Answer the following question by filling in the blank:
“Instead of proceeding from outlined figures, as painters did before, ______________ modeled features through light and shadow. Starting with dark undertones, he built the illusion of three dimensional features through layer and layers of thin, transparent glazes.” [i]
A. Scott Everingham
B. Leonardo da Vinci
C. Juan Antonio Gonzalo
D. Jackson Pollock
If you answered D, you made a nice attempt. But, there are no points for good guesses, thus my abysmal SAT score.
If you answered C, you’ve been watching too much Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
If you answered A, you were wrong, though I understand your reasoning. Expressly, the transparent glazing of grunge brush strokes in Everingham’s work gives the impression of three-dimensional movement, which contrasts sharply to his works inherent two-dimensionality. See, I get it.
If you answered B, you googled the quote, and so you know you were correct. For those of you who didn’t, the quote is in reference to Leonard da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”
You must be wondering, why did I put a quote about da Vinci in a post about Everingham. Well, to be frank, it is for comparative purposes. Now, before you ostracize me, let me just say that I am not simply comparing Everingham to da Vinci. To do so would be to compare apples and oranges. However, I am comparing the effect that their works have on their respective audiences. In other words, the innate allure that draws people to, of all things, Mona Lisa’s smile is alive and well in Everingham’s work.
Everingham describes this as the creation of “ambiguous scenarios so that an audience may be immersed in illusory space.” Everingham continues, clarifying his intentions as hoping “to produce visceral and spontaneous spaces that one may experience as very new and real.” This, in a sense, is what da Vinci accomplished using sfumato, which creates the illusion of a thin haze, separating the viewer from the painting. It is this separation that allows for narration. While Everingham’s works tell stories in their own right, it is the audience that fulfills the narration by taking them over, much like we see in regards to the “Mona Lisa” and her smile.
Stylistically, Everingham considers his works to be the product of “impulsive mark-making” (also known as Gestural Abstraction); Such impulses create an emotional subtext, or depth, to the paintings that are as striking as Giocondo’s coy smirk. Namely, the convergence of nature with humanity in Everingham’s work echo the harmony of the disparate forces achieved by da Vinci’s.
For evidence that will prove me wrong, go to www.scotteveringham.com
By Scott Warfe