Friday, March 6, 2020

Solo Show at Bellarmine Gathering Space Art Gallery



Opening last night- my solo exhibit at Bellarmine's Gathering Space Art Gallery, Tacoma Wa, March 5-30, 2020.  
Thank you artist and teacher Ben Meeker for the opportunity to show and for the incredible Mediterranean spread! I wish I had a photo of that!

The circle is a reoccurring element in much of my imagery and is representative of many things to me. These three Rust Monotypes reflect cyclic stages of the hero's quest for balance in his/her exploration of our creative, spiritual and cultural impulses. Each was made by using an open steel plate and acetate stencils; a variation on the water-jet cut steel plates I sometimes print from.

Thanks to everyone who could come and all the wonderful conversation!

Friday, February 7, 2020

Aphrodite, She's beautiful but flighty...

My cut steel sculpture "Aphrodite" exhibits Feb 7- March 1, 2020 at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island in "A Trio of Print-makers".  Opening reception is Tonight, Feb. 7, 6-8 pm.  Aphrodite is the ancient Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation.
 

I love the description of her in this version of “Give me that old time religion” made popular by folk musician Pete Seeger.


Shall I worship Zarathustra

just the way we use ta? 

Be a Zarathustra Booster

What a thing to be!

Or maybe Aphrodite

She’s beautiful but flighty

and doesn’t wear a nighty,
now there’s a sight to see.


Or perhaps I’ll choose Apollo 

a decent god to follow

I’d grovel and I’d wallow

Brought low on bended knee.


Elohim or Yahweh?

Allah or the highway? 

I think I’ll just go my way.

That’s good enough for me.


Give me that old time religion

Give me that old time religion
....
It's good enough for me!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Amphora Asterion, A Trio of Printmakers

My monotype print “Amphora Asterion”, exhibits in "A Trio of Printmakers", ( Lynn Brofsky, Brian Fisher & Steve MacFarlane).  Feb 7- March 1, 2020 at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island.

The opening reception is  Feb. 7, 6-8 pm.


Amphora Asterion is a   Monotype Print,  29 1/4 x 21 1/2  in. depicting Asterion, the Minotaur of Cretan Myth.


And the Queen gave birth to a child who was called Asterion.

—Apollodorus

 

A mingled form where two strange shapes combined, And different natures, bull and man, were joined.

—Euripides

 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Asterion, The Starry One


My cut steel sculpture "Asterion, The Starry One" exhibits Feb 7- March 1, 2020 at Roby King Gallery on Bainbridge Island in "A Trio of Print-makers".  Opening reception is  Feb. 7 6-8 pm.

 

Crete’s mythic civilization began when Zeus (as bull) abducted Europa from a Phoenician beach and swam into the setting sun until arriving on the Aegean island of Crete.  To their union three children were born, Minos, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon.  Europa became queen of Crete upon marrying Crete's reigning King Asterion and he stepfather to her children.  Upon his death the children warred as successors and when Minos defeated his brothers to become King he prayed that Poseidon, God of the Seas, send him a bull to sacrifice in recognition that his Kingship was divinely sanctioned. 

Poseidon’s gift, a beautiful pure white bull, The Cretan Bull, The Bull From The Sea, appeared as petitioned but Minos instead elected to substitute another bull and kept the beautiful sacrificial animal to increase his herd.  Poseidon, enraged, cursed Minos and persuaded Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, to cause Minos’s wife Pasiphae to fall in love with Poseidon’s gift.  A child was conceived and born, half bull, half human, named Asterion for the old King, but called the Minotaur.

Perseus


"Perseus" will exhibit at Roby King Gallery, Bainbridge Island WA, Feb 7- March 1, 2020 in "A Trio of Print-makers" with work by Lynn Brofsky, Brian Fisher & Steve McFarlane.  The opening Reception is Feb 7, 6-8 pm. Check it Out!


Perseus is the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty. His mother Danae was the daughter of Acrisius, the King of Argos. King Acrisius locked Danae in a room without windows or doors, open only to the heavens, to prevent her ever having suitors or a child after the Oracle at Delphi foretold his own death by Danae's son.  Zeus however saw and fell in love with Danae and visited her from above as a shower of gold and so Perseus was conceived and born.

King Acrisius, now the grandfather of a demi-god, attempted one more time to thwart the prophecy.  He locked Danae and the infant Perseus in a wooden chest and cast them into the Aegean Sea.  Eventually, they washed up and were found by Diktys, a fisherman, on the island of Seriphos.  Diktys helped raise Perseuus and he eventually became a young man with great physical strength and courage.

Seriphos is a small island where one man might be a fisherman and his brother a King, so that is how the King Polydectes came to know and desire Danae.  When Perseus, believing Polydectes' intentions less than honorable, tried to protect Danae from him, the King contrived a challenge that sent Perseus on a quest to kill the Gorgon Medusa.  

Perseus, after consulting with his Father Zeus's side of the family, visited the sisters of Medusa known as the Graiai.  This part of the story is so rich that someday I want to make a series just of the Graiai who are ancient women that share one tooth and one eye between them.  Perseus steals the eye but returns it in exchange for information on how to find and defeat Medusa.  They explain what magical tools he will need, where to find them and where to find Medusa who lived in a cave at the ends of the earth.  

His tools were a helm of invisibility (when he wore it) as well as winged sandals to enable him to fly, an adamantine sword, a reflective sheild and the kibisis, a special bag that he used to carry the head of Medusa. 

Medusas' is a unique and ancient story within this story.  She had been cursed and made hideous by Athena for her unfortunate choice of partners, (Poseidon) and place, (Athena's Temple) to consummate their relationship.  Afterwards she was perceived as a monster with snakes for hair and "ugly" enough to turn anyone who saw her to stone.  

Flying to her lair, at the ends of the earth, invisible Perseus found Medusa sleeping.  Using only her reflection in his polished shield, he safely approached and cut off her head.  From her neck sprang Pegasus and Chrysaor her children by Poseidon.

Perseus now possessed a powerful weapon, the head of Medusa, and using it to his advantage, he slays a dragon, picks up a wife, (Andromeda), and a kingdom on his way back to Seriphos where the conquering hero uses the Gorgon's head to petrify King Polydectes and save Danae from the king's Trumpian advances.

The inevitable fulfillment of the Delphic oracle, which Perseus's grandfather was so determined to avoid, came when King Acrisius was in Thessaly attending the funeral games of the King of Larissa and a discus thrown amiss killed the visiting guest.  Perseus threw the discus and the oracle was fulfilled.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Medusa



Medusa, my monotype print, will exhibit at Roby King Gallery, Bainbridge Island WA, Feb 7- March 1, 2020 in "A Trio of Print-makers" with work by Lynn Brofsky, Brian Fisher & Steve McFarlane. So delighted to be part of this talented lineup!  The opening Reception is Feb 7, 6-8 pm. Check it Out!

The Myths of Medusa and Perseus have been told and retold for time out of mind and the image of Medusa as Gorgon can be found in art and architecture for thousands of years.  Even today she appears on the flag of Sicily and ever since Gianni Versace adopted Medusa as his logo in 1978 her iconic image has become even more pervasive.



The eighth century BC poet Hesiod, of Boeotia, composed a poem, the Theogony, about the creation of the world and the Greek gods.  In it he describes the Gorgons, the mortal Medusa, whose name comes from the old verb médô that means “I rule,” and her two immortal sisters, Sthenno or “strength” and Euryale “the one that leaps or wanders widely.”

Hesiod tells us that Poseidon, god of the sea, earthquakes, storms, and horses made love to Medusa “in a soft, grassy meadow among the flowers,” and that “when Perseus cut off her head, Chrysaor the giant and Pegasus the winged horse leapt out”!

Medusa's "special power" was her knack for turning all who looked upon her face to stone.  She apparently did a lot of that until one day Hero Perseus arrived on the scene.  Perseus took her head with aide from his father Zeus who gave him an adamantine sword, Hades who gave him a helm of invisibility, Hermes who lent Perseus winged sandals to fly, and from Athena who gave him a reflective shield so that he could see what he was about without staring directly at Medusa while he cut off her head.  

Perseus was a practical Hero and therafter took Medusa's head along on his quests weilding it when life threatening situations arose, petrifing one and all. 



Friday, January 24, 2020

Daphne



My new cut steel sculpture "Daphne" will exhibit at Roby King Gallery, Bainbridge Island WA, Feb 7- March 1, 2020 in "A Trio of Print-makers" with Lynn Brofsky, Brian Fisher & Steve McFarlane.  The opening Reception is Feb 7, 6-8 pm.  Check it Out!

 

Ovid's description of Daphne's pursuit by Apollo, prayer to her father the river god Peneus and subsequent change into the Laurel or Daphne tree is context for my sculpture.  My inspiration though is Kathleen Raine's contemporary poem "Daphne After" and her Me-Too depiction of coping with violation and the victims emotional metamorphosis.

Daphne After by Kathleen Raine
 

In the absence of a heart grown
stemwise, silent, slow Daphne drinks
unremembering and unknown,
in the manner of a laurel thinks

in branches, sometimes blossoms.  Real
forgetting is her secret, long
detachment, no slit sense to heal.
Only sentiment and song

remember how she suffered, ran
in terror, turning tree, and past

to present.  Where the myth began,
the laurel is the light’s at last.


Monday, January 20, 2020

Theseus

"Theseus", 25 x 37 in. is my monotype print with 23k gold leaf exhibiting at Roby King Gallery, 176 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island, WA in "A Trio of Print-makers" with Lynn Brofsky, Brian Fisher & Steve MacFarlane. The opening reception is February 7, 6-8. Gallery Hours: 11am-6pm, Tues.-Sat. through February.




If ever there was one "Once upon a time..." story, the Athenian foundation myth of Theseus covers all the the Jungian archetypal conquering hero motifs. He is tested, he is good, he slays monsters, returns with wisdom and is a unifying King. It's Greek myth so of course doesn't end all so well for Theseus but it's probably my favorite hero story!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

"In and Out" at the Vashon Heritage Museum

"Anthem", (Small Town Boy) & "The Band Played On", ( Never Can Say Goodby), by Brian Fisher, Monotype Print with wood bas-relief. 

"Anthem" in gold and "The Band Played On" in green, above, are two of five collagraph monotype and wood bas-relief window installations I printed and carved for the Vashon Heritage Museum's "In and Out, Being LGBTQ+ on Vashon Island".  Designed by Jessica DeWire and curated by Ellen Kritzman and Stephen Silha, the exhibit is showing now through March 2020.
My window installations are inspired by the coming out “Anthems”, the music my Gay friends have shared and that I subsequently have listened to while planning, printing and assembling each element of this music inspired installation.
The Bronskie Beat song "Small Town Boy" is a personal favorite and is my inspiration for "Anthem".




Icarus

"Icarus", Brian Fisher, Steel Sculpture

My sculpture Icarus will exhibit at  

Roby King Gallery Feb 7- March 1

Opening Reception Feb 7, 6-8 pm.

 

Icarus by Rebecca G. Bagget


The story is so simple
really. Imagine
yourself gifted with wings,
every child's sleeping
and waking dream, imagine
that you could defy
that force dragging us all
to heel, imagine every sweet safe
green harbor below, laid out
for your choosing
like candies in their box.
Then imagine that one
gold coin, that fierce and pulsing
point around which worlds dance,
imagine the gentleness below
and that wildness above, imagine
that something in you echoed
to the leaping of its flames,
imagine how its one question
beat in your veins, how you saw
with perfect clarity that moment
in which each of us chooses,
forever. Imagine that voice
far below crying: Come
back      Come back



                                                                                    

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

In and Out, Vashon Heritage Mueseum

I love seeing my Vashon friends in this YouTube clip created by filmmaker Michael Monteleone celebrating  the Vashon Island Heritage Museum's exhibit "In and Out,  Being LGBTQ on Vashon Island". 

The exhibit opened in June 2019 and it will continue until March of 2020.  If you've already seen this inspirational, informational, exhibit please share it with your friends.  If you have not already experienced "In and Out", designed by Jessica DeWire and curated by Ellen Kritzman and Stephen Silha...  you must check it out!  

My contribution to the celebration are five print and bas relief window installations inspired by the "coming out music" my friends and family shared with me. 

At left is a snap from the "In and Out" opening.  It was wall to wall fun and a night to remember!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Oedipus Rex



“Oedipus Rex”, my rust monotype on vintage linen is now on exhibit at Roby King Gallery, 176 Winslow Way E. Bainbridge Island, WA. Jan 3-Feb 2, 2020.


Oedipus was born to Laius, King of Thebes and his Queen Jocasta. At his birth, it was prophesied that this child, Oedipus, would murder his father and marry his mother.  So Laius, frightened, sent Oedipus to be exposed to weather and wild beasts on Mt. Cithaeron.  However, Oedipus did not die, instead he was found and adopted by the King Polybus of Corinth and his Queen.  When Oedipus is called bastard as a young man and told that King Polybus might not be his real father, he left Corinth and journeyed to Delphi and its’ Oracle in search of an answer to his true parentage.

The Delphic Oracle does not tell him who his true family is but does tell him that his destiny is to kill his father and marry his mother.  In order to thwart the prophecy, Oedipus decides never to return to Corinth and his eventual inheritance, but instead to travel and to live in Thebes.  On his way he meets a caravan at a cross roads.  When a man driving one of the caravan wagons orders him to move out of the way, Oedipus, in anger, slays him and the wagons flee before him.

Next, Oedipus encounters the accursed Sphinx who guards the road to Thebes and devours any who fail to answer correctly her riddle.  When she asks;

"A thing there is whose voice is one:
Whose feet are four and two and three.
So mutable a thing is none
That moves in earth or sky or sea.
When on most feet this thing doth go,
Its strength is weakest and pace most slow.",

Oedipus answers correctly, “Man, the ages of Man." and the Sphinx in anger bursts into flame!

When Oedipus reaches the city gates he is welcomed as a hero for defeating the Sphinx.  Thebes’s King had only just been murdered and the citizenry proclaim him their new King!  He accepts and following tradition marries the Queen of Thebes,  Jocasta.

The years pass. Jocasta and Oedipus the King have four children and live happily.  Eventually though, a plague infects the city. When Oedipus instructs his adviser Creon to seek advice from the Oracle at Delphi for its cause, he learns that the plague has happened because the murderer of King Laius has gone unpunished.  Oedipus recalls the man that he killed on his way to Thebes, contemplating the possibility that he is perhaps the killer and invites witnesses so that the issue can be resolved. 

While waiting, a messenger arrives with news that Polybus, King of Corinth, has died and that Oedipus is now King, Oedipus Rex!  When he tells the messenger that he cannot return while his mother is alive because of prophesy, he is told that the Queen of Corinth is not his mother and that as a baby he was given to Polybus by a Theban shepherd.  

Oedipus having now realized the truth, goes to tell Jocasta. She already has learned that the prophesy has been fulfilled and has killed herself.  Overwhelmed by guilt and grief, Oedipus abdicates the thrown to Creon,  blinds himself and begins his sojourn as outcast.

This in an intergenerational Greek tragedy that just keeps on giving but I will stop for now.  Check out my rust print “Oedipus Rex” at Roby King gallery during the month of January, 2020!