Monthly Archives: December 2017
SCOTT FRASER is one of the nation’s most talented still-life painters, and he has a new book that beautifully presents his work. The Colorado-based artist shows his paintings, which range from large canvases to miniatures on copper, in 25 galleries across the nation.
My feature on the artist was published by Art & Object and includes a wonderful slide shows of his fascinating paintings.
The Gates Family Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Denver Art Museum, Timothy Standring said of the artist, “He’s not a surrealist and not a realist. He’s Scott Fraser.”
Chanukah begins tomorrow, December 12, 2017, in the Gregorian calendar. Researching my article on Chanukah lights for The Denver Post, I interviewed a rabbi and a professor of Jewish studies. I visited a Jewish cultural center. And I looked at menorahs of all sizes, shapes, materials and moods.
Even though I went on assignment to Israel in 1994, I didn’t know the difference between a menorah and a chanukiah. The temple menorah has seven branches, as instructed in the Bible’s Book of Exodus. The Chanukah menorah has nine branches: eight to represent the eight nights of miraculous oil and one “servant” candle to light the others.
The rabbi noted that the symbol of light is common to many faiths.
“The really interesting religious dimension is that Chanukah, Diwali [the Hindu festival of light], Christmas, and Kwanza [the African-American celebration that incorporates candle-lighting] all come at the darkest time of the year. Our religious impulse is to bring light,” said Rabbi Eliot Baskin of Denver’s Jewish Family Service.
“The torch held by the lady in New York harbor represents the liberty of religious freedom. And that’s what makes America so great. This Chanukah, as we recall the rededication of the temple, we rededicate ourselves to religious freedom for all.”
Happy Chanukah to all Jewish people, and may all people of goodwill stand in the light.
“Stuckey’s oil paintings suggest quirky narratives that both amuse and disturb. He presents human figures in ironic scenarios. Contemporary cowboys wield plastic squirt guns or ride toy horses. Intriguingly attractive young Anglo hipsters wear Levi jeans and chic sunglasses, cowboy boots and mini-skirts, fur coats and feathery Native American headdresses.
“Or they wear just their birthday suits. A robust sexual tension underlies many of Stuckey’s paintings. He peoples his canvases with nudes or figures in various stages of undress: a Vegas showgirl, a cowboy with his jeans down, and bikini-clad, nubile young women near desert swimming pools or teepees.
“Stuckey says, ‘I’m interested in our ideas about the American west and its history, and how it continues to find itself within our mainstream culture, the interaction with the real past and the romanticized.’ “
To see more of Stuckey’s paintings, check out his website.