Friday, October 15
I went to see the Bo Bartlett show at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. I was surprised to see students copying the pieces for a class assignment. Somehow that seemed to my mind to be an honor accorded only to old, dead masters, and this artist is relatively young and definitely alive. But why not?
It was an odd day. I was actually at the Academy to be interviewed by a journalist about my own show at the Academy, a more modest affair of eight pieces and a pinned up statement, in the school library. We'd had a fun interview and she then invited me to join her in visiting the Bartlett show. So we went, and it certainly was impressive! I tried not to make the very obvious comparisons between my own little fledgling Academy show, and this major Blockbuster retrospective, but I did keep thinking "Oh, man." One of my painter friends had been talking about the show before I had seen it saying,"Bo is like the 800 pound Gorilla of contemporary realist painting. You see the work and say "I surrender"". Or else, "Please pass the bananas"!