Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marshall Arisman

Marshall Arisman is an illustrator and painter.  And he sometimes dabbles in sculpture.  What is unique about Arisman's work is his connection to the metaphysical.  Many of his paintings (in fact a great majority of them) combine spiritual animals or figures with colorful depictions of energies and auras.  For example, his "Black Elk" series portrays his connection with Native American spirits.  Nearly all of his figures and animals have auras.  Some in gold.  His "Sacred Monkies" were on view at the Guang Dong Museum of Art in China in 1999.  He was the first American invited to exhibit his artwork in mainland China, for this exhibition.  He also has work in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum, National Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian Institute.  He is Director of the "Illustration as Visual Essay" Graduate Program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.  I looked into the program but it was not for me (  As a Reiki Master, much of his spiritual art resonates with me.  It is interest to observe his depiction of energies.  I find a lot of his earlier work, like his "Frozen Images" series but especially his magazine illustration work to be difficult to look at because it is gnarlier and more violent.  But I appreciate his process and use of planar construction and texture.  (Note the inspiration of painter Francis Bacon in his work.)  But artwork aside, Marshall Arisman is a really interesting man to talk to.  If you get the chance to sit down and talk with him, DO IT!  He has a lot to say.
From "Black Elk" Series:
 From "Ayahuasca" Series

 "Healer" 1995 from "Light Runners" Series
From "Buffaloes" Series:
From "Sacred Cats" Series:
From "Sacred Monkies" Series:
From "Divine Elvis" Series:
(some of my favorite of his pieces)

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