Artists explain choices at Benton exhibit
Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 00:10
This Wednesday at 1:15 p.m., the Benton Museum hosted artists Judith Thorpe and Ray DiCapula at their well-attended event “Talk With the Artist.”
Both guests showcased their work during the lecture and explained to their audience their inspirations and artistic processes. Judith Thorpe, a photographer, showed a series of photos from her collection entitled “The Body Remembered,” while Ray DiCapula presented a charcoal drawing called “Mother’s Hands”.
Ray Dicapula has a thriving art career. Besides his current position as Associate Head of Sculpture at UConn, Dicapula’s charcoal portrait of his wife entitled “Marie” is currently being shown at The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. His resume includes exhibits in Richmond Center for the Visual Arts at Western Michigan University and the University of Mary Washington.
At “Talk With the Artist” on Wednesday, DiCapula showed his work “Mother’s Hands” while explaining his artistic process to those in attendance. “Mother’s Hands” is a mesmerizing charcoal drawing that depicts two open hands with their palms facing outward. The wrinkles and imperfections in the hands create a network of lines that are breathtaking in their totality and deeply emotional in their detail. Dicapula’s own explanation behind his piece is hung on the museum wall next to his work.
“In any moment of experience,” the placard reads, “there exists a profoundly complex weave of that which is personal (internal) and that which is structural (external). As I build the drawing, I am aware that I play the role of interpreter and that the images I structure are reflections the narrative of which I view and the way in which I construct meaning.”
Dicapula revealed to his audience that he is deeply intrigued by the way in which an artist can lose him or herself in their art, and how interfering thoughts during the creation of a piece can affect the way in which the artist draws. DiCapula also explained his artistic choices, such as why he did not put “Mother’s Hands” in a frame. He explained his belief that the glass creates a separation between the art and its viewer.
Judith Thorpe is a professor of photography in the art and art history department at UConn, and also holds the title of MFA Program Director. Well regarded in the world of photography, Thorpe has had many exhibits across America as well as internationally. Some places where she has been shown include New Britain Museum of American Art in New Delhi, India and the Atlanta High Museum of Art.
At this Wednesday’s event, Thorpe showed a series of photos from her collection “A Body Remembered.” Each image depicts Thorpe posing with a white sheet and a grey background. Thorpe’s poses were both emotional in nature, yet very open in presentation. The lack of color allowed the viewer space for interpretation and Thorpe was easily able to describe her connections between herself, her history, and her art. In her own written explanation of the work, Thorpe includes her ideas and inspirations regarding the piece.
“My creative work considers the representation of the female body, exploring the tension between the idolized and the real… In these images the body is shrouded or obscured, reflecting upon the inner self.”