“I Want To Dance”: A Jerry W. McDaniel Art Exhibit At
By Anca Adumitroaie September 30, 2012
Anca Adumitroaie Read the article in Romanian
The passe-partout of an honest and intense blue color frames the white-and-violet lavender blossoms explosion, as the latter lasciviously embraces the intuitively perceived feminine shape. Like a dream island in a stormy sea of shades, the colorless contour defines the Impressionist, moment-and- light capturing facet of the canvas labeled “Sleeper in Lavender”, the one that greeted and thoroughly captivated me as I entered Jerry W. McDaniel’s art exhibition “I Want To Dance”. A self-confessed admirer of Degas’ ethereal, feminine figures, draped in delicate veils, the artist envelops the woman’s shape in a contrasting golden cape of wheat-like flowing locks, encircled by the rebellious violet shade of lavender. The viewer is reminded of the mythological Danae, ravished by the immortal rain of gold.
Sleeper in Lavander, Jerry W. McDaniel, Paris 2010
My pleasant encounter with heterogeneous painter Jerry W. McDaniel’s art occurred on September 23, 2012, at an exhibition organized by “Viitorul Roman” Cultural and Aid Society at the Klein Academy of Fine Arts in Beverly Hills. On a torrid Sunday, the small, Bohemian building, with its white and blue paint, seemingly belonging to a Greek or Italian island, epitomized the perfect background for an artistic style that bridges varied trends and historical periods. An array of harmonious, as well as conflicting, influences and emotions surprisingly interlace in McDaniel’s truly heterogeneous art, Degas and Klimt joining Mondrian and Magritte, Picasso and Warhol. Every exhibit, varying in size and shape, was accompanied by its own story, each and every painting having originated in a certain emotional experience, eventually eternalized through color. “Jazz At The Bakery”, inspired by Mondrian’s strict order and bright tones, offers a melting pot of music and motion. I was deeply intrigued by a massive, square-shaped painting, labeled “This Is Your Brain”. In its creation legend, the artist describes it as an academic experiment from his teaching years. In his vision, the social brain, the one governing conventional attitudes and automatic behavior, is rendered by vivid, largely expressive colors; a white field, populated by the elusive shadows of human consciousness, separates it from the so-called Jungian, collective, profound brain version, that harbors the concentrated information of humanity code.
Even if I had not been informed about Jerry’s consistent artistic interest and profound friendship for Romanian art and spirituality, Lucian Blaga’s poetry would have imperatively erupted through interlaced tree branches, tentacles, meanders, riverbeds, multicolored petals, in McDaniel’s series of six incendiary paintings labeled “I Want To Dance”:
“O, I want to dance
as I have never danced!
Let God not feel himself
a prisoner in me.
Earth, give me wings:
I want to be the arrow tearing infinity.”
(translated from Romanian by Andrei Codrescu).
The poetic motifs of the liberating wing and the relentless flow overwhelmingly dominate the visual message through torrid or mysterious tones of earth, water, ether and fire. The art exhibit displayed only four out of the six paintings, as two of them are part of a private collection in Dusseldorf, Germany. Through his heterogeneous art, Jerry W. McDaniel filters, with flair and emotional subtlety, various facets of Romanian culture; abstract expressionist elements from Tuculescu, illustrations of Lucian Blaga’s philosophical poems, as well as a modernist poster for one of tennis player Ilie Nastase’s tournaments, they all belong to and complete Jerry’s art. The six paintings inspired by Blaga’s poem “I Want To Dance” had been created to accompany a series of poetry recitals dedicated to Lucian Blaga and organized by Professor Ileana Costea in California in 2008.
The audience at the Klein Art Academy reception for Jerry W. McDaniel’s art
Exhibition, September 23, 2012. Photo: Ileana Costea
Jerry W. McDaniel and Ileana Costea – Dialogue about Jerry’s art
Photo: Ligia Toutant
On that torrid September afternoon, surrounded by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience, Mrs. Ionela Kloes, President of “Viitorul Roman” Society and co-organizer of the event (together with Prof. Ileana Costea), cordially greeted the guests, at the same time introducing them to the main mission of “Viitorul Roman”. Since 1926 till present day, the society has relentlessly promoted Romanian cultural values. Subsequently, the audience enjoyed a lively and endearingly honest dialogue between Ileana Costea and Jerry W. McDaniel, a truthful embrace of art and life. Jerry was somewhat awkwardly and humbly answering Ileana’s questions, revealing secrets of the creation process, as well as emotion-charged, significant strands of life, that had materialized as color on his canvases. That is how I discovered the story behind a mosaic of six small, rectangular paintings, communicating a variety of artistic styles: they documented, similar to a map of oil on canvas, the artist’s European travels. Nights enveloped in the French Christmas wonderland on Champs Elysées are followed by a cold and severe dawn, filtered through the lights of Amsterdam; Magritte-inspired violet clouds seem to be following a dream, floating in the deep Mallorca sky, as it unexpectedly salutes the breathtaking vantage points from which the Eiffel Tower overlooks the Parisian sea of lights. Jerry had grasped this last unique view from his Montparnasse studio, with spontaneous, unfettered enthusiasm.
Artist Jerry W. McDaniel with the European Nightscapes
Photo: Anca Adumitroaie
Besides the privilege of a fresh and complex artistic feast, the guests also enjoyed an assortment of appetizing refreshments, perfectly complimenting the breezy, Mediterranean colors and atmosphere of the small patio.
The event was concluded by the unexpected surprise of a raffle, the prizes being two paintings that Jerry W. McDaniel had generously donated to “Viitorul Roman” Society. Given my long record of never winning anything from lotteries or raffles, the fact that the tumultuously blue painting from the “I Want To Dance” series was bestowed upon me left me speechless! I am grateful to Jerry for the joy of beholding it every day, that unchained, overwhelmingly powerful color reminding me of the beloved poem that was its inspiration. Diana Cosma, another guest, won the Parisian lights canvas.
Anca Madalina Adumitroaie (Cultural Director and Press Secretary, Viitorul Roman Society,
winner of the painting "I want to dance" inspired by the poem with the same name by the
well-known Romanian poet Blaga), the American heterogeneous artist Jerry W. McDaniel;
Diana Cosma (winner of the European nightscape “Champs Elysees”), and
Ionela Kloes (President of Viitorului Roman Society). Photo: Ileana Costea
Vincent Van Gogh once wrote to his brother Theo that all of us are actually painters of souls and our fate is to create happy pictures on the canvases of our lives. A heterogeneous artist of a refreshing complexity, Jerry W. McDaniel approaches art emotionally, seizing the moment through the Impressionist attitude of basking in the glory of inspiration. Due to the auspicious initiative of “Viitorul Roman” Society, we had the privilege of admiring a genuine dialogue of historically and culturally diverse arts and styles, unified though through the homogeneous celebration of Beauty.
Anca Madalina Adumitroaie, Cultural Director and Press Secretary, Viitorul Roman Society ( http://viitorulroman.com/)
www.jerrywmcdanielstudios.com - Official website of heterogeneous artist Jerry W. McDaniel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_McDaniel - website on Wikipedia - Jerry W. McDaniel
http://www.strathmoreworldwide.com/profoftheyear_bio.asp?id=307257&industry=Fine+Arts - Jerry W. McDaniel Professional of the Year, Strathmore
http://www.omnigraphies.com/content/jerry-w-mcdaniel-american-heterogenous-artist - Interview with Jerry W. McDaniel (by Ileana Costea