BLOB #11 – “WET BEHIND THE EARS”
The question I am most frequently asked is “how long have you and Karen been married?” or “… together?”, if the inquisitor is not sure we are married. Since I never offer a true account, I sometimes reply “not long enough!”, deflecting the question to avoid placing a barometer on our passion, e.g., 30 years – comfortable; 5 years – HOT!
In the last century, B.P.S. (Before Palm Springs), when we were living on The Canals in Venice, CA, we received a phone call from Robin Abcarian, the reporter, now editor, at the Los Angeles Times. She wanted to come to our canal side studio and interview the two of us. We welcomed her but with some stipulations. We told her “there are 3 questions we would not answer: 1. How old are we? 2. How long have we been married? And 3. Do we own or rent?” Later in an article which was featured in the L.A. Times Sunday Magazine with a photo of Karen and I spread across the front page, Robin went on to explain the “how long … married?” barometer theory after starting her article by advising her readers “if you meet the Barones don’t ask them …”
The 2nd most frequent question seems to be “how long did it take you to make that sculpture?” or “… that painting?” I never really think about “how long does it take” unless we have been commissioned to create a specific artwork or the artwork is slated for an exhibition or installation at a public places site. Also, artwork slated for installation at an institutional site, such as a museum or hospital, or commercial site, such as a mall or restaurant, will prompt our awareness of the calendar. Under these circumstances, the project is moved to the front burner and a work-fills-the-time critical path is established.
“Reigning Prince”/“Purple Reign” ©MMXVII
O/C: 35”H x 41”W pentagonal shaped canvas
I became acutely aware of “how long did it take?” when Karen and I recently completed this last series of paintings. It was easy to establish “how long” because I had the dated receipts for the stretched canvases and the paintings were all completed within days of each other. This is because of a “wet over dry” technique we have developed over the years. In the application of our unique “wet over dry” technique, we apply one layer/color of oil paint pigment at a time. Within this technique, we must wait for each layer to dry completely before “going back in” with the next layer of color. We can’t stop working; so, we move on to another one of the other four “works in progress” canvases while allowing the freshly worked-on canvas to dry.
“Synchronized Swimmers” ©MMXVII
O/C: – 36”H x 60”W (slight trapezoid)
This recent series of five paintings, which encapsulate a stronger and deeper color palette set off by darker modeling and shadows, and various other new elements, needed to be introduced into the lexicon of our oeuvre. The following is the correspondence to certain galleries, art dealers and collectors, fashioned to make the introduction:
We’ve just completed 5 canvases in a new series of paintings started at the beginning of this year. They reflect our continued obsession with our “POLKA-POOKA” rabbits. However; in these paintings, our flat floating red herring “ready-mades” have disappeared and our familiar “POLKA-POOKA” rabbit protagonist finds itself at center stage in a strong dreamlike narrative. We continue to avoid the rectilinear canvas in lieu of an irregular trapezoid, pentagon, and hexagon. Our canvases take on a sculptural element which brings them beyond the function of an irrelevant sub-straight. They are part of the paintings; not just what the paintings are on. After all, we are sculptors and the shape of each canvas is somewhere between the 2D and 3D.
O/C: 51”H x 42”W hexagonal shaped canvas
We enjoy saying “these paintings are wet behind the ears”. but they are ready for prime time. Although individually powerful, we would like to see them exhibited together in a public venue. They have a strong cumulative synergy when presented collectively. The paintings are each priced at $10,000.
“Aurora Borealis” ©MMXVII
O/C: -36″H x 46″W (trapezoid)
“Oh Beautiful …” ©MMXVII
O/C: – 56″H x 48″W (trapezoid)
ALSO, just prior to the time consumed by the above-mentioned “Dream Narrative” series, a “front-burner” commission came in. Our “POLKA-POOKA” rabbits caught the attention of the Chuck Jones family. Chuck was the famous Looney Tunes animator of Bugs Bunny (+ Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote & “beep-beep”, the Road Runner). We thus created the large photorealistic painting titled: “BUGS IN A HARE RAISING EXPERIENCE”. We placed Bugs in a windstorm of 10 flying “ready-mades” referencing various Bugs Bunny cartoons. A three finger and a thumb white glove, a Viking opera helmet, were two such elements which we appropriated into the painting. The painting commission was for the creation of a seminal work which would foster a series of half-size limited edition prints to be unveiled at an exhibit opening on St. Patrick’s Day 2017 at the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego, CA. This ambitious undertaking required signing a licensing agreement with Warner Brothers – signed – sealed – delivered. This specially created one-of-kind trapezoidal oil on canvas painting is now available for purchase. It’s price is $15,000 and obtainable exclusively from the Barone studio. The limited edition (40) prints are available through BARONE and The Chuck Jones Gallery @ $850. A special limited edition (10) prints on stainless steal are also available.