Illustration has been a driving force of artistic expression in human culture since the earliest identified images applied to cave walls by pre-literate man some 30,000 years ago in Lascaux, France. The explosion of public appreciation for this skill through the act of painting on a canvas as a form of expression of symbolism or beauty for its own sake was a gift of the light of the Renaissance and has not waned since. We continue to this day to enjoy a plethora of talented artists the world over that create a singular image through applied pigments that move us and increase immeasurably our quality of life and interpretation of the world around us.
We have in our local midst in Wisconsin a world class interpreter of the art of portrait and landscape in Dan Gerhartz . Dan was born and lives in Kewaskum, Wisconsin. His skill set for painting is innate but received additional instruction at the American Academy of Arts in Chicago, Illinois. His portraits are, in particular, studies immersed in multiple references of artistic inspiration. To my mind the intense and intimate expression of the portraited individual reminds one of the impressionistic stylings of John Singer Sargent, but the presentation a myraid of influences – the geometric orientation of the grecian urn, the organic interaction of subject ,color, and place reflective of Klimt and the Art Nouveau, the composition of timelessness and curvilinear classic beauty art Deco, the multi-layered splash of intense colors reminescent of Russian Impressionists, and the underlying religious symbolism evocative of the 19th century Spanish Neo-classicists. It all blends into a image of great beauty and inspiration that says Dan Gerhartz.
Dan has just begun his journey through the artform of painting but it is obvious to the art world that he has much to contribute. His paintings have won major national awards, and his works are hanging in many prestigious galleries across the nation and internationally – including mine. You too, can be so lucky.