The Storytellers. . .

As of late I’ve been taking a lot of time to figure out some things by sketching, reading, researching, and with that comes distracting myself with studio cleaning and rearranging, setting up blogs on Chicago Figurative artists, and of course movies and such.  This has got me thinking of directions and other artists working in the same vein as myself, who explore allegory, myth, and grandiose story telling.  Not just representational figurative work, but something that goes beyond reality and therefore not bound by its rules.  Artists such Stephen Cefalo, Pamela Wilson, Gail Potocki, Riva Lehrer, and Lauren Levato are but a few who I feel share that passion.  Many names of movements ran through my head that I’ve heard before such as magic realism, symbolism, fantasy, surrealism, and the list goes on.  However I feel that some of those seem dated and no longer appropriate for contemporary artist, so I started to think other ideas.  I deemed the “movement” as The Storytellers.  This does not include such work from pop surrealist or lowbrow,  strictly academic realists and romantics, but combines the like with grander stories and allegories.  I will be writing a lot more on the subject in the future, and continue to explore the depths of this movement.  Until then keep painting and always remember the best place by the fire is kept for… The Storytellers.

Steven Cefalo
Pamela Wilson
Gail Potocki
Riva Lehrer
Lauren Levato
Rory Coyne

6 thoughts on “The Storytellers. . .

  1. ahhh my friend… i am of the minimalist – realist kind . thank you for your blog ! a fantastic space to share ideas and debate them ! roaaarrr. (that’s my gay tiger roar ! LOL)

  2. Don’t know if you caught this but here is a reply to a demand for further explanation. I will be writing more in depth on it, and refining but this does explain more.

    I’m not claiming that it is a new thing, nor that it’s not narrative. Story telling is by it’s definition narrative. However narrative encompasses anything that remotely tells a tale in some form. This includes symbolism, religious, historical, pop surrealism, sequential art, and the list goes on. Grouping current artists together in The Storytellers, is simply from the point of like minded approaches and styles. Why do this? Why is it important or even necessary? Because not only do I enjoy creating the work that I do, but I enjoy writing and talking about my work. It is human nature to name things, and rather than have someone else such as critics and historians claim me to be something, I’m taking that power into my own hands and openly recognizing it. It is important to me because it helps in talking about my work, and creates a wonderful dialogue with my fellow artists. It is of course not necessary, because I would still be creating the work that I do. Naming a connection I see between artists will not affect it’s importance, productivity, or existence. It does bring awareness to bond between artists.

    Ambiguity is a powerful tool that is being used well by the artists I mentioned. Just because something is ambiguous does not mean that the artists doesn’t know what they are trying to say. I’m not interested in creating literal translations in order to create a clear understanding of my thoughts and beliefs. I have no interest in illustrating ideas, and I’m not a journalist. Ambiguity leaves room for personal connections and interpretations, raising questions rather than answering them. These narrative can be retold in hundreds of ways, much like fables or myths. We all have our own dilemmas and our own solutions, and painting for me is both. It is a confrontation with my own thoughts and personality.

    Is it merely a marketing gimmick? Not meant to be one, nor do expect it to turn in to one, and I think my answer above is clear as to why. Do I think it will help in certain ways? Of course I do, because I’m considering creating exhibitions, discussions, and writings about it.

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