WORK ART WORK: paintings, photographs, drawings by JEFF WORK
I've been quiet for a bit, but working hard on getting an exhibition of my brother Jeff's artwork together for Savannah opening Saturday, November 14. Jeff was an incredibly talented artist... and that's not just his loving sister talking. Everyone who sees his work is blown away. Two retired professors from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Anne Bessac who is curating the exhibition for me and Margy Betz who is reviewing the work and serving on a panel discussion, have been very helpful in making this exhibit come to light as have photograper Michael Turner and graphics designer Sylvia Severance, and gallery owner/arts activist Jerome Meadows. It certainly takes a village!
When Jeff passed away October 2, 2013, he was in the midst of creating pieces for an exhibit of his artwork in Berlin. The work is mainly figurative and autobiographical based on photos he carried (or as he said, "schlepped around") as he traveled all over the world for business and pleasure. The past few years as his health failed Jeff spent hours and hours in his Berlin flat watching movies and tv programs streamed through his computer. Always a clever guy... he took screen shots from several the films and shows and these were the basis of four diptychs and some individual paintings.
I made a screen saver for my computer of one of the pieces from the film "the Artist." You may recognize the mail character, Jean Dujardin and if not Jean... the dog is most memorable! My daughter Kristin also made a screen saver of her favorite Jeff Work painting... based on his Helmstrasse St. Berlin balcony flower garden: Blumen - four paintings that work together to form a whole.
We have had a wonderful response to the post card invitations and several people are traveling long distances to come to the exhibit. On November 19 on what would have been Jeff's 66th birthday, we are having a Birthday Celebration - which has become a memorial. Several people will talk about knowing the creative side of Jeff. I'm especially looking forward to the stories that friends and family will share of knowing Jeff. Pulling this all together has made me vividly aware of how much of Jeff I do not know. I know his work which carries his essence, his soul, but the details of those years we hardly communicated will be interesting to hear.
I had some fabric printed through Spoonflower.com from a wallpaper pattern Jeff designed when he was living in London. He had hoped to get a highend wallpaper design business started but unfortunately he kept hitting roadblocks. In this day and age of computer businesses, he probably could have made it happen. Anyway I picked one of his designs and made a reflected pattern from it and sent it off to be printed. I then found a dress pattern that would not only help make me look skinny (always the goal!) but also show off the wallpaper design. SO here it is in progress:
Kristin has also had some fabric made, so it will be fun to see what she comes up with!
More coming later... working on a catalog of Jeff's artwork.
it is simple, earthy, warm, comfortable, melancholy...
it embraces slight imperfection, as in nature...
it epitomizes the japanese aesthetic...
"Wabi sabi is not a style defined by superficial appearance. It is an aesthetic ideal, a quiet and sensitive state of mind, attainable by learning to see the invisible, paring away what is unnecessary, and knowing where to stop." by Tim Wong, Ph.D. & Akiko Hirano, Ph.D.
Several years ago I had the opportunity to spend 3 glorious weeks in Japan as a guest of the Japanese government with 199 other American teachers as recipients of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship. This is when I first discovered WABI SABI, as I wanted to try to understand the Japanese idea of beauty. I bought all the books I could find on the subject and tried to get a sense of this philosphy. I still am on this quest for understanding... my search for wabi sabi.