Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Light

by Gregg Chadwick

Gregg Chadwick
Joshua Tree
24"x24" oil on linen 2014

My recent paintings are taking me to times and places that have deep resonance. This newest body of work is marked by time and memory and  explores our present reality in the context of the sometimes hauntingly real shadows that come and go in our daily existence. 
At times spiritual echoes find their way into my art. Sometimes this sense of something bigger or deeper than ourselves is found in the images and locations created within the paintings. At other times this numinous quality is carried by the light within the work.

Recently in the studio, I have been thinking about the works of Caspar David Friedrich in  the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Many of Friedrich's paintings depict what I see as an Easter light - a light of promise and redemption. 

Caspar David Friedrich
Village Landscape In Morning Light
21 5/8"x28" oil on canvas 1822
Nationalgalerie, Berlin
photo by Gregg Chadwick

This morning I have been playing a video of Bruce Springsteen playing his moving ballad, Jesus Was an Only Son. Almost ten years ago I wrote - Bruce Springsteen is not afraid to create music with deep spiritual roots. “I was brought up Catholic -"Jesus is my home boy", Springsteen exclaimed to the audience at the Pantages - then gently moved into Jesus Was an Only Son.

The great religious historian, Huston Smith said something similar to me when he professed his deep admiration for the wisdom traditions of the East yet described his spiritual practice as rooted in his childhood upbringing as the son of a Protestant missionary family in pre WWII China. Springsteen seems to echo Huston Smith's thought that spirituality can quickly become mush if time has not been given to one's own history. Only by knowing who we are and where we come from can we understand that the beauty of religion, and life, is found in inclusion not exclusion. 

Bruce Springsteen - Jesus Was An Only Son - live on Storytellers 

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Salish Sea

Salish Sea on Flickr.Gregg Chadwick
30”x24” oil on linen 2014
Gregg Chadwick
30”x24” oil on linen 2014

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Hush of Stars: Pianist Giuseppina Torre at Arena 1 Gallery in Santa Monica

Gregg Chadwick
Sea and Shadow (Mare e Ombra)
30"x20" oil on linen 2014
Courtesy Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco

Last night Italian pianist Giuseppina Torre gazed attentively at my painting  Sea and Shadow (Mare e Ombra) and said to me,"La luce a Venezia è magica." I agreed, the light in Venice is magic. And there is light in Giuseppina Torre's music as well. Earlier that evening in the Arena 1 Gallery at the Santa Monica Art Studios she gave us a taste of her haunting piano compositions at the opening of an  Italian cultural event entitled All Roads Lead to LA, presented in conjunction with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Los Angeles.

The celebration continues tonight with  poetry, music, fashion and the visual arts.
The evening will begin with a poetry reading at 5 pm to be followed by an hour-long performance by Giuseppina Torre. A presentation of contemporary Italian fashion will round out the evening.
Watch a performance of Torre's The Hush of Stars below and join us tonight at the Santa Monica Art Studios ~ Sunday, April 6, 2014 ~ for a magical evening of music and light. My studio will again be open.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

I was struck by this poignant video posted today on the New York Times site and thought how perfectly the Okinawan duo 
Isamu Shimoji and Yukito Ara's song captures a longing for a distant home. Sung to the tune of "Danny Boy" their song reinterprets and reframes  Frederic Weatherly's classic and makes it both more personal and more global. Isamu Shimoji and Yukito Ara's lyrics are below:

Beloved child of mine,

From beyond the skies is heard the voice of the flute calling to you.

Summer has passed, the flowers of the season have fallen.

You are preparing for the journey to distant lands.

Through the summer when the grasses and flowers bloom and peak,

Through the winter when the north winds bluster and blow, here on this island I’m always waiting for you.

Beloved child of mine, o beloved child of mine!

I’m watching and waiting for you to return, gentle and brave.

As the seasons turn and you finally come home to the island of your birth, 

Though you may no longer see my form, 

my love for you is true through eternity.

With your gentle voice, call to me!

Beloved child of mine, o beloved child of mine!

Beloved child of mine, o beloved child of mine!

Translation, by Sharon Nakazato.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gregg Chadwick's "Trains and Stations" at Santa Monica Airport Artwalk 2014

Gregg Chadwick
The Emperor's Train 68"x144" oil on Japanese screen 2014
and Empire State (Grand Central) 72"x36" oil on linen 2013 

Courtesy Sandra Lee Gallery

As part of the Santa Monica Airport Artwalk 2014, my installation "Trains and Stations" will be on view in the Hangar West Gallery at the Santa Monica Art Studios. My studio #15, directly across from the screen, will also be open and will include new paintings on this theme.

Opening reception - Saturday, March 15, 2014 from 12 - 5pm

"Trains and Stations" was inspired by the powerful music of Michael McDermott and his band The Westies and the memory of my Grandfather Arthur Desch who made his living as a train engineer on the Jersey Central Line.

3026 Airport Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90405 | 310-397-7449

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Monday, February 24, 2014

News and Events: Winter 2014

Gregg Chadwick
Pennsylvania 4901
54”x54” oil on linen 2014
Recent Events: Winter 2014

1. My paintings were featured in the Sandra Lee Gallery booth at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair-an international art fair held Feb 13-16, 2014 at the Convention Center in Palm Springs, California.

2. From January 9, 2014 until February 28, 2014, at the Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco, California, my paintings were included in a group exhibition along with work by Kathryn Arnold, Henry Jackson, Irena Kononova, Jeremy Morgan, Jeffrey Palladini, Hyun Su Park, Daniel Phill, George Rivera, Jungsan Senim and others. 

3. I was recently interviewed by the Los Angeles Business Journal for an article about the Saatchi Art Gallery. 

4. My painting Mulholland Blue was included in Saatchi Art's "Best of 2013" feature:

5. On Friday, December 13th, 2013 we chased away the demons with an inspiring book reading at Book Soup on Sunset in Hollywood with the presentation of “Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night's Journey into Day”, which includes my essay “Night Painting”. And at Book Passage in Corte Madera on December 18, 2013 at 7 pm we brought the house down with another inspired event. 

This marvelous book, edited by Phil Cousineau, includes an inspiring array of essays and poems: including pieces by Vincent Van Gogh, Walt Whitman, Pico Iyer, Rabandranath Tagore, Mary Oliver, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jorge Borges, William Blake, Mikkel Aaland, Kent Chadwick, Alexander Eliot, Jane Winslow Eliot, Li Po, Antler, Annie Dillard, Charles Bukowski, R B Morris, Willis Barnstone, Bruce Chatwin, James Norwood Pratt, Tess Harper, Stuart Balcomb, Richard Beban, Gregg Chadwick, and more.

More on “Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night's Journey into Day” on NPR's Weekend Edition.

6. Saatchi Art featured my painting Il Poeta di Milano at Dwell on Design, America’s largest design event, at the Los Angeles Convention Center - June 21-23, 2013. The event was curated by the editors of Dwell magazine. 

7. My paintings were showcased in the Sandra Lee Gallery booth at artMRKT San Francisco - an international art fair held May 16-19, 2013 in the Festival Pavilion - Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, California. 

8. I spoke at the “Categorically Not” event on Sunday May 19, 2013 at the Santa Monica Art Studios about my painting process and “what lies beneath” the layers of paint and the layers of ideas that go into each of my works. The event was held in the Arena One Gallery. You can see more on this event at the Categorically Not website. 

9. My painting Study for the City Dreams was in the Silent Art Auction at The 34th anniversary of the Venice Art Walk & Auctions which took place on Sunday, May 19th, 2013 at Google Los Angeles in the Frank Gehry designed Binoculars Building

10. Review by Jeffrey Carlson in Fine Art Connoisseur:

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day

Gregg Chadwick
The Golden Hour
10"x8" oil on panel 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought I would feature a new painting and Bruce Springsteen's haunting version of his song For You to honor lovers across the globe.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Deerhead Diner

by Gregg Chadwick

Gregg Chadwick
24”x36” oil on linen 2014
Like a scene pulled from a Scorsese film or lifted from a Sopranos’ episode, my painting “Deerhead Diner” evokes an American scene of tough guys and two bit joints. Inspired by an actual diner I would visit in Queens near LaGuardia airport, “Deerhead Diner” depicts a timeless yet vanishing world.

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Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Simpsons' Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

by Gregg Chadwick

Beer for Homer at Miyazaki's Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan
photo by Gregg Chadwick

I just love this new clip from Sunday's upcoming Simpsons episode which includes a wonderful and comedic tribute to animator Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The magic that Miyazaki has created resonates globally. Enjoy!

Robot From Castle in the Sky at Ghibli Museum
photo by Gregg Chadwick

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

New Exhibition for the New Year

Gregg Chadwick
l'Horloge de Baudelaire (Baudelaire's Clock) 
40" x 30" oil on linen 2013
courtesy Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, California

Opening on January 9, 2014, from 5:00-7:30pm, at the Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco, California is a new group exhibition which includes my artwork along with work by Kathryn Arnold, Henry Jackson, Irena Kononova, Jeremy Morgan, Jeffrey Palladini, Hyun Su Park, Daniel Phill, George Rivera, Jungsan Senim and others. The exhibition runs until January 31, 2014.

The Sandra Lee Gallery is located at:
 251 Post Street, Suite 310, San Francisco, CA 94108
[t] 415.291.8000

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mulholland Blue in Saatchi Online's Best of 2013

Gregg Chadwick
Mulholland Blue
 24"x30" oil on linen 2013

Honored that my painting Mulholland Blue is included in Saatchi Online's "Best of 2013" feature:

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday at Book Passage in Corte Madera - Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night's Journey Into Day

Night Swim, Kaufmann House
Gregg Chadwick
Night Swim, Kaufmann House
24"x30" oil on linen 2013

Courtesy Sandra Lee Gallery, San Francisco, California

 On Friday, December 13th, we chased away the demons with an inspiring book reading
 at Book Soup on Sunset in Hollywood with the presentation of Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night's Journey into Day, which includes my essay Night Painting. Please join us at Book Passage in Corte Madera on December 18, 2013 at 7 pm for our next event. I will again be reading.

This marvelous book, edited by Phil Cousineau, includes an inspiring array of essays and poems: including pieces by Vincent Van Gogh, Walt Whitman, Pico Iyer, Rabandranath Tagore, Mary Oliver, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Jorge Borges, William Blake, Mikkel Aaland, Kent Chadwick, Alexander Eliot, Jane Winslow Eliot, Li Po, Antler, Annie Dillard, Charles Bukowski, R B Morris, Willis Barnstone, Bruce Chatwin, James Norwood Pratt, Tess Harper, Stuart Balcomb, Richard Beban, Gregg Chadwick, and more.

Phil Cousineau and I will be appearing with special guest Jeff "the Dude" Dowd. 

Yes, that one.

The event is free and open to the public.

More info at:

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Courage to Create at Esalen December 6-8 2013

The Courage to Create


The Painter (il miglior fabbro)
Gregg Chadwick
The Painter (il miglior fabbro)
24"x30" oil on linen 2013

What role does creativity play in our lives? Is it an inner imperative that helps us forge the well-lived life? This workshop at Esalen, situated along California's rugged Big Sur coastline, engages with the notion that creativity is a “battle with the gods” in light of its Latin origins in the word creare, the natural urge “to grow or make order of chaos."
Our point of departure is that creativity is an archetypal journey with recognizable stages, which are especially helpful when we are stuck or lost in our work. For the last thirty years, Phil Cousineau has used his three-stage model — Inspiration, Perspiration, and Realization — as a guide to help writers, artists, and filmmakers to deepen and complete their work. The artist Gregg Chadwick uses his own artwork and anecdotes from his lifelong study of painters to provide an inside look at practices that will help us find a balance between inspiration and the marketplace, traditional notions of beauty with daring acts of innovation, and personal discipline with the importance of building community. Together, they will alternate lecture, discussion, movie clips, slide shows, readings, and exercises that encourage cross-fertilization between the visual arts and the written word.
This workshop is designed for creative souls in every field who hope to rekindle their imagination and passion, and renew their sense of joy.
Recommended reading: Cousineau, Stoking the Creative Fires and The Art of Pilgrimage; Cousineau and Chadwick, The Painted Word.
Die Kathedrale Der Bücher (The Cathedral of Books)
Gregg Chadwick
Die Kathedrale Der Bücher (The Cathedral of Books)              
36"x48" oil on linen 2013

Phil Cousineau

Phil Cousineau
Phil Cousineau is a freelance writer, filmmaker, teacher, and youth baseball coach. He has published more than 30 books, including the bestselling The Hero's Journey: The Life and Work of Joseph Campbell. He has written award-winning documentary films, and is the host of "Global Spirit," a nationally broadcast series on LINK TV and PBS.

Gregg Chadwick

Gregg Chadwick creates his artwork in an old airplane hangar in Santa Monica, California. The recurring sound of airplane take-offs and landings from the active airport runway outside his studio reminds him of his own history of travel. Chadwick has exhibited his artworks in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally. He earned a Bachelor's Degree at UCLA and a Master’s Degree at NYU, both in Fine Art. He has had notable solo exhibitions at the Manifesta Maastricht Gallery (Maastricht, The Netherlands), Space AD 2000 (Tokyo, Japan), the Sandra Lee Gallery (San Francisco), and the Lisa Coscino Gallery (Pacific Grove) among others. He has participated in nearly one hundred group exhibitions including at the di Rosa Preserve's Off the Preserve (Sonoma), the San Francisco Art Institute, the Sonoma Museum of Visual Art, the Monterey Art Museum, the LOOK Gallery (Los Angeles), the Arena 1 Gallery (Santa Monica), and the Arts Club of Washington (Washington DC). Chadwick’s art is notably included in the collections of the Adobe Corporation, the Gilpin Museum, the Graciela Hotel in Burbank, the Harbor Court Hotel in San Francisco; the Kimpton Group’s headquarters in San Francisco, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Nordstrom Company Headquarters, the W Hotel Hollywood, and Winona State University.

Chadwick is frequently invited to lecture on the arts; in 2011-13 he spoke at UCLA, Monterey Peninsula College, the Esalen Institute, and at the World Views forum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands as well as at Categorically Not, a monthly forum that considers the arts and science, in May 2013.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

High Hopes

 Bruce Springsteen On His New Album High Hopes:

I was working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade when Tom Morello (sitting in for Steve during the Australian leg of our tour) suggested we ought to add “High Hopes” to our live set.  I had cut “High Hopes,” a song by Tim Scott McConnell of the LA based Havalinas, in the 90′s.  We worked it up in our Aussie rehearsals and Tom then proceeded to burn the house down with it.  We re-cut it mid tour at Studios 301 in Sydney along with “Just Like Fire Would,” a song from one of my favorite early Australian punk bands, The Saints (check out “I’m Stranded”).  Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level.  Thanks for the inspiration Tom.
Some of these songs, “American Skin” and “Ghost of Tom Joad,” you’ll be familiar with from our live versions.  I felt they were among the best of my writing and deserved a proper studio recording. 

 ”The Wall” is something I’d played on stage a few times and remains very close to my heart.  The title and idea were Joe Grushecky’s, then the song appeared after Patti and I made a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.  It was inspired by my memories of Walter Cichon.  Walter was one of the great early Jersey Shore rockers, who along with his brother Ray (one of my early guitar mentors) led the ”Motifs”.  The Motifs were a local rock band who were always a head above everybody else.  Raw, sexy and rebellious, they were the heroes you aspired to be.  But these were heroes you could touch, speak to, and go to with your musical inquiries.  Cool, but always accessible, they were an inspiration to me, and many young working musicians in 1960′s central New Jersey.   Though my character in “The Wall” is a Marine, Walter was actually in the Army, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry.  He was the first person I ever stood in the presence of who was filled with the mystique of the true rock star.  Walter went missing in action in Vietnam in March 1968.  He still performs somewhat regularly in my mind, the way he stood, dressed, held the tambourine, the casual cool, the freeness. The man who by his attitude, his walk said “you can defy all this, all of what’s here, all of what you’ve been taught, taught to fear, to love and you’ll still be alright.”  His was a terrible loss to us, his loved ones and the local music scene.  I still miss him.
This is music I always felt needed to be released.  From the gangsters of “Harry’s Place,” the ill-prepared roomies on “Frankie Fell In Love” (shades of Steve and I bumming together in our Asbury Park apartment) the travelers in the wasteland of “Hunter Of Invisible Game,” to the soldier and his visiting friend in “The Wall”, I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing.
Hope you enjoy it,
Bruce Springsteen

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Meet the De Blasios, New York City's New First Family

Meet the De Blasios, New York City's new first family:  

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Orpheus and Eurydice in the 21st Century: R.B. Kitaj, Rilke and Arcade Fire (Part 1)

by Gregg Chadwick

Last night the L.A. Louver Gallery held a rousing discussion: R.B. Kitaj's Life & Passion, with Tracy Bartley (director of the R.B. Kitaj studio), Derek Boshier (artist), David N. Myers (professor and chair of the UCLA History Department), and Paul Holdengräber (curator, instigator and Director/Founder of LIVE from the New York Public Library).

Orpheus and Eurydice
 15 9/16" x 20 7/8" oil on wood ca. 1508–12
Accademia Carrara, Bergamo

photo courtesy Metropolitan Museum, New York

As I listened to the conversation, I scanned the room full of many of Kitaj's last paintings and was struck by the realization that in these artworks Kitaj was attempting to bring his deceased wife Sandra  back from death - Kitaj as the poet/artist incarnation of the mythic Orpheus would bring Sandra (his Eurydice, taken too soon) back from the underworld. These vibrant paintings were not just a testament to their passion but instead an almost alchemical journey into the mystery and abyss of life, loss, and love. 

In the myth, Orpheus travels to the underworld to win back the life of Eurydice, who was bitten by a serpent (seen above in the left vignette of Titian's painting from the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, Italy) and died shortly after the two wed. Orpheus plays music of such beauty for Hades, master of the underworld, that he allows Eurydice to return to Earth with Orpheus.  But with the strict condition that Orpheus walk in front of Eurydice and never look back during their journey from the depths. Overcome by an anxious fear, Orpheus breaks his discipline and turns to look back at his reborn Eurydice only to cause her to vanish forever. 

Los Angeles No. 27 (Go Down)

 36" x 36" oil on canvas 2003–4
photo courtesy L.A. Louver Gallery

When I reached home, Reflektor - the new album from Arcade Fire, was already downloading onto my computer. The songs on this album also engage with the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. 

Auguste Rodin’s marble statue of Orpheus and Eurydice, from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, graces Reflektor's album cover.  This image portrays the essential kernel of the myth, the mytheme of not looking back, which is also reflected in the Biblical story of Lot's wife escaping from Sodom and the Grimms' folk tale Hansel and Gretel.

Gregg Chadwick
Mulholland Blue
24"x30" oil on linen 2013

(Currently curated by Director Rebecca Wilson on Saatchi Online into featured collection)

My new painting Mulholland Blue also engages with the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. In my work, an Orpheus-like character in the foreground vanishes as a green dressed Eurydice figure slips into the distance. The distant lights of the city glisten in the night air. Does she stand for a moment to view the world she will never return to? Or is our 21st century urbanity the underworld?

In upcoming posts I will consider these questions as well as diving much more deeply into R.B. Kitaj, Rilke, and Arcade Fire. Next up in Part 2: Rilke Releases Eurydice. 

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