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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

Gary Kret

Gary Kret

Artist Work

Hades Cape
2016
Acrylic On Canvas
32"x64"
Still Life with Blue Table Cloth
2016
Acrylic On Canvas
34" x 55"
Still Life with Golden Fleece
2016
Acrylic On Canvas
32" x 64"
Morning Breakfast
2016
Acrylic On Canvas
34" x 55"
Tueasday's Breakfast
2016
Acrylic On Canvas
34" x 55"
Dead Flowers Series Tulips
2016
Acrylic On Canvas
34" x 55"

Artist Information

County
Montgomery County
Phone
301-751-1096
Artistic Category

Visual Arts

Artist Statement

The stimulus for these paintings came about because of my wife’s predilection for fresh seasonal pomegranates at breakfast, She would typically cut the pomegranate in half to expose the seeds, then tear the halves apart, take the seeds she wanted to eat, and leave the remainder on the cutting board for another day. The remaining sections of the fruit would whither in the refrigerator while the seeds remained fresh giving those sections interesting forms and combinations that could use in paintings. I had always believed that the seeds were called the tears of Persephone. In the various versions of the myth I’ve read there is no reference to the pomegranate seeds as the tears of Persephone. Although I do like the idea of it. One of the best versions is found in - The Greek Myths, by Robin Waterfield. Hades tempted Persephone with various foods while she was his captive. Knowing that if she ate anything while in the underworld she would never be able to leave. When rescued by Demeter (her mother), she was asked if she had taken any food and revealed that she had eaten several pomegranate seeds. As a consequence, Persephone returns to the underworld (and Hades) for a period of time corresponding to the number of seeds she ate. While she is confined in the underworld, unable to return to her mother, the world above experiences winter as a result of Demeter’s anguish and grief. The myth subsequently became a source and an influence for these works. Demeter is the mother, the vessel of life. The provider of sustenance. And Persephone is the desirable young women. Both are represented in the works by a pink ceramic vase and a green ceramic compote like vase that I have had in my studio for several years. (See Figure 1). The pink vase is very feminine and has all the connotations of a young woman. The green compote/vase is more matronly more ornate. I liked the symbolism these objects could generate and they became subjects for the still life's I've painted currently and for the past several years. I have always been interested in the way simple forms can evoke interesting, complex relationships and meanings, allowing me the ability to produce multiple layers of associations and references in my work. In these works I intend for the compositions to be straightforward and the color to be minimal in some cases and more direct/challenging in others. When I begin to work, I have already decided on the composition through the execution of several preliminary drawings. The composition are redrawn onto the canvas with either charcoal or ink. In the gray paintings, I limit my color palette to the grays produced by Golden Acrylic Paint, including black and whites. In the color paintings, I have a general idea of a direction with color, but it takes some work to find the best combinations. I work directly from the paint jar, only varying the color through glazes and other painting techniques. What I most enjoy when working in the studio is discovery through accidents as it provides so much opportunity to capture a moment of thought/realization that can lead to another direction in the work or to altogether new works. The stimulus for these paintings came about because of my wife’s predilection for fresh seasonal pomegranates at breakfast, She would typically cut the pomegranate in half to expose the seeds, then tear the halves apart, take the seeds she wanted to eat, and leave the remainder on the cutting board for another day. The remaining sections of the fruit would whither in the refrigerator while the seeds remained fresh giving those sections interesting forms and combinations that could use in paintings. I had always believed that the seeds were called the tears of Persephone. In the various versions of the myth I’ve read there is no reference to the pomegranate seeds as the tears of Persephone. Although I do like the idea of it. One of the best versions is found in - The Greek Myths, by Robin Waterfield. Hades tempted Persephone with various foods while she was his captive. Knowing that if she ate anything while in the underworld she would never be able to leave. When rescued by Demeter (her mother), she was asked if she had taken any food and revealed that she had eaten several pomegranate seeds. As a consequence, Persephone returns to the underworld (and Hades) for a period of time corresponding to the number of seeds she ate. While she is confined in the underworld, unable to return to her mother, the world above experiences winter as a result of Demeter’s anguish and grief. The myth subsequently became a source and an influence for these works. Demeter is the mother, the vessel of life. The provider of sustenance. And Persephone is the desirable young women. Both are represented in the works by a pink ceramic vase and a green ceramic compote like vase that I have had in my studio for several years. (See Figure 1). The pink vase is very feminine and has all the connotations of a young woman. The green compote/vase is more matronly more ornate. I liked the symbolism these objects could generate and they became subjects for the still life's I've painted currently and for the past several years. I have always been interested in the way simple forms can evoke interesting, complex relationships and meanings, allowing me the ability to produce multiple layers of associations and references in my work. In these works I intend for the compositions to be straightforward and the color to be minimal in some cases and more direct/challenging in others. When I begin to work, I have already decided on the composition through the execution of several preliminary drawings. The composition are redrawn onto the canvas with either charcoal or ink. In the gray paintings, I limit my color palette to the grays produced by Golden Acrylic Paint, including black and whites. In the color paintings, I have a general idea of a direction with color, but it takes some work to find the best combinations. I work directly from the paint jar, only varying the color through glazes and other painting techniques. What I most enjoy when working in the studio is discovery through accidents as it provides so much opportunity to capture a moment of thought/realization that can lead to another direction in the work or to altogether new works.

Artist Bio

I was born in 1953 and grew up in Wyandotte, Michigan just 14 miles south of Detroit. In 1975 I graduated from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan with a BFA and in 1978 graduated from Yale University School of Art with an MFA. I showed sporadically in regional juried exhibitions in the 1990’s. I have worked in the real estate industry for the past 37 years, all while still producing art works. I am now at the end of my business profession and can fully focus on my work.
I currently live and work in Chevy Chase, Maryland.