“Transformations". The works are a synthesis of painting and photography into something new, with an amazing sense of color and images of great beauty and power.
“Transformations" is both the title of this show and a key element in the work and life of prominent Santa Barbara digital painter R.W. Firestone. The works on exhibit reflect the transformation of his life from student and artist, to psychotherapist, to renowned psychological theorist and author and to artist once again; the transformation of Firestone’s art from oils on canvas to the more flexible and broader medium of the computer; and finally in the subject matter of his art, from reflections of individual pain and psychological disorders (many of his early works were haunting portraits of people in trouble) and architectural cityscapes, to his stunning and life-affirming depictions of friends, the human experience and the joy of life.
Robert Firestone’s digital painting has a tremendous breadth, both of styles and subject matter, and shows a great degree of mastery of the immense possibilities that this new medium offers. It is a synthesis of painting and photography into something new, with an amazing sense of color and images of great beauty and power.
As Gabriella Fanning, retired editor and publisher of Art on Paper and ArtByte, put it: “Psychology is a subject that Firestone knows well. As a scientist whose life’s work is to observe and analyze emotions and the human experience in general, Firestone’s dual identity fits his choice of artistic medium. For the digital world, of course, marries the scientific with the artistic. Perhaps the artist’s deep understanding of these two disciplines is what has propelled him to succeed in creating such profoundly moving imagery. Only a scientist with a deep appreciation for recent advancements in technology could fully be open to utilizing these new tools. Only an artist could use such tools to create visual effects that serve as both homages to and successors of classic works of surrealism by Man Ray, Ubac, Magritte, and Dali. Only a psychologist with years of formal training and practice could so accurately communicate the drama of the mental landscape. R. W. Firestone is all of these: scientist, artist, psychologist. And his art, so multifaceted visually, thematically, and technically, is a complex, engaging hybrid of media, styles, and concepts that is both timely and timeless in its originality."
The forthcoming exhibition in Santa Barbara, California, at the Omma Center of Contemporary Art, will show 40 of the artist's recent works - all archival pigment prints on canvas or fine art paper.
Omma Center of Contemporary Art is located one-half block from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, across the street from the historic Granada Theater, nearby to many fine wineries and tasting rooms, the beach, Stern's Wharf and the commercial fishing marina. Truly a place for all-season fun, Omma's regularly changing lineup of prominent artists offers yet another reason to visit this wonderful city and area.
Opening: 28 February, from 5pm to 9pm
Omma Center of Contemporary Art
5383 Hollister Ave., Ste. 230 - Santa Barbara