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14"x11" oil on linen mounted on board, alla prima study of a dandelion from life. The painting is an oil sketch reference for a larger figurative painting currently in progress
Tags: 2012, May, Review
Portfolios: Hans Guerin Portfolio
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Lion of Weeds implores me to look more closely at the dandelions in my own backyard. Your paintings are without fail exquisitely and classically rendered, but I’m especially intrigued by this unusual celebration of the mundane. The plants intricately curled leaves appear as tender foliage, but are ever so slightly ominous. Maybe this is due to the reddish center, from which the tendrils of new buds emerge, being evocative of more poisonous varieties. The dandelion flower itself, by contrast, is joyous perfection in bright lemon yellow. Its texture and subtle variation in shadow provide a hyper realism, elevating the ordinary to an object of beauty. I also find the warm grey background heightens the feeling of Classical taxonomy, or study of a rare and isolated specimen. The smallish scale of the piece may contribute to the quality of preciousness. I’m also fascinated by your drawings of conte on scratchboard. Gnawing Rabbit has the illusion of a painterly impasto surface. But it also has an enduring, timeless Romanticism that is vaguely reminiscent of 19 c. nature illustration. The animal, like the perfect dandelion specimen, is beautiful, but faintly and inexplicably threatening. Such may be the case when we actually scrutinize the smallest inhabitants of our world.
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