New art gallery shows open almost every week in this town. They’re everywhere, from midtown to Chelsea to Tribeca to SoHo to Brooklyn. Some of them are worth seeing, others not so much. But I am particularly excited for the show about to open next week at the Alex Adam Gallery in Harlem.
Just the show’s theme is something wonderfully different. It’s called “Artists and Monitors – Showcasing work of three of New York’s most extraordinary contemporary figurative artists, and the painters who are and have been privileged to be their assistants.” How great is that? As a model, I can tell you firsthand that art class monitors are invaluable to the teachers. Not only do they attend to practical details, like studio setups and pose timing, but they forge a special bond with the instructors, often developing a mentor/protege relationship. Monitors work incredibly hard both at keeping the class running smoothly and at perfecting their own art. They take on a lot of responsibility, and that’s why the premise of this Artists and Monitors show is a well-deserved recognition for these gifted assistants.
The three featured New York artists are Sharon Sprung, Mary Beth McKenzie, and Costa Vavagiakis. I have worked with all of them. I’m also honored to know and have posed for, almost all of the featured monitors. But it is Janet Cook, monitor for Sharon Sprung, talented artist, and very dear friend of mine, with whom I am closest and have worked for privately for well over a year. Janet has the soul of a surrealist, one of the many things I love about her. Her artistic vision is consistently ambitious, imaginative, and original. From a model’s standpoint, those qualities make her an inspiring – and challenging – artist to pose for. I’ve learned a lot from Janet, I hope she knows that. Working with her has been one of the most rewarding of all my art modeling experiences.
Janet and I have collaborated on a few paintings and one of them, much to our delight, will be exhibited among the many terrific works in the upcoming Alex Adam Gallery show. Yay! And here it is. By Janet Cook, this is The Light on the Dark Side of Me. It’s 48″ x 48″, oil on panel, and the model is, of course, yours truly 🙂