Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Erector Square: Peter Konsterlie

City-Wide Open Studios
50 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Erector Square: Peter Konsterlie
Oct. 15, 2006.

Peter Konsterlie has a background in theater design. This biographical fact arose in a discussion over a large acrylic portrait he was displaying in his studio. In theater design, it's important for set pieces to be readable to the last seat in the hall. Well, the minute I turned and looked through Konsterlie's doorway I recognized the visage of actor Robert Duvall in the eye-popping painting "Charlie Don't Surf" (a reference, of course, to Duvall's role in Apocalypse Now).

Konsterlie had spent a number of years laboring in the fields of pure abstraction. But like many of the artists I spoke to any Sunday, he felt the tug of change and set out to "try and rediscover how to do portraits."

"I wanted to make paintings that either told a story or were recognizable," Konsterlie told me.

In doing so, though, he didn't leave behind the unbuttoned approach to paint he had developed in his non-objective work. The Duvall painting is a tour-de-force of dripped and spattered paint. He told me he "celebrates" the way the color pops.

And the virtue of a painting like "Charlie Don't Surf" is that it delivers on two levels. Stand back and it's a dead-on interpretation of the actor's features. Approach the work and you can see it in a completely different way, appreciating the free-wheeling color abstraction.

"It's fun. As an artist, you can make your own rules and break them," said Konsterlie.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:15 AM


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