ART AND THE MAN: I recovered enough from my strep throat smackdown to go back to work yesterday, although I would have probably crawled to the assignment I'd given myself even if I wasn't back up to healthy speed. I had the pleasure (again) to watch artist Sal Brownfield at work in his cavernous Cabbagetown studio. Sal is working on a series of 20 paintings of men and women who have survived breast cancer. The work will debut at Galerie Timothy Tew in October and then be on view at the Susan Koman Pink Tie Ball. There are no adjectives strong enough to describe the power of these paintings and the genius behind them.

I met Sal last year by way of Cecilia Woloch by way of her good friend Eve Hoffman. When I met Sal, he had completed only two of the works and they were on display in Eve's library. They were remarkable. Now a year later, 16 canvases are complete and four more are in the works as Sal races to finish the full series. The portraits (some of very well known Atlantans) are visceral in there directness. One woman is posed, relaxing in a chair, shirt off, displaying a nippleless flat chest...the results of radical double mastectomy. Another woman, her head demurely turned away, displaying her remaining healthy breast. And still another, topless, showing off her reconstructed right breast, her two daughters by her side. The portraits are both abstract and intimately detailed. The calm subjects are surrounded by a chaos that looks like shattered stained glass. All I can say is that once this exhibition opens at Timothy Tew...get down there immediately. You will be hushed into awe. Once that passes, discuss. Breast cancer is still one of those subjects that doesn't get enough attention. Like AIDS, if we are ever going to find a cure, we have to bring the best and worst of the disease into the light.

Thanks Sal and Eve (and my photographer LeAnn) for a brilliant afternoon. It was an amazing way to come back to work.


BLUE said…
who are you foolin'? your body may be down and out (just for a minute), but that brain keeps a-whirlin' ... coming from a family who has had this battle (breast and other disfiguring cancers), i am excited about seeing this work. light! ~BLUE
Anonymous said…
Beautiful words.


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