Tuesday, 23 February 2016

CHRIST OF THE ARM - finding the Lord at Outdoor Adventure Show

from social media posting(s)


Press photo of Erin Whitley.
She is the Group Sales and Marketing Director for Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas in Nassau.

Iconic sculpture the inspiration for model's ink


I did a photo feature with the Discovery Channel about the underwater Christ of the Abyss sculpture. They used online  a number of pictures I had taken of Him while on a photo shoot in the Keys with Olympus Camera. Christ of the Abyss is a bronzed statue that is underwater in the John Pennekamp Underwater Park near Key Largo - it is probably the most popular dive/snorkel site in America.

Christ of the Abyss. John Pennekamp Underwater Park in the Florida Keys.
Photo by Stephen Weir
 

The bronze statue was sculpted by Guido Galletti, in 1954. The original is underwater off the coast of Italy. A second casting of the statue is underwater near Key Largo -- it is the most popular snorkel / dive site in the Florida Keys. There is an above water casting of Christ of The Abyss in the Grenada which I photographed 10 years ago.


Didn't know about Erin Whitley or her inked Christ of the Abyss back then. Pity. Erin is a diver, personal trainer, a sales rep for Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas, a fitness and tattoo model and a woman who wears her passion for Christ of the Abyss on her sleeve. 

Erin was representing Stuart Cove's Bahamas operation at the Outdoor Adventure Travel show in Toronto on the weekend. We were talking about Christ of the Abyss when she showed me her tattoo. "It is still a work in progress," she said. "The shark has to be completed and there is more colouring on the way."

Shark. turtle. Snorkeller and Christ of the Abyss.
The arm of Erin Whitley is a work in progress.
Photo by 
Stephen Weir
Her tattoos take a long-time to be inked. She expects that the next time I see her Christ of the Abyss will be completed. Pictured is Erin's tattoo, a Dive Wire photo of Erin and a picture of mine of the statue used by Discovery.

A Youtube version of the Discovery Channel's story of my photos of the statue can be seen at:


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Windsor's famous son, John Scott is featured at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.




.

The Sci-Fi Visions Of Canadian Artist John Scott






I met artist John Scott back in Windsor in the late 60s, long before he started painting bunny ears on boxer Mike Tyson and a sci-fi wheelchair for a long-forgotten pope! It was my first year being on-air at the Windsor U radio station and it was an era of profound change in Canada's Motor City.

Back then Scott was a young street artist. He was also a factory worker (he had dropped out of school before he finished Grade 10) and a union activist.
It was a good time and a good place for him to be. Anyone young and living in Windsor in that decade, John Scott included, was politically aware and ready to take to the streets to support the cause of the week.
He had a ringside seat for the burning of an American city during the Detroit Riots. There were the anti-nuke protests that brought us all out to shut down the Ambassador Bridge -- industry's causeway into the U.S. The anti-war movement was in overdrive, fuelled by an army of American draft dodgers who sought asylum. It was interesting times that had a strong impact on all of us -- none more so than John Scott.
His art was born out of the anti-war movement. Scott was one of this country's first anti-establishment painters who was impacted by the Cold War and the raging war in Vietnam. He wasn't supported in his art by government grants and largess from deep gallery pockets; instead, he got by working in a chemical factory by day and painting his black and white cartoonish canvasses at night.
In the 70s Scott was in Toronto attending what is now the Ontario College of Art (where he currently works). By the 80s his art had been elevated from the street level to the rarefied world of public galleries and high-end galleries. He earned a Governor General's Award in 2000, and many of his large, science-fiction driven paintings were being sold before the paint even dried on the canvas.
"Scott's bold and rough graphic drawings are characteristically crude, often made with the cheapest materials at hand. One of his working methods was to repeatedly soak paper in solvent and develop an image by grinding-in dark pigments, thick black paint, graphite and charcoal," says the Federal National Gallery.
Scott's work is part of the National Gallery's permanent collection. "Scott has depicted dark warplanes hovering over destroyed landscapes devoid of human presence. He has also drawn rabbit-like figures to stand in for the anxiety-ridden human being, the harassed victim of the technological threat and militaristic oppression. Heavy dark lines record an impending sense of tragedy and terror."
Health issues and substance abuse problems kept him out of the public eye early in the century. Scott has overcome those issues and is now seeing his work exhibited at public galleries across across North America.
I met up with John Scott last fall at a downtown Toronto gallery as he prepared for a comeback exhibition. It was a triumph success where some of the city's top rock 'n' rollers snapped up his $40,000 paintings.
2016-02-12-1455287665-2077364-53522InnocentPope227x350.jpg
Innocent Pope by John Scott
Forty years almost to the day I first interviewed him, Scott talked on camera to me about the influence Windsor has had on his art. He also explained to me how his vision of Pope Innocent X is deeply entwined with Doctor X of the X-Men comics and Irish painter Francis Bacon's paintings of the pope.
Scott talked to me about his paintings of Mike Tyson, complete with bunny ears and the pope in his X-Men wheelchair on YouTube. Filmed and produced by Canada Art Channel's George Socka, the two Toronto interviews can be found here and herePRESS THE WORD HERE TO SEE VIDEO. TWO DIFFERENT VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH THE ARTIST.
John Scott's art is currently on display in a touring exhibition that has crossed Canada and the United States. The first half of the show just closed at the McMaster University Gallery in Hamilton. Part Two opened earlier this week across town at theArt Gallery of Hamilton.
The exhibition, curated by Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College, Iowa, has its official launch on February 20 in downtown Hamilton, it runs until May 15, 2016.
Fearful Symmetry includes 28 works on paper in a vast installation in the AGH's largest rooms reserved for contemporary art exhibitions.
2016-02-12-1455287892-4062469-johnscottfearfulsymmetrybg.jpg
The AGH describe the work of Scott as being driven by his "imagination (that) has been fed by science fiction, the Space Age and Motor City (Windsor) manufacturing might and blight. Sympathy for the worker as a human tool in the global industrial complex pervades what some have called his apocalyptic vision.