Christopher Pugliese (www.pugliesestudios.com)
Jacob Collins (www.jacobcollinspainitngs.com)
Warren Chang (www.warrenchang.com)
I once foolishly asked Christopher Isherwood to tell me the subject of his current writing, and he responded by saying "Myself, of course. What else do I know." The great writer (one of whose stories became the basis of Cabaret) was obviously minimizing the broad reach of his stories, but he was also acknowledging that novelists, playwrights, and painters often use their own experiences as the basis of their expressions. That has certainly been the case with visual artists who for centuries have created drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures about artists, studio, models, paints, critics, and muses.
Here are just four examples of paintings that explore the artist's life in the studio. Californian Warren Chang has created a number of paintings of himself, his son, and his friends assembled in a studio; Jacob Collins has painted a number of still lifes of the objects and people around him in his New York studios; and Christopher Pugliese is endlessly fascinated by the concrete and intangible aspects of studio activity.
I recently completed a painting of a model posing for Camie Davis' class at Grand Central Academy of Art. I was intrigued with the idea of a person being the subject of intense scrutiny over the eight weeks of an art class. During breaks, Jimmy interacted with the students as a good friend whose taste in music and sports became as well known as the muscles of his body; but moments later he would climb back up onto the model's platform and once again become an object composed of shapes, value patterns, and colors to be evaluated in an unemotional, objective manner. Moreover, Jimmy seemed to "zone out" after he put his arms, legs, and head in the marked positions; and he lost all consciousness of people circled around them in a studio.