Alan Gorman Connects Digital Highway with Modern Art
Part traditional abstract artist, part hi-tech Ipad visionary, Montclair’s own Alan Gorman is genuinely visionary in his latest and captivating works, many to be featured in local exhibitions in New York and New Jersey.
Gorman, who said he discovered his avocation in the third grade, hit the ground running as a wide-eyed young artist and has kept on evolving ever since.
“I was the middle child of 3 boys, and my brothers were always ragging on me,” he said, smiling. “I wanted to define myself, so I took a piece of looseleaf paper and folded it into 12 squares, each one with a little picture in it. One teacher really loved it, and she brought it around to all the classes at PS 134 in Brooklyn. Everybody liked it and it helped define me.”
Gorman grew enamored of creating abstract paintings after years of using his artistic talents in graphic arts and advertising. And, like the world of television’s hit show ‘Mad Men’, this artist grew inspired in the commerical art world during its heady, sexy early days when television and ads were both cutting edge.
“In the early sixites, I was running around with a bad crowd,” he said. “My advisor, Mrs. DiBella, saw I had some talent, and loaded me up with art classes. She also had a career in commerical art before she became a teacher, and she exposed us to this world. I was good at it - and advertising was exciting back in those days.”
But what truly hooked Gorman was his failed attempts at drawing models in an art class in 1981.
“I had no affinty for drawing models,” Gorman said. “I saw a movie still in a P.J. Clarkes from the movie ‘Husbands’ with all the guys standing around a pool flexing their musles.
I did a painting from that photograph.”
Looking at Gorman’s current paintings, this film noire influence is still evident. One painting shows a striking close up of a truck’s side view mirror, and the effect looks almost photographic in its rich detail.
Now, his latest series is nostalgic in a digital way, with close ups of trucks and shots of highway bridges that echo, a la Jack Kerouac, a truly Americana life on the road.
Another painting in this series called ‘Zim’, perhaps his most powerful, is a colorful, detailed oil painting lush with reds and gold, showing a range of license plates and truck logos.
Lots of art nowadays is abstract, but Gorman took a visionary leap with his use of the hottest go-tool for linked in folks everywhere.
In spite of his being from a generation where print was the God of advertising, Gorman has embraced new technology in surprising ways. His newest works, soft splashes of color that evoke movement, were all done on Ipads.
“I bought an Ipad when they first came out,” he said. “I thought it would be a great portfolio presentation tool. But I started doing fingerpaintings, and realized I could develop a new art form. To show them, I import them to a special program, and print them in big blow-up images on water color paper.”
The results, as you can see in the photographs, is a highly saturated and dynamic new form of art that is filled with rich, deep hues.
May 25 - June 18, 2011
210 Eleventh Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Upcoming exhibition:Perkins Art Center
Aljira Center for Contemporary Arts in Newark (juried art show)