A Beautiful Gift from Andrew Stevovich
If you follow my blog and writing, you know that Andrew Stevovich is one of my favorite American artists. I was first introduced to Andrew’s work in 2009 when I reviewed his show at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. It was love at first sight. I sat on the bench in the center of the exhibit fascinated. I even recall the conversation I had with the museum docent where we spoke about Andrew’s work, the stillness and surface aspect of it, in comparison to early-Renaissance artists, like Giotto.
A few months ago, I posted about one of Andrew’s new works, “Chocolate Truffles.” From the moment he began posting the preliminary drawings for this work on his Facebook page, I was entranced. For me, capturing that moment before the woman puts the truffle in her mouth is representative of so many issues. I wonder if she’s feeling guilty? I wonder if she’s savoring the moment? I wonder if she’s torn between desire and self-discipline? I wonder if the truffles were a gift from a lover?
A few days ago, I received the best gift an art writer could ever get. Andrew sent me one of the preliminary sketches of “Chocolate Truffles” (pictured here). This lovely gift brought tears to my eyes. First, it’s incredibly kind and thoughtful of him, and I’m finding as I get older that thoughtfulness, kindness and appreciation mean so much to me. Second, for me as a thyroid cancer survivor who battles weight issues, there doesn’t seem to be a more perfect gift than a work that embodies the momentary dilemma between indulgence and restraint. I fight this battle every day! And then, there’s a little bit of the silliness factor: I just happen to love truffles. I really do. I used to order them from New York when I discovered I couldn’t get my favorite brand here in Florida.
As with all of Andrew’s work, what appears on the surface belies greater depth and mystery. I love that Andrew refers to himself as an abstract painter because I really get what he means with this. On his blog, he writes, “I’ve always said I’m fundamentally an abstract painter, that the narrative is an important level to be enjoyed or contemplated, but that it’s not the only level to see.” I find it interesting that Andrew is a “surface” painter in the sense that he has mastered the use of oil-on-linen to such a degree that his painting is near-perfect, to the extent that it almost seems like a perfection that could be achieved with graphic design software, not the human hand. I’m awed by this mastery. I’m equally awed by the fact that so much goes on beyond the “surface” of Andrew’s narratives.
As an interesting coincidence, Andrew Stevovich is represented by Adelson Galleries. Shortly after I graduated from college, I assisted Jan Adelson with an exhibit she created called, “The Idyll, The Real,” at Lyndhurst Manor in Tarrytown, NY. She was incredibly nice and generous with me. I’ve always remembered her fondly. After that, I lost touch with her and didn’t hear about her, or the gallery, again until Andrew’s exhibit came here to the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
It’s funny to me how everything in life comes full circle, doesn’t it?