WAYNE KOESTENBAUM: Unfamiliar Grammar, Paintings from 2010-2015
An acclaimed author and educator, Wayne Koestenbaum has examined subjects including Andy Warhol, Jackie Onassis, Harpo Marx, opera, fashion, desire, and humiliation. In 2010, he took up the paintbrush, and, since then, has produced hundreds of canvases of male portraits and nudes, landscapes, and dense abstractions rife with meandering lines, riotous colors, and suggestive iconography. One work features a male head looking straight at the viewer with the phrase “I pose problems” written above. This may be true of Koestenbaum’s creative output in art and literature, but it must also be said that he offers outrageously complex and candid revelations about the self and society.
Without any formal training but spurred by his numerous friendships with visual artists and years as a contributing critic to many magazines, Koestenbaum’s painting investigations continue those of modernist forebears like André Derain, Henri Matisse, and Alice Neel.
image credit: WAYNE KOESTENBAUM, I Pose Problems, 2010, acrylic on canvas, courtesy of the artist
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