This summer was different for me since I worked on research instead of working at a Chinese restaurant where people asked why I wasn't Asian. Though, being a host can be fun at times I was much more content working at the University of Delaware by painting Jewish Comedians. I wanted to connect the idea of past events that were important to Jews such as Heinrich Heine (who created self-ironic satire for Jews), the Yiddish Theatre (was like a second community Temple for some people), the Holocaust (how people used humor to lighten the already dark situation they had to live within), and the struggle with censorship of identity. My final piece led to Larry David who was wearing women's underwear, this image showed everything that I wanted to describe in my work. Self-humiliation is an important aspect in Jewish comedy because as a minority they had to deal with people already putting them down, so why not laugh at oneself to ease any tensions?
This semester I want to focus on Jewish character actors. Specifically, for my first project I want to use Peter Falk (Columbo), Henry Winkler (The Fonz), and Paul Reubens (Peewee Herman). I also want to tie in historical contexts into them as well. Maybe to show how Jews have strengthened over the years and give a visual example of the vitality within these people.
Two specific artists that I want to look at and study while I paint is N.C. Wyeth (illustrated Treasure Island) and Norman Rockwell (Saturday Evening Post). Their work is amazing when a person's expressions are being illustrated. Wyeth has the ability to compose people in various abstract situations (which is something I am interested in) and Rockwell gives life to drawings/paintings with ease.
In the end I want a painting that has dual messages and using stark black/white people is misleading because people never have one clear situation to deal with, they always have gray areas. People always have choices to make and maybe fate leads each path a different way, but there is always an action that decides what will occur. My aspects will deal with religious thought and secular thought mixed with a historical reference that is relevant to the particular person being portrayed.