A nice post-event array of photos from the opening in arts•meme. arts•meme is a cultural blog written by Debra Levine
When the baseball stadium vendor cried out “peanuts, popcorn, cracker jacks,” little Carole Bayer Sager, as a kid, took that sing-song offering seriously. The prodigious lyricist/songwriter is also proud creator of a fun and poppy collection of super-sized snacks in serious, searing colors. The show’s early November opening at William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica brought out an impressive who-is-who of Los Angeles art lovers, among them film industry cognoscenti. Sager’s impressive output lends new meaning to the term, nosherai.
Carole Bayer Sager’s “New Works” is a joyous exhibition, a visually luscious celebration of all the snack foods you love to eat – but probably shouldn’t. Things like peanuts, popcorn (caramel and plain), ice cream, and peanut butter and jelly. Of course, Sager is better known as a song-writing maven with a career that has spanned decades. Her lyrics have been sung by everyone from Petula Clark to Sonny and Cher to Dionne Warwick. Five years ago, she took up the paintbrush, and she’s been going at it feverishly ever since. She has done portraiture, but it seems to me these hyper-real still-lifes are her passion.
Ranging in size from medium to large (up to 7 feet tall), these paintings show her experimenting with color, composition, and texture. In “Portrait of Two Popcorn,” she features two popped kernels on a black background, and adeptly puts in a bit of ghostly reflection on the surface upon which they are sitting. In “Popping” dozens of kernels are caught suspended in midair, again with a black background, as if they were flying through deep space. “Big Pop” depicts popcorn as if you were looking into a bowl of the stuff, successfully creating a sense of depth and three-dimensionality through composition and color values, and the saucy addition of blues and purples.
Sager instinctively knows how our cravings get triggered – we love the promise of sweet, gooey things with contrasting textures and golden colors. “Global Warming” is a close-up of a ball of vanilla ice cream sitting on a thick cookie and covered with gooey, dripping-down hot fudge. There are bumps of peanuts underneath that chocolate coating. As you take a bite (in your mind) you can savor the warm and cool. Another spellbinder is “Drippy” with its layers of crunchy peanut butter, grapey red jelly, and biscuits. On the right, one giant drip of jelly is cascading down the side, and the crumbs in the biscuit are so beautifully painted, you can feel them rolling around on your tongue (William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica).
The multi-faceted artist gathers a famous crowd for her newest exhibition in Los Angeles
Although she’s primarily known for her songwriting, Carole Bayer Sager has become an artistic talent of another kind: a painter. On November 1, Bayer Sager hosted an opening-night reception at the William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica for a new exhibition of pop-culture inspired paintings titled New Works. The paintings include lifelike images of everything from popcorn and peanuts to buttered corn and PB&J sandwiches.
“I have been surrounded by pop culture my entire life. I live it and add to it when writing songs,” the artist explained. “In my recent paintings, I am fascinated by studying small and often overlooked every day subjects, and enlarging them beyond their natural states, transforming them into something entirely new.”
New Works will be on exhibit until December 1, 2012. (Extended to December 15, 2012)
Read the article to see some pictures of Carol Bayer Sager and friends from the opening-night party.
Show Extended through December 15, 2012
At William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica
William Turner Gallery is pleased to announce that New Works, an exhibition of paintings by artist Carole Bayer Sager, has just been extended through December 15th. The show opened on Thursday, November 1st. The exhibition features Bayer Sager’s evocative new series of paintings, which focus on abstracted subjects. Rich in color and sensual surface textures, the paintings range from micro to macro views of peanuts, popcorn and cracker-jacks, amongst others. These intimate and expansive perspectives create an intentional ambiguity, allowing viewers to more freely tap into their own associations.
According to Bayer Sager, “I have been surrounded by pop culture my entire life. I live it and add to it when writing songs. In my recent paintings, I am fascinated by studying small and often overlooked every day subjects, and enlarging them beyond their natural states, transforming them into something entirely new.”
Bayer Sager’s artistic progression began five years ago with mastering portraits and the human form. “When I first saw the portraits Carole was making and then found out how short a time she has been painting, I was very impressed,” says friend and painter Eric Fischl. “Having taught painting, I know how rare it is for someone just beginning to be able to control the luminosity of flesh. Carole is one of those rare exceptions: a natural talent.”
William Turner adds, “That deep creative vein Carole has mined so successfully in music, turns out to have an incredibly strong branch of expression in visual art. “Carole’s gift for words has found a new source of expression in the sensuality of paint. We are very pleased that the reaction to the work has been so positive, and that we are able to extend the run of the show.”
For more information about Bayer Sager and her artwork, visit www.carolebayersagerart.com.
“Last time we oohed and ahhed over the artwork of songwriter/painter/epic multi-tasker Carole Bayer Sager she was focusing on portraits of high profile friends like Steven Spielberg and Steve Martin. For her newest exhibition at William Turner Gallery in Los Angeles, Sager switched tacks and painted the simple pleasures of popcorn, peanuts and the perfect PB&J.”
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The video presentation from “AN EVENING WITH CAROLE BAYER SAGER: ART AND MUSIC”
The GRAMMY Museum is pleased to welcome one of the most prolific and poignant writers in pop history, Carole Bayer Sager, to the Clive Davis Theater. Sager’s songbook spans almost 40 years and contains some of the period’s most popular and successful songs. From the GRAMMY-winning That’s What Friends Are For, the Oscar-winningArthur’s Theme, and the Oscar-nominated The Prayer, to Don’t Cry Out Loud and On My Own, Sager’s songs have become pop standards. Her songs have been recorded by celebrated artists such as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston among many others. With her talents, it is no surprise Sager has won a GRAMMY Award, an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a Tony Award. Hear Sager, with GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, discuss her accomplished career including her latest passion: painting. From portraits to abstracts, Sager’s work has received notice in the art world and beyond, including her successful debut solo art show at the LA Arthouse in Los Angeles in 2011.