CAROL CARUSO, 2022 juried exhibition
320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY
May 7th - June 11th, 2022
As a student in painting at Louisiana State University I began exploring ideas for life-sized, narrative paintings and techniques.
In the current show I present smaller, sketch studies which will lead to life-sized, narrative paintings of more refined finished works. The three main themes I chose were Mardi Gras, the ballet, and an impromptu street performance.
These themes had the elements which I was looking for: dramatic lighting, large crowd scenes, exotic costumes, action-filled poses, dynamic coloring and a setting seen in daily life although they are festive rather than intimate.
The Mardi Gras themes show parades: the Crewe of Neptune and the Crewe of Perseus and Andromeda. A Crewe is a group of people who form an association which develops a parade, its themes, costumes, floats and the accompanying ball. The Crewes costume and ride on the floats throwing beads and trinkets to the waiting street crowds. The Crewe of Neptune shows the King of the Crewe who rides on the first float of the parade. The Crewe of Perseus shows the parade floats depicting the ancient Greek myth of Perseus and Andromeda. Another Mardi Gras related theme is of dancers and acrobats in a street entertainment.
The subject matter of the final series is the ballet The Firebird. It was adapted from a Russian folktale in the early twentieth century and is presented frequently at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The images are related to storyboards in that they develop the main characters and costumes in a series of scenes. The final work will be the stage presentation of the Firebird Ballet, with a full stage of dancers.
Other narrative themes I would like to pursue are fairs, festivals, weddings, masked balls, and similar festivities.