Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Common Vision of Churches and Casinos

by Drew Martin
I met up with my friend John Coburn after work today. John is an artist I have been following for a couple years and the first person I had a studio visit with as an arts writer, which is when I found out that he knew much more about art than I did. In 2010, I interviewed him (Bring It On: An Interview with John Coburn) and reviewed his show Fairlane Marauder.  John works as a decorative painter at EverGreene Architectural Arts, a painting studio dedicated to restoration, conservation and decorative painting. I stopped in tonight to take a look. I was amazed by the large spaces, huge paintings and supplies everywhere. Apparently a lot of the work is for churches and casinos, and many times it is difficult to tell which of the two destinations a painting will call home. One set of canvases being worked on (not by John), which I found interesting was an enormous painting of the sun shining through heavenly clouds. Taped to the wall, next to it, was a source for the work: a photograph from 9/11 of the sun setting through the dust of Ground Zero kicked up in the wreckage. I made two fly-on-the-wall videos when I was there: one of a religious painting on the wall opposite the sunburst and one of an artist drawing. There is also an interesting video EverGreene has online about historic finishes investigations.