PRESS ARTICLES JANUARY 18, 2009
2009 January 18
The Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Time
AN ARTIST'S IDENTITY
By Abby Luby
"Prolific" might as well be Sandy Garnett's middle name. Over the past 20 years the artist has created almost 1,000 paintings. Many of his paintings and sculptures can be seen in his upcoming solo show at the Loft Artists Gallery in Stamford. The show opens next Friday.
In the art world, Garnett is an anomoly, actively playing dual roles of artist and publicist. For most artists, self-promotion is difficult, but the 39 year old Garnett has made his living soley from his art throughout his career.
"I have hundreds of collectors, all of them different engagements," says Garnett of the diverse requests and commissions including portraits and sculpture. "It's important for me to balance business and art - I do an awful lot of that. The more you can focus on the business aspect to generate enough income, the more you can freely budget for the next commission."
One of Garnett's current commissions is a 'Fingerprint Family Totem', specifically requested by the collector. "I taken the family's fingerprints and I'll carve them into a marble or wooden totem. I'm also painting very traditional portraits for another family."
Garnett's work is representational, figurative. He says his inspiration comes from his collectors, which have produced an impressive, diverse oeuvre that will be seen in this show.
Some of the works from are from his "Fingerprint Project," a 20 year old venture that Garnett calls his 'contemporary identity work'. Macro fingerprints are large, colorful paintings or dense sculptures feeding our fascination of universal personal identity markers. The project has transcended from canvas to wood to marble to the American Flag with fingerprints replacing the 50 stars.
In the show is Garnett's "Bathers," a 7-by-14 foot diptych, a lyrical beach scene of curvy nude figures whose elongated, elastic limbs dance on the sand, all facing the viewer with their backs to the ocean. "This painting has never been shown," explains Garnett. "It went into a private collection and has never been displayed."
The painting 'Grand Central' replays the mega commuter hub as light and airy with figures dotting the floor under the heavenly ceiling constellation.
"This show will consist of significant paintings and sculptures done over the past three years primarily. I am pulling in works fom private collections and I am making new work for the show."
Garnett's new creations for the show include transforming a classic, silhouette revolution self-portrait from paper to marble, a piece that exemplifies Garnett's ongoing pla with different genres.
"I'm exploring the comparison and contrast of various styles within my own studio that reflect our time. For ten years there have been five, six different bodies of work."
Creating and producing art for a living has left Garnett less time to exhibit his work. About four years ago he purchased and renovated two studios in South Norwalk where he lives and works. But that hasn't kept him from being active in the regional arts. He has been a member of the Loft Artists Association since 1994 where he has organized, curated and hung many shows. Now exhibiting a full spectrum of his work at this gallery is significant for Garnett. "The gallery here is quite beautiful and I've always been inspired by the space."