34 Secrets Revealed at the River's Edge Gallery
There is a poignant moment at the end of the 1936 film "Rembrandt" when the aged artist prepares to do a self-portrait. Poverty stricken and largely forgotten, he mixes his oils on a palette and ruminates on the face in the mirror before him. "Vanity of vanities," he mutters to himself. "All is vanity."
Self-portraits are (perhaps) the most intriguing works done by painters. Combined with the creative instinct is an incredible measure of reflection, meditation, and revelation. The writer will keep a diary and the composer will "speak" with the notes of a score; a painter turns to the canvas and will attempt to balance brutal honesty with a natural (and very human) instinct to keep something hidden from view. Or if not hidden, only hinted at within the lines and colors of the finished work itself.
Right now there are close to three dozen of these "confessions" on display at the River's Edge Gallery in Wyandotte. 34 Secrets Revealed is a group show with some of the area's most notable artists (including sculptors and photographers) participating. Each one contributed a favorite piece and a self-portrait.
It was the latter body of works that prompted our interest and also prompted a request that several of the participants answer the following question: What precisely does an artist try to convey when the subject is himself or herself? We got responses right away ... and want to sshhhh are their secrets with you. —Robert del Valle, Special to Metromix
'34 Secrets Revealed' runs through March 15 at the River's Edge Gallery. There is a special meet the artists night scheduled for Feb. 20.