Marilyn Goldberg, “We did Elvis/ Warhol Hall of Fame anniversary products and editions with the Elvis Estate and Andy Warhol Foundation. Now we will be licensing the Donovan/Sid Maurer collection honoring Donovan’s Hall of Fame induction.” These artful album covers ushered in an era of big ideas and changing cultural attitudes expanding the nuance of the message, fueling the cultural revolution. Donovan credits Maurer for opening the doorway for him as a musician to use the art studio as a colleague. Sidney’s expertise, vast professional background and generous explanation of how the machinations of printing and art prep worked made the magic happen, changing art and style through innovation. Maurer noted that the cover art played a major role in focusing attention on sales as well as conveying a musical vision. 72 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022


Donovan’s Art Director, Collaborator and Friend


Sid & Sal

id Maurer is a man of great and many stories now Sid Maurer’s Brigitte Bardot graced the cover of Fine Art Magazine compiling the soon to be published book of his life and times globally in the music industry. His long career in the world of Art and Music began at seventeen when he was hired as assistant art director at Columbia Records in New York City, where he spent weekends playing trumpet in Jazz clubs. As the music business exploded, Maurer worked designing album covers and promotional material for popular artists most of whom live beyond their years, today in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.His friendship with and ground-breaking work with Donovan is described in depth in the following pages.Thanks to Marilyn Goldberg of Museum Masters International for our introduction to this great Marilyn Goldberg, Pres. Museum Masters International, builds on Sid’s legacy with future exhibitions artist and man —VBF Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 73



he first British folk troubadour who truly captured the imaginations of early Beatles-era fans on both sides of the Atlantic, Donovan Leitch made the transition from a scruffy blue-jeaned busker into a brocaded hippie traveler on Trans Love Airways. As a folkie on the road with Gypsy Dave, Donovan became a Dylan-esque visual presence on the BBC’s Ready Steady Go! starting in 1964, and released several classics: “Catch The Wind,” “Colours,” Buffy Ste.-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” “To Try For The Sun” and more. That changed in 1966, as he came under the production arm of UK hitmaker Mickie Most, and was signed by Clive Davis to Epic Records in the states. Donovan ignited the psychedelic revolution virtually single-handedly when the iconic single “Sunshine Superman” was released that summer of ’66 (and the LP of the same name, with “Season Of The Witch”). His heady fusion of folk, blues and jazz expanded to include Indian music and the TM (transcendental meditation) movement. Donovan was at the center of the Beatles’ fabled pilgrimage to the Maharishi’s ashram in early ’68 (where, it is said, he taught guitar finger-picking techniques to John Lennon and Paul McCartney). Donovan’s final Top 40 hit with Most was “Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)” in the summer ’69, backed by the Jeff Beck Group. In the ’70s and ’80s, Donovan continued to record and tour sporadically, including songs for Franco Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon (finally issued in 2004). During the 1990s, Rick Rubin (after working with Johnny Cash) produced Donovan’s Sutras. The 2008 documentary film, Sunshine Superman: The Journey Of Donovan is an essential overview of his career. –ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

“MUST BE THE SEASON OF THE WITCH” The day of the scheduled Donovan interview, in true Steve Jobs “iTunes is prophetic” mode, what comes on shuffle but the Al Kooper Birthday concert at BB King’s with Jimmy Vivino, John Simon and even Harvey Brooks from SuperSession for a live rendition of Season of the Witch. I cued up all the versions of that cut in my library and let them run and run. Here’s Harvey doing his bass solo live, the one he did on Mike Bloomfield’s sole career gold record (SuperSession), on which he only played on one side before cutting out. Steve Stills was called in by producer Kooper in a rush to occupy the expensive studio time and they came up with the wah-wah/Hammond B3-driven eleven minute classic version of Season of the Witch with some powerful Eddie Hoh drumming along with the aforementioned Brooks. Of this, the critics wrote “Stills showed the wah-wah pedal was more than a war toy.” Donovan loved the Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger version best, but for posterity we have the “Live From the Filmore East Lost Concert” with Mike doing a classic guitar part on his only recorded version of the song as Kooper references Terry Reid. It’s a two chord vamp but people have made careers of it. That, in fact, is what Donovan said the Allman Brothers did with their extended versions of Mountain Jam which often, when coupled with Whippin’ Post, lasted the better part of an hour and featured some of 74 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Donovan portrait by Sidney Maurer, courtesy © 2012 Sid Maurer / Museum Masters


Duane’s most inspired guitar work. That Donovan’s songs would bring out the best in these high level musicians and the many others who have covered and accompanied him speaks volumes. “We had some good old times, took some trips, not all psychedelic The whole process of creating art for the album covers I learned from Sid. He had a studio that was fully working and he was so proficient. I was able to talk his language after the first album. We didn’t just do it once, we went through two, three, four, five different things that he sent me by post.” A former art student, Donovan was fascinated with Sid Maurer’s tools of the trade in pre-computer, pre-fax, pre-Pantone and even pre-Fed Ex days. Things were slow and you needed very specific skills to get a complex color album jacket from color separations to rubylith masking ready for press. “Sid knew how to make sure that the yellow is really the right yellow. The wonder of albums was that you could actually see and touch them and put them on the wall as art. It’s great to celebrate the coming around of records again.” “You carry life as a force in your music,” said Sid to his good friend. “You didn’t just write songs and sing them, you created a body of work and the excitement remains.” —VICTOR FORBES

SunStorm • Spring 2012 • 33

Linda Lawrence, Chris Murray, ZZ TOPS’ Billy Gibbons and Donovan, backstage at Donovan’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, 2012. PHOTO ESSAY BY CHRIS MURRAY By proc lamation of the governor of Texas, Ann Richards, September 3, 1993, was declared Freddie King Day, an honor reserved for Texas legends, such as Bob Wills and Buddy Holly. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, and placed 15th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. By their own account, the late, great Freddie King influenced Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others. King was among many pioneering African-American blues musicians to embrace the British blues scene and tour its club circuit in the late 1960s. Robert Christgau credited King’s embrace of Britain with creating his renown as a pioneer of electric blues guitar. In Gary Graff ’s Music Hound Rock (1996), the entry on King states: “Although his reputation rests with his guitar, King also sang with an underrated, powerful style. His

“He is the psychedelic guru of folk poetry.”

lasting influence has insured Freddie King’s recognition as one of the great postwar blues masters.” A ’super group’ was formed to perform in Freddie King’s honor, which included Derek Trucks, Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Joe Bonamassa. King was being inducted into the Hall of Fame just before Donovan, and the band for King shared the backstage dressing room with Donovan, his wife Linda, and myself. Derek and Billy truly enjoyed meeting Donovan and a good time was had by all. This is John Mellancamp’s Donovan induction speech: “I got my first Donovan record in 1965. I was in the 7th grade and back then, we waited for every record and I waited for every album to come out so that I could learn to play those songs. I wasn’t just listening to Donovan, I was living Donovan. I was stealing all the s--- from Donovan. Other artists, and you know who you guys are, call that being inspired. But I was inspired Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 75

“It was ten years ago next month that I first met Derek Trucks, who may well be the finest guitar player today, and saw him perform. Donovan was being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th, 2012. It was my great pleasure to accompany him to Cleveland for that great honor, as his aide de camp. What a weekend it was! Donovan went on to be inducted after Freddie King, and was introduced to the audience by John Mellencamp, a great fan and friend of Donovan’s. Donovan gave one of the finest acceptance speeches ever given at the Rock Hall ceremony, followed by him performing. The audience gave him a standing ovation. Sunshine Superman indeed!”— Chris Murray

by his beautiful melodies, his lyrical content, of the Witch’, ‘Catch The Wind’, ‘Sunshine his arrangements and the overall presentation Superman’, ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’, ‘Mellow of his material. Yellow’, ‘Atlantis’, ‘Wear Your Love Like I am going to now read from the liner Heaven’, ‘Riki Tiki Tavi’, ‘Lalena’, ‘To Susan On notes of this album: Less than a year ago, The West Coast Waiting’. And those are just the British Recording Industry reached a the songs that were on the radio. Think of all sort of floating period between the wild the undiscovered songs that are on these albums rampage of Liverpool and the sound shifting that nobody has ever heard or paid attention to. gears into a new trend. It was one of those Beautiful songwriting like nobody else. indecisive moments when the followers and I think it’s only fair that we mention that the opportunists -- and you know who you are this was all done by one kid from Scotland, Derek Trucks at Rock and Rolll Hall of Fame -- tumbled all over each other as record buyers right? One guy wrote all these songs. He was and began to look around for something new. They looked all about also part of one of the greatest collaborations maybe in music history and soon they were attracted to a young lad with a sensitive face, and that was the marriage of Donovan to Mickie Most. Together, jeans, a denim jacket, a miner’s cap and a touch of northern dialect those guys created a folk-rock sound that invaded the world’s radio. from Scotland in his speech, tempered by roamings throughout the In 1965 and 1966, every kid that was sitting in their bedroom heard British Isles. This lad was Donovan, an 18-year-old singer from that sound and they style that this guy brought to the music industry Glasgow, who brought a new kind of music that was almost old as and to the youth along with the Rolling Stones, leading the way for the hills. Donovan was the simple, direct, sincere music of a folk the youth culture (...crowd noise...) the world had not seen anything artist. He blew his harmonica and preached his poetic words to all like it before and haven’t seen anything like it since. that would listen. In 2005, I asked Donovan to do 40 shows with me and he obliged So really, I guess what it all boils down to in the long run is that and he turned out to be the kind of fella that I thought he would you can do whatever you want and look however you want, but if be. But what it made me realize, seeing that guy play every night, you don’t have the songs, it don’t matter. is that the further we get away from the original, the worse it gets. Let me see if I can think of a couple of songs that Donovan So I am proud to introduce into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, might have written. I think I could come up with a couple: ‘Season one of the original originals: Donovan P. Leitch!” 76 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022




f you weren’t around for the Rolling Stones salad days, when it was called by non-other than Charlie Watts, “Brian Jones’ blues band,” this collection of 13 standards — covered with authority — is probably as close as you’re ever gonna get. Donovan’s harp rounds out the group, featuring the guitarist Richard Barone; Bass: Augustas Buožius and Drums: Sina Doéring with Honey B Mama contributing vocals to one track. As for Joolz — he moans, howls, coos, hollers, screams, seduces, primps, begs — and this is all on the first cut Smokestack Lightning featuring his step grandfather on some sympathetic Sonny Terry-inspired harmonica playing. These songs, this music, is undoubtedly in his DNA. How else to explain the raw authenticity of each and every cut. He brings it all, no imitation. Channels Muddy, The Wolf, Elmore — all of them with just a touch of Jagger to complete the picture. As is his Grandfather Donovan’s Calypso release, this is a time capsule, taking off from 1950s Chicago to the 21st century. I hope this music takes off for him and his generation is introduced to it same way us ’60s kids were turned on to Muddy, Albert, BB, et al by Paul Butterfield’s band and others of that era. Just one request, Joolz: Waiting for a cover “Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man.” Please. DUST MY BROOM - The Elmore James classic revolutionized slide guitar playing and is covered by everyone who ever picked up a six string. “Get up soon in the morning” - Jaggeresque pronunciation. “I ain’t gonna leave my baby and break up my happy home.” Drums bashing and dirty rhythm guitar. Exceptional as are all the cuts. SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING - Donovan’s harp sets the tone for this Howlin’ Wolf classic and Joolz moans the blues and Donovan is right there with him on harmonica being Brian Jones to Joolz’ lead singing. Citing some Jaggerisms but a truly original voice. Derivative, respectful, yes. But I never heard a young white singer with such feel. Since we never heard Brian’s voice on record, we can only surmise that Joolz found that heretofore missing link for our listening pleasure. ROLLIN’ STONE (CATFISH BLUES): When Joolz sings “She said come on in now Muddy, my husband just now left...” You

can tell he means it. Joolz sings this with power to spare, and why wouldn’t he? Muddy, I am sure, would approve. MY BABE: A little lighter touch here with Donovan’s tasteful harmonica and Barone’s perfect leads. When he says “I know she loves me, she don’t do nothing but kiss and hug me,” one believes him and he then sing-whispers “Everything she do she do so pleasing.” LITTLE RED ROOSTER: “Roostah” is too lazy to crow for days. Tasty guitar licks. When he tells you the barnyard is upset, you know it is. Ever hear Little Smokey’s version with Elvin Bishop? HOOCHIE KOOCHIE MAN: “My mother told my father just before I was born / she got a boy child coming he’s gonna be a rolling stone.” What else does one need to know? Nice harp ending. BIG BOSS MAN: Jimmy Reed gets his just due here. “Cahn’t you hear me when I call.” If Pigpen had an English accent, he could’ve sung it like this. Some ska influenced electric guitar on the riddim. Pure raunchy blues on the lead. “Aihn’t so big - just tall that’s all.” Hound Dog Taylor would be proud. WHO DO YOU LOVE: These guys play it faster than Bo. Lyrics come in loud and clear, well enunciated. “Just 22 and I don’t mind dyin’.” Wicked stuff. Stands up to ANY version. “You shoulda heard just what I seen.” STONES IN MY PASSWAY: An acoustic wail - “I have pains all in my heart, they have taken my appetite.” That boy can coo and holler and growl like he was born to sing the blues as no one else has done before him, at least of the Caucasian race. BABY PLEASE DON’T GO: Donovan cutting loose on this one is worth the price of admission. COMING HOME: Invoking Elmore here with bombastic guitar duels and rough and tumble vocals THE SKY IS CRYING: Honey B Mama doin’ her thing, “waitin’ for her baby wonderin’ where he could be.” She is somethin’ else again. How could her baby not love her no more? NOT FADE AWAY: What would a Brian Jones tribute be without some Buddy Holly? Massive drums and a legit Holly hiccup. Can’t stop listening to this album. Love is Love and not fade away. – VICTOR FORBES Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 77

78 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022

Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 79

CONTACT VICTORFORBES@MAC.COM • 1-518-593-6470 KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S DOOR Recorded, Mixed & Mastered By: John Bradley At BluVudu Productions • Produced By: John Bradley & Three The Hard Way Performed By: Small Axe, vocals and piano; Dodridge Moore, bass; Randy Vaughn, drums; Andy Falco, guitar ATMOSPHERE Recorded and Mixed by Small Axe who plays all the instruments except guitar, which is performed by Andy Falco Mastered & Re-mixed By: John Bradley at BluVudu Productions • Thank you Laura Carbone for The Slickers photo shoot & Bobacom for the silo

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Fine Art Magazine • Summer 2022 • 81






SEPTEMBER 10, 2022



call VICTOR FORBES • 518-593-6470 82 • Fine Art Magazine • Summer, 2022



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