The Web Store of Brian Guilbert, Las Vegas Artist

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By Guil

October 2, 2019

Brian Guilbert “January” 1995 acrylic on stretcher 24 x 30 in.
Brian Guilbert “January” 1995 acrylic on stretcher 24 x 30 in.

I am about to paint-over this small abstract painting. It is a momentous event (for me), because I have kept it all these years as a memento of New York City. As a youthful artist I had an attraction for New York. Everyone should see New York. I stayed for ten years. It was never my expectation to find my own, original, artistic voice there. Just the opposite; I wanted to conform, to be one of the famous artists who made New York outstanding, artistically. It is not necessary to have been born there. Many of the greats were not native, arriving from all over the map, but it is necessary to live there, to survive it, to endure the shock of the immensity, to earn the City’s stamp of character in exchange for hanging-on. As a callow provincial, it was my aspiration to paint like an Abstract Expressionist -but beautifully, scrubbed of the vanguard’s grit. That idea turned out to be vain, as I gradually realized, but in this canvas I achieved a certain satisfaction. I consider this canvas vain also, because what I had not anticipated before this was that the view from such a height would be so empty, as expressed in the barrenness of the painting shown here. As the abstract artists of the 1940’s and 1950’s had done, I had come, in plain words, to a dead end. And it made me wonder, as they say in New York, “Where do you go from here?”

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