My friend the artist Scott Noel just recently took down his magnificent show of still lives, cityscapes, portraits, and nudes from the Gross McCleaf Gallery. It was a very ambitious exhibition, including some monumentally sized paintings. Expanding the Convention Center measures 72″ by 148″. Winter to Spring on the Parkway is 80″ by 264″. But it is not just the scale that marks the ambition of these works. The painterly quality and the mythic overtones that Scott so lovingly creates set him in the highest rank of contemporary realist artists. He truly is a poet who happens to work with paint.
Scott is a very articulate professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He talked to me at length and in this film he reveals his ideas about painting, mythology, eroticism, and the beauty of the world.
Scott Noel, Master of Realist Painting
Most of my videos are about visual artists but through the influence of my partner Nancy I have developed a real love for jazz. I recently made a movie about a fundraiser at the Rosenfeld Gallery for a group in Germantown called Neighbohood Interfaith Movement NIM. At this fund raiser, three great artists, who happen to be African American, were present. The art on the walls was by the wonderful Earl “E.B.” Lewis. But there was an amazing live performance that night as well.
Sonia Sanchez, Philadelphia’s poet laureate, reads a moving poem about encountering her brother, who came to New York at 17 in a green suit. Accompanying her is Philadelphia jazz legend Odean Pope who plays Round Midnight on his tenor sax.
The sound setup was not ideal, Sonia’s voice , in my opinion, should have been amplified, but I think you will hear well enough this powerful poem. And no one can top Odean Pope for soulful saxaphone!