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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Reality is a negotiable item: Alan Rudolph paints

Writer-director Alan Rudolph is showing paintings at Bainbridge Island’s Gallery Fraga. In an email interview with Art Access, Rudolph says of his Washington State home, “Joyce and I have lived on Bainbridge for 20 years… Except for the continuing criminalities of our national government, I hope never to settle anywhere else. Our first dozen years here, we also had an apartment in New York City. Large metropolitan settings appear in many of my paintings. All those woozy years of wandering Manhattan have come home to roost.” One sees visions of big cities in many of Rudolph’s paintings, where tilted buildings often flank characters that appear to walk through a London fog. When I ask Rudolph about the atmosphere in his paintings he writes, “My guess is that aesthetic comes with Rudolph_-_Juicer.jpgbirth. We spend the rest of our lives applying our particular version and supposing what it means. Mine is invariably drawn to atmosphere and mystery. Something familiar, yet not. Emotional visuals. Vice versa. Reality has always been a negotiable item for me.” Rudolph tells Bainbridge Review’s Lindsay Latimore that it’s “all ink from the same well.” “But the actual experiences couldn’t be more different,” he said. “Painting is solitude, as with writing or dreaming. Filmmaking is dreaming out loud, and very public. The process of making a film involves several years and hundreds of people. It’s a life experience from which you know you’re going to be altered. A painting is a moment. But a moment with an entire meaning.”… Rudolph initially had no interest in showing his work. “In fact, I enjoyed the private spotlight,” he said. “But when the Fragas dangled a show that would also include Josie Gray and Michael Pontieri, two friends, I felt it was a good excuse to drink wine and enjoy new works by these gifted artists.” in The Moderns, Rudolph says, “It was rewarding to show critics labeling authentic paintings as forgeries, and vice versa. As a filmmaker, you can only truly understand what you’ve created when there’s another ass in the room besides your own. But professional critics are just that, it’s their job. Sometimes that brings in a whole set of priorities that has little to do with what they’re judging. On the other hand, an audience’s response, any size or familiarity, is collective and involuntary. You can feel it. Sometimes it affects changes, sometimes not, depending on whether you agree. Painting is easier when it comes to that. If Joyce, my official muse, likes something, that’s all I need… Except for Joyce, my muse, and the great Tom Robbins, my amuser, I seem to be a loner.” A gallery of the 25 paintings in Rudolph’s show. Download the show postcard [pdf].

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