Paul Rutz and Chris Wagner at Guardino Gallery

August 25, 2015

Hello!  I am getting excited for Last Thursday at Guardino Gallery this Thursday, August 27th.  I have known Paul for a while and somehow he convinced me to model for him, for his upcoming show, The Tattoo.  I really didn’t need that much convincing, I was happy to get to spend a few hours hanging out with such an amazing artist and chat about everything from art to football.  Through Paul I met Chris and they make quite a team.  Here are some images and further info for their upcoming show (you will have to go to the show to see my portrait):










The Reader by Paul Rutz










Peace Corps Volunteer by Paul Rutz












Chauvet by Chrisopher Wagner



Show Title: The Tattooed

How we choose to ink ourselves can reveal our personalities and values, obviously, as well as the link between the passage of time and our growth through adulthood. Fading ink, cover ups, additions, and restorations—the permanent is only partially so.

How does someone paint that?

Tattoos replace faces as the focus of these painted portraits. I’ve carved lines, craters and holes into the panels around the painted bodies. These decisions come from months of experimentation into how painting can echo tattooing—digging into as well as marking the surface of ourselves. The tattooed body isn’t like a canvas, the way I see it, because we don’t etch into canvases. Anyone with a tattoo knows the pain is part of it.

I’ve measured every body part—and every tattoo—at precisely life size, preserving the real-life dimensions of the bodies represented on these panels. I also painted each body from multiple points of view, wrapping the picture around the body somewhat, as many Paleolithic cave painters did. This is one way to make documentary pictures without resorting to photography, and it requires models willing to pose for several weeks.

Sculptor Christopher Wagner and I have worked together on two series over the past two years, asking how we can combine our skills toward novel ways to make portraits. In the first, a 2014 series of combat veteran portraits, we spent more than 400 hours together in my studio with live models. It pulled Chris out of his comfort zone, the woodshop, for nearly a year. This time I asked him pull me toward the cramped hands and no-turning-back attitude of wood carving

Please go check out the show this Thursday, August 27th at Guardino Gallery from 6-8pm.

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