Carson, CA, September 06, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- When the President of CSU Dominguez Hills, Mildred Garcia, invited noted LA painter Alexey Steele to discuss the commission for an artwork to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the campus, she presented him with the question of what kind of art would it take for the people 50 years from now, at the future celebration of the 100th anniversary, to learn something significant about the campus of today and relate to it. The artist’s response was that “only art infused with life” could fulfill this goal, giving an experiential presence and reference point to what CSUDH is today.
This question and the approach led to a journey of creating “Learners of Dominguez: Howard, Jenika, Auburn, Chris, Ronald” - a painting in oil that features the likenesses of five of the university’s students, from its oldest at 80, Howard Christiansen, to its youngest at 17, Auburn Hightower, along with Jenika Miller, Chris Barnette, and Ronald Farol.
Conceived as part of the artist’s ongoing “My Neighbor” series, Steele painted his work in a series of intense live sessions with the students whose emotional openness and engagement made them, in his words, “his co-authors.” None of the painting was touched up after the sittings, resulting in what Steele says is a “live painting from first stroke to last.” He said that through realism of such collective participation he wanted this 15-inch by 60-inch painting to capture the soul of the students, and as a result, the university, sharing a live experience of the community.
Known for his large-scale figure works as well as his advocacy for the greater role of art in contemporary society, Steele in 2010 founded the NOVOREALISM project under the name he coined, which is aimed at fomenting a transformative change in the contemporary art world, and his web magazine now enjoys an influential following. The painting the artist created for CSU Dominguez Hills represents the artistic and social goals of the project.
Aimed at presenting a personal as opposed to an objective view, “Learners of Dominguez” puts the emphasis on an individual emotional state of the real-world characters-heroes, with no distance or any sense of detached coldness.
This experience of “realness,” Steele believes, is necessary today as an antidote in the society plagued beyond containment by fake values of hyper greed, militant self-indulgence and rampant consumerism.
Art that helps liberate an individual through capturing and emphasizing in a real way their very real internal emotional presence shall help Real People to rebuild their Real World wrecked by bankers and politicians.
“The Force of Real is the last resort in the shattered checks and balances on the currently out of control power of the elites imposed on the people” Steele explains, “It’s about the character and about real people. It’s about the person and truthfulness of representation. It’s about that internal uniqueness that each person carries and about expressiveness it conveys,” Steele said. “It gives that personal look at what Dominguez Hills is today that I hope will inspire the viewer many years from now.”
At the unveiling ceremony on August 22nd at the Presidential Fall Convocation reception many commented on how the work really told the story of what CSU Dominguez Hills is all about.
About Alexey Steele:
Alexey Steele is a painter of The Russian Realist School known for his figurative work, Laureate of 2009 Gusi Peace Prize of the Philippines and Artemis Award in Greece, founder of Classical Underground, founder of NOVOREALISM web magazine, NOVOREALISM gallery and academy, Signature Member of California Art Club; for more information, please visit www.alexeysteele.com
About CSU Dominguez Hills:
California State University, Dominguez Hills is a model urban university located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. The university prides itself on a world-class faculty and innovative and relevant academic programs that prepare a multicultural student body to compete in a global economy. For more information, visit www.csudh.edu.