By: David Willard
Dutch abstract painter Piet Mondrian once said, “It is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work art, as strong as it is true.” This quote brings to life the visuals in the mind’s eye of the artist’s process. It is in this viewpoint that two artists joins together to bring a new show to the Artworks Gallery in downtown Winston-Salem.
“Oh! Naturale: Nudes and Nature” features works by two Winston-Salem artists who have been a part of the local arts scene collectively for over 20 years. Seth Moskowitz and Don Green will feature new work for the show that will run through Aug. 26 at the Artworks Gallery. The show kicked off with a showing at the gallery on Aug. 4 at the monthly Gallery hop event downtown and continued with an artist’s reception on Aug. 6.
Moskowitz is a native New Yorker who moved to Winston-Salem in 1979. Formerly a reporter for The Washington Post, Moskowitz continued his journalistic endeavors as a reporter and columnist for The Winston-Salem Journal and then moved to a public relations position for RJ Reynolds. Now he is the director of communications for Reynolds America Incorporated Services Company.
Moskowitz said he had always been drawn to and fascinated by the beauty of organic forms and how the interplay of hue, tone and texture affect the emotions they evoke. Moskowitz said he is particularly drawn to the lines, curves, colors and textures of trees, flowers and the human form.
“During the past couple of years,” Moskowitz said. “I’ve created a strong body of work based on the nudes I’ve shot in a human form class, and I wanted to do a show just of nudes, but didn’t think Winston was ready for that.”
He still wanted to exhibit some of them in the show, and began to realize that he does the same thing with nude and nature pieces: deconstruct and reconstruct organic forms in a way that evokes interesting feelings about a new way of seeing the subject. Moskowitz challenged himself to produce a few pairings of nude and nature prints to see how the interplay of the two reflected and affected each.
“Ultimately, I created 13 pairings – 26 prints in all – that do that,” he said. “I’m proud of the final product, which is a show called “OH! Naturale – Nudes and Nature,” and the public has responded very well to it,” he said.
Green is an artist and sculptor who has worked and studied extensively to hone his craft. He received his M.F.A from the University of Wisconsin in 1966, his B.F.A from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1964, and an advertising art degree from the American Academy of Art in 1956. Green has used this education and training to become a very established presence in the Winston-Salem arts community for over 20 years.
Green’s latest works are sculptures that depict distinct cycles in life. His works depict the cycles of life, death, decay and rebirth. He creates his work from found trees that have already gone through the life, death and decay cycles that are now being reborn through his work as new sculptures.
“My art has always been inspired by nature— land, rocks, woods, water and the ongoing processes in nature—erosion, wear, rust and decay,” Green said on the Artworks Gallery website. “My life is shaped and influenced by my perceptions of the natural world around me. I find proof of the existence of a supreme being and a sense of spiritual renewal and guidance in nature’s landscapes.”
Green works with stone, wood and naturally oxidized steel. His forms are organic, and inspired by trees (or details of them), hills, valleys, rocks, roots, streams and rivers. His sculpture is concerned with massive weight, compression and the resulting distortion apparent in the forms.
As in life, the connectivity that is the human experience is not one easily seen, unless of course, one takes the time to appreciate what is right in front of their eyes. Or even better, on display at Artworks Gallery until Aug. 26.