|Venus Awakes by Patricia Watwood, 2011,
oil on canvas, 38 x 34.
|Karen in White by Paul McCormack,
oil on canvas, 40 x 29.
|Enigma (Self-Portrait) by David Leffel,
2009, oil on canvas, 52 x 34.
On Sunday, January 22nd, the ACOPAL group will celebrate it’s first museum show of American and Chinese realism at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Many of my favorite artists and fellow oil painters have work in this show: Nelson Shanks, Jacob Collins, Max Ginsberg, Tony Ryder, and Burt Silverman, to name a few of my heroes. This is the second group ACOPAL exhibit, following the very successful introduction of ACOPAL at the National Arts Club in May 2011.
The next ACOPAL venture will be the presentation of American realism at the Beijing World Art Museum, opening toward the end of this year in September 2012. The exhibit will feature over 100 paintings, and be the first survey of contemporary American realism in China. After the opening in Beijing, the exhibit—a contemporary oil painting gallery of sorts—will tour five major cities in China, including Shanghai and Guangzhou. The Chinese audience is enthusiastic about realism and traditional oil painting, and this exhibit will reach many thousands, many of whom have not seen contemporary American paintings in person ever before.
That’s thrilling, isn’t it? My painting, Venus Awakes, which I just completed will be included in the Butler exhibit. The painting is an allegory about the rediscovery of the classical nude. Venus and the apple are meta-symbols representing the classical western tradition in art. They are surrounded by the broken remnants of technology and culture, but remain undamaged. The bird wakes Venus from her slumber, and represents my rejection of “trash as conceptual social commentary as art.” Flecks of gold in the mire indicate that the labor of gleaning value from the wreckage is not in vain.
Contemporary American realism continues to grow, define itself, and find new audiences all over the world. If you are in the Ohio area, please spread the word about the wonderful show at the Butler. If you are not, but still want to experience what is sure to be an amazing show, you can purchase a catalog of the show at the ACOPAL website.
For more painting instruction from Patricia, check out her latest DVD, Figure Painting: Realistic Skin Tone.