Tyler Alpern, Gallery 5
Pardon Me Miss Garland...
Dishing about celebrities. Judy Garland, Jackie O, Maria Callas, Kathleen Battle, Truman Capote, Princess Margaret...
No People Like Show People
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Red Fish Tenderly
Like Gertrude and Alice
Portrait in Red
Fragile as a House of Cards
Another painting of the Maroon Bells at Aspen where I grew up. The magnificent massive mountians seem so permanent and their beauty awesome and sublime. Yet they was spoiled with the stroke of a pen in remote urban office, and other pristine Colorado peaks were leveled by short sighted state governers.
The landscape is painted on a collage of cards that collapse from stable rows as the image moves down. Not on ly a comment on the fragility of the natural environment, but also on our ability to recognize the value of and preserve the unspoiled beauty that surrounds us. In this sad case, the goverment has covered up this magnificent veiw with fake rocks and plastic outhouses that could have been placed nearby out ot the view plane instead of in the forground of this magnificent backdrop! What makes sense on paper in Washington, is an absurd travesty in application on the once glorious site.
Pyramid Peak and the Maroon Bells from Aspen Highlands in Colorado where I grew up. Almost this exact view was once used in a "Ski Utah" ad. This painting was a turning point for me, when I taught myself something about how to use organic pattern in unifying ways.
5 Trees, Looking North.
Just as star trails reveal the rotation of the Earth in the night sky, the day time sky is spinning too, as sensed perhaps but the rooted, stable trees. Jet trails crisscross in the sky above.
Can you guess which painting is underneath this? The sky echoes ther original image. If you can believe it, the formal inspiration for this piece is taken from Art Nouveau peacock motifs. I dig the stylized artifice of the natural world in Art Nouveau and pine needle clumps from my world substitute for the guady feathers. If you ever want to learn more about paint itself, let me tell you the story of the wrong pink...
This painting celebrates the late Makiko Narumi. At a home concert, she performed a flirtatious vocal improvisation using only one vowel that shifted through the gamut of emotions. A cat kept interrupting much to the amusement of Makiko. She had flashing eyes, and a capitvating star quality that was also very visual. I knew right then I would have to paint her. I memorized her gesturing with one hand and occassionally leaning on the arm of the couch for support with the other. Little did anyone know then that her posture in her pose hinted at the illness in her foot that would take life. The dress is similar to the lace collar and floral print she wore that magical night but with a nod to Ray Aghayan. The furniture arrangement are as they were at Betty Wiess's home, though the details have all been made up by me. Clarinetist Dick Waller who organized the event is depicted as well. Both portraits were done from memory and I am pleased with the likenesses. When Makiko died, I finally saw a photo of her and only decided to sharpen her chin in the painting. In the background there used to be Aspen Mountian with the old Herbert Bayer Aspen Music Festival tent but now it is the ever changing "ahhhh" of her playful vocalise.. I was sitting on the floor just to the right of the image and feel so lucky to have witnessed Makiko's powerful performance from such a close vantage point.
This painting is back on my easel again being reworked and reimagined. It's becoming less literal, more painterly and abstract. It is shown above in a transitional state.
An ardent fan plots Amelia Erhart's course over Cape Cod in order to catch a glimpse of her flyover.
At the Far End
Working on adding to my collection - at the Lido in Venice. Characters I knew the summer I was "capo" at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Discression was a must - and what an education and adventure that summer was. Casimiro, Davide, Marino, and a few others. Wow, 30 years have passed and I remember it all in vivid details. So many stories.