Thursday, April 21, 2005

Whispers of Siam

by Gregg Chadwick

Gregg Chadwick
"Poem of the River"
36"x29" oil on linen 2005

Julie Weiss, who designed the costumes for the films Frida, American Beauty and Twelve Monkeys, recently stepped into my studio to view my new paintings. She was struck by the garments of remembrance that ran across the wall: saffron robed monks, a trio of women in kimonos, a boy in blue running across an open beach. Julie Weiss said, “ The paintings all together are like a ribbon across time and experience. We are following these monks on their journey. We see with their eyes as they pass by storefronts and streets. We are with them in fate, chance and accident.”

This ribbon began a few years ago in Thailand during a journey with my father. He was acting as a visiting lawyer involved in issues of justice and human rights. I would scurry out at dawn to wander the alleys of Chiang Mai and would catch the monks on their small morning pilgrimages. The morning of my last day was especially luminous. The light was almost incandescent and the blur of movement seemed to create paintings for me. I just needed to pay attention. To really see. I spent the time on the short flight to Bangkok watching a film in my mind of saffron robes glowing in the morning mist. As I waited for my connecting flight to San Francisco I caught a new clip on the television monitor. As the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center I longed for home and my son and knew that my artistic pilgrimage was just beginning. My new paintings are inspired by the whispers of Siam that I carry with me from that day. The saffron robed monks in my work are direct echoes of that experience. For me these monks are spiritual pilgrims that lead us away from the destruction and waste of violence, racism and hatred.

A selection of new paintings will be on exhibit from May 6 – June 9, 2005 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
Art Rental & Sales Gallery
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Reception for the artist
Friday, May 6th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Leo S. Bing Center, Lower Level at LACMA

Gallery hours:
11am - 4 pm: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Closed Sunday, Monday and Wednesday

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