My goal for this art blog is to not only introduce you to and update you on my own artwork but to expose you to other creatives out there so we can all share our work and artistic experiences. So, for the 2nd time this year, I’d like to share another artist friend’s work and words with you. I’ve known painter, designer and gallery owner NICK ROSAL for many years…way back to those mystical times known as the 80’s when we both worked for the corporate gallery machine in Woodbridge Center Mall in NJ! Now we’re both professional artists and we’ve learned from the many art and non art related jobs we have had which, good or bad, lead to our own creative development. To share his story, here’s what Nick has to say about his career…
MY AD CAMPAINTING
by Nick Rosal
Art is self defined. Artists will define it differently from the audience due to the separate experiences of artists pushing their own creative boundaries and the audiences’ personal experiences and interaction of their own arts culture. Because of this, I believe the definition of art has a life of its own as it gets realized, redefined and debated. But in my definition of art, communicating a concept is paramount. Without that articulation, the painting (or whatever chosen medium) becomes a simple exercise of color and form for me. It was the commercial art field I left that helped me focus on communicating my concepts; to help me communicate with my audience.
My original major at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn was graphic design and advertising. In my third year of art school I started working in a small design agency in NYC and decided, after a year of working in my trade, that I hated it and left. I didn’t even finish art school. At the time, I had found the “creative process suffocating”, the concept of “focusing on your target market” akin to having blinders on and had a problem with art directors (aka authority). I blame it on youth.
However, my learned theories of communicating to the audience through advertising design influenced not only my imagery, but my approach to the audience with a narrative. Not only was I using symbolism in my figure paintings to tell my story, I was starting to use typography, collage and graphic elements in my painting as well. I actually learned something from art school! In my painting titled “Inventory”, (oil on canvas 40″x55″ © 2014) the chrysanthemums were purposely chosen to symbolize the figure’s relationships; even the color of the flowers, drapery and position of the figure are all intentionally placed to subtly communicate the story. In “Get Rid of Old Friends Acquire New Enemies” (mixed media on canvas 20″ x 48″ © 2010) I used newspaper clippings of the U.S. involvement with Afghanistan and juxtaposed them with gaming ads to create commentary on violence in role playing and the real world. Both images are my efforts to communicate my feelings on personal and social issues.
I continued to use imagery to comment on social observations when I had the luxury of owning a gallery space in NYC by inviting artists to address the themes I presented to them. Because MH Art & Framing was primarily custom framing and art services with a large gallery space, I wasn’t forced to find a niche market like other galleries that focused on their specializations. I had the freedom to create a dialogue with my audience again, but not just with my paintings, but with other artists that could successfully articulate the motif of the exhibits. My canvas was now the gallery walls covered with a mosaic of eclectic images from individual artists with their own definitions of art. All of these independent visuals invariably became a point of convergence in the exhibit’s theme.
It’s with the disciplines learned from a parallel profession early in my art career, that I created a dialogue with the viewer. With the benefit of that early experience in advertising, I continued to hone not only my fine art painting techniques, but the ability to share and communicate my observations, beliefs, tales and mythologies to the audience.
You can see the work of Nick Rosal at http://nicholasrosal.com/. The two images are described at length here (http://nicholasrosal.blogspot.com/2010/10/get-rid-of-old-friends-and-acquire-new.html) and here (http://nicholasrosal.blogspot.com/2014/01/inventory.html)