"Gerome's painting carries a sense of cinematic anticipation, evoking the atmosphere of modern fashion photography, especially in the portrayal of the near-naked youth. What captivated me was the striking contrast between the frozen-in-time imagery of the roosters—their beaks, claws, beady eyes, and feathers—and the radiant skin of the beautiful protagonists. They gaze with an air of bemusement, just moments before the inevitable eruption of violence and bloodshed."
"I like the stillness in Courbet’s snow painting. It captures the tangible sensation of cold and the distinct sounds associated with the depicted weather conditions. Despite their roles as hunters, their body language evokes imagery of skiers, lending a contemporary touch to the scene. Courbet's choice of period-appropriate attire adds to the authenticity. I like how this ordinary scene is imbued with animation, without being overtly loud.
Gauguin's painting, created 34 years after Courbet's work, also exudes a personal form of poetry. It's possible that Gauguin found himself enchanted by the tropical landscape, painting his scene as if lost in a dreamlike reverie. I am drawn to the idea of exhibiting these two artworks side by side, aiming to explore their affinities rather than their distinctions."
"Rousseau was an artist who was ahead of his time, employing techniques that have a remarkably modern feel. His creative process involved collage and assembling scrapbooks with various illustrations, engravings, and photographs, which fueled his imagination.
In his painting "War," he presents a stark scene depicting chaos, death, and devastation. An expressionist child warrior perches atop a distorted, almost otherworldly horse-like creature, creating an unsettling image. This artwork left its mark on my own creation, "Two Trees," prompting me to consider how landscapes bear witness to humanity's capacity for cruelty towards each other.
Rousseau's powerful anti-war statement, presented almost like a poster, remains relevant and haunting today, making us reflect on the enduring impact of conflict."
"I am interested in these painting’s connections as much as their differences. All have a very singular use of paint —lush and fluid, soft and smoky, studied and direct, veiled and mysterious, plastered and scored.
Each painting draws us into its material world, and to the mysteries of the depicted sitter.
Perhaps, in the end, we don't learn much about any of them, and maybe that is the point; they are all nothing less than entirely engaging, and the differences in their creation do not alienate them from each other. Each harbors elements of concealment, barring Pissarro—whose discerning gaze, keeps the ensemble together."
"With these two works, I wanted to create a dialogue, not only of the subjects - the gossiping character actors and the beautiful young woman on her deathbed - but also of the material way the artists have used paint to describe two different states of being: the lively living, immersed in fervent exchanges and suggestive nuances, and the poignancy of a painter desperately grasping to capture the last memories of his wife. Both paintings display virtuosic mastery without compromising the profound intimacy inherent in both compositions. "
"I’m fascinated by this period of Cezanne because he is looking back and moving forward rapidly at the same time—gazing back towards subjects and to older artists whom he admires, and looking forward as his technique is expanding so quickly; that he seemingly cannot keep up with himself — to great result. In this thrilling painting, he captures what is necessary and sketches what needs to be implied. The painting is so alive that it almost propels itself into the room it occupies."
"I wanted to present these models by Degas in a similar way to how they appeared to me when I first saw them in the museum's storage. Like sketches on a page, a cluster of ideas that took shape via the artist's eyes, mind, and hands. These maquettes, which were originally shaped in wax, were never intended to be exhibited, nor made as finished works. They were created as aids for the artist's paintings. Posthumously turned into bronze, they capture all the rawness and life as if they were still in Degas' studio."