Neo-Decadent

The Art and Opinions of Heidi Celeghin, Aesthete

Adi – More About the Portrait

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The portrait I painted of the writer Adi, recently shown at the Norma R. Ory Gallery (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), will soon be shipped to London.  This portrait stays true to by Neo-Decadent aesthetic in that it seeks to combine the arts – text, sound (the spoken poem), and image.  Is Adi’s writing in the background more of a portrait of himself than the image in the front?  The two elements compete with each  other but nonetheless there is a harmony between them.   While the figure has a strong sense of volume, the text emphasizes the flat nature of the canvas and the medium.

Adi

While creating Adi, I drew from my interest in the Neo-Classical movement where figures are idealized and made statuesque.  I was particularly informed by Ingres’ 1845 portrait of the Vicomtess Othenin d’Haussonville (Frick Collection, NYC).

Vicomtess Othenin d'Haussonville

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Author: Heidi Celeghin

ARTIST’S STATEMENT The theories guiding my art practice are largely defined by my academic background in Decadence and Aestheticism. I am concerned with the status of the image: seductive, unknowable, dangerous, and immortal. The image exists in a liminal space between illusion and reality, lies and truths, life and death. As such, the image represents the sublime. Once created, the image exists beyond the artist – it grows independently from the artist and is constantly being recreated. On the one hand, it captures a single, exquisite moment in time and therefore holds the valence of stasis and death. On the other hand, the image’s perpetual recreation means that it captures the myriad of experiences Walter Pater discusses in the conclusion to The Renaissance and therefore, it holds the valence of metamorphosis and life. It is particularly fascinating when the distinction between Art and reality begin to fall apart. Is it Art that imitates life or life that imitates Art? Major Events and Public Projects: Houston Zoo, painting-for-conservation initiative (June 2011-present) Barcelona World Race, Team Neutrogena artist (December 2010-May 2011) Select Exhibitions: Singapore via INSTINC artist residency, solo exhibition (June 2012) Limb Design, Houston, Texas, group exhibition (April 2012) Jack Hanna Gala, Houston Zoo, solo exhibit (October 2011) Watson Gallery, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (October 2011) Norma R. Ory Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (2011) Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston, Texas, Awty International Gala (2011) Willard Straight Art Gallery, group exhibit for Forword Literary Magazine (2009) Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, group exhibit (2009) Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, group exhibit (2008) Hayloft Gallery, Reliant Center, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (2006) Hayloft Gallery, Reliant Center, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (2005) Art Fairs: Affordable Art Fair, Hong Kong (2013) Affordable Art Fair, Singapore (2012) Affordable Art Fair, New York (2012)

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