Jan 2017 ISSUE / selected editorials
Hard copy distribution begins January 2017
|B. Gilmore / Nomadic Seasons - Rouge Farmer|
Barton L. Gilmore
This triptych, Nomadic Seasons, Rouge Farmer, was inspired by my late grandfather who was a farmer in northern Illinois, utilizing antiquated equipment and materials with improvisation, despite an agricultural industry migrating to modernization methods. The conversion cost to newer technologies was justification for him to continue as is. However, the agricultural community became increasingly static, like a windless weather vane, ushering in an indifferent and distant-type automated environment, and the behavioral pressure from autonomist neighbors to align with new technology-based business protocols, finalized my grandfather’s non-alliance decision. The following pieces are metaphorical landscapes depicting the seasonal changes on a farm, accompanied with an abstract narrative underlying a farming lifestyle.
Winter-Spring, was always the stressful months for my grandfather, wondering whether or not the reserves would last through next season. He observed during these months how his attitude became colder, with a singularity demeanor, similar to what he felt like visiting people in the technology sector, perhaps due to management instilling greater responsibility and demands on its operatives. He also heard about how the acquisition of knowledge was now preyed upon and harvested for its opportunities before it was dated and farmed out.
Summer was characterized by the ardent deployment of new, yet built-in obsolescent technologies, and he was approached often by a salesperson demonstrating how to encapsulate individuality into a corporate-like system, and trying to convince him that a dry informatics-based society, and the networking involved, is now the hands-on synthetic intellectual model.
My grandfather was always intrigued with Fall, observing a growing community, blissfully entertained with their sense of self-worth and insulated diversionary tech-no environment. He acknowledged technology’s inherently changing behavioral patterns, but remained obstinate towards its unconditional freedom, since the individual ingenuity it took to create this life style, didn’t require any discipline to attain it.
As a young teenager traveling to visit my grandfather, I always viewed the corn fields, wheat and later on, soybeans as landscape collections with hidden experiences. It was in this demographical region where I first learned about farming equipment and the cost of upgrading the technology supporting the machinery necessary to farm. Over time, I began observing how influential technological advancement in farming equipment was downsizing the labor force, creating a non-tech cultural minority, and I witnessed farmers still fortunate to be in the business, struggling to learn new skill sets just to stay pace with the demands of the agricultural industry. Eventually, the increasing competition from corporate international food producers began compromising the viability of smaller family owned farming businesses, including my grandfather, who eventually retired from farming. To this day I still miss getting lost in the corn fields collecting memories; however, I still observe a contracting workforce everywhere I look. As I become my grandfather, I face similar challenges.
by Amy Davis
We are given Life and Death; what transpires between those two moments is defined by our challenges and victories. Creation is the river which moves through our lives; the dialogue in both our bodies and our minds. No artist of worth produces deep and moving work without great suffering and great illumination. Ron Brischetto is such an artist.
Brischetto was given the grim prognosis of an approximate five-year life expectancy after receiving a diagnosis of Systemic Sclerosis, an inexorably progressive and incurable autoimmune disease, which hardens connective tissue throughout the body, ultimately ceasing the functioning of vital organs. That was twelve years ago.
Perhaps the doctors did not factor in Ron’s reserves of two colossal life-sustaining forces: his passion to continue his artistry and his resolve to be here to meet his grandchildren. “By God’s grace, to have survived long enough to adore my grandchildren is unequivocally the most precious gift.”
Having been hospitalized twelve times in the last year and one half, he currently is in Stage Four renal failure. His body mercifully grants him a daily ration of three good functional hours which he utilizes to fill his spirit with joyful activities: creating art and spending time with his family and grandchildren.
Arguably, the most extraordinary aspect of Ron’s journey is how, in opposition to his diminishing movement, Ron’s creative boundaries became supple, stretching beyond the representational into the unfettered realm of abstraction. He no longer felt confined by traditional technique, materials and rules of scale, and began to explore new ways to approach the canvas: The thrill of exploration and risk taking awakened his senses. He applied paint quickly with intuition and spontaneity. Brischetto states “My paintbrushes have a mind of their own.” Splashes of color and expressively charged brushstrokes preserved the energy of the moment. He then began experimenting with mixed media from which emerged the series entitled “Terrascapes”.
Terrascapes” was inspired from concepts like Ordered Complexity and Emergence. Armed with the design elements of line, shape, color, value and texture to create the underlying structure upon which he layered pigmented Venetian plaster to organically self-reconstruct with each coat, resulting in new forms.
From this convergence of classical and contemporary, Ron forged uncharted realms of creation. Masterfully weaving the mixed-media techniques of colored pencil, pastel, water color and acrylic, he fuses new experiments on canvas. Not afraid of seeking new materials like mesh netting, paper strips, cardboard, leather, plaster, foils, gold leaf, and even coffee grounds, he steps ahead to the next level of texture and visual engagement.
To encounter an original Brischetto Terrascape is in itself an expedition of discovery. From afar, the eye is instantly drawn toward the undeniable aesthetic beauty of the piece as a whole. The organic composition of form and color is captivating. One feels beckoned by the texture-rich impasto to engage in an intimate tactile conversation with the artist’s creation.
In Terrascape 30 (pictured on opposite page), Brischetto explains, “Each symbolic reference adds subtle hints of meaning to these works, suggesting emotions, states of mind and abstract ideas. Repeating shapes (i.e., concentric circles) representing divine truth; wavy lines (the flow of energy) and the intricate rosette-encased circle (celebrating life-force, rejuvenation and resilience) are just a few recognizable ‘hints’ of embedded content.” The piece holds a plethora of iconic communication, some of which seem to float upon the surface, only to mysteriously submerge.
To own a Brischetto Terrascape is to possess a one-of-a-kind work, created on a base of fresco, the same material with which the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo. Brischetto then builds upon this classic medium through which the artist engages the viewer in a profound dialogue with layers saturated in classic and metallic hues. Dramatic color emanates from within, shimmers in the light and veritably illuminates one’s soul through its etched and color-derived symbolism. Variables such as light sources and viewing angles transform the piece to create an ever evolving acquisition, one of everlasting spiritual enrichment and a treasured experience to share with guests.
Truly unique in expression, the work is fresh, invigorating and beautiful. Spirit is the breath of life and it is through such inspiration that Ron gets up every day for those three good hours, the time in which Ron creates enduring, richly textured works of art through which he will continue to converse with his family and all of humanity. Excerpted Biography: Ron Brischetto is a graduate of The Harrington Institute of Design, Chicago, attended The Chicago Academy of Fine Art and earned an additional B.F.A from The International Academy, Chicago. He has worked as an Interior Designer- Architect and college art instructor with over twenty years of experience as a consultant, specifier, planner and business owner.
Ron’s experience in designing and developing plans for work, recreational and living spaces demanded great attention to detail, resulting in award winning projects. It is this exacting preparation that enables him to analyze complex situations and develop effective and detailed creations and solutions to his designs, art and photography.
Ron is a retired professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), The Exhibiting Society of Artists (TESA), Creative Artists Guild (CAG), Professional Association of Visual Artists (PAVA), Gulf Coast Artists’ Alliance (GCAA), Pastel Society of Tampa Bay, International Society of Acrylic Painters-Florida (ISAP), Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) and Tarpon Springs Art Association (TSAA).
His work was selected to be included as one of twenty nine artists in The Acrylic Artist Magazine 2015, the Fifth Annual Art Takes Miami Scope Exhibition, the 16th Annual CPSA International Exhibition, and he has participated in various “It’s Colored Pencil!’ shows in Florida. Ron formally has participated in many A.S.I.D. Showcase Houses, won numerous national design awards, been published in Various National Design magazines, local newspapers, and books: The Showcase of Interior Design Midwest Edition, Who’s Who’ in Interior Design International Editions, ART Buzz 2012-2014, Blink 2015-2016, Incite Dreams Realized the best of Mixed Media, and BRISCHETTO Selected Artworks. Ron is the proud father of two children and seven grandchildren, and along with his wife of 44 years, Arline, enjoys the Tampa Bay area and all it has to offer.