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Comment by Resident Curator on December 24, 2018 at 9:12pm

Curator’s Comments:

My first reaction to coming across Self Portrait with Cigarette was to laugh out loud at the title.  The figurative reference, which is questionably discernable, is buried amidst a mass of dark and dripping shadow.  The large shape of the shadow/smoke forms what could be a head, with small openings of orange backgrounds in the bottom corners.  There relatively small openings of space provide visual rest, and a fresh break from the dominant mass.  I share Jay Zerbe’s previous admiration of the transparency of form and color.  Without the title, the piece certainly functions as a bold abstraction.  The smoky mass suggests the buildup of a natural or man-made disaster, if we assume the bottom of the painting as horizon. Media and scale aren’t noted, but I imagine the piece as having a commanding physical presence.  I realize it was posted many years ago, among a broad range of painterly approaches.  As we come closing in on another calendar year, I do hope to see more of your work on the site.

Comment by Jay Zerbe on June 1, 2009 at 7:19am
wow. really like this one. great color combination! love the translucency of the paint.

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