Thursday, February 15, 2018

Opinion: Michelle Obama Portrait

Detail from Amy Sherald's Michelle Obama, 2018
Detail from image of Michelle Obama
First of all if you are not acquainted with  Amy Sherald's portraits; do your self a favor and visit her website.

So the Michelle portrait: do you love it or hate it or fall in between? I am in between but as I admire Michelle Obama as a person, I also admire Sherald's portrait of Michelle Obama. 

Sherald's portraits and figure are wonderfully imagined lifescapes. Faces rendered with  photo realistic monochromatic sensitivity placed in the context of  beautiful colors, clothing and props. The subject is never named. However titles are given about each person's being. The title serves to question (HangMan), describe  (The Boy With No Past) or make observatons ( What's different About Alice Is that She has the most incisive Way of Telling the Truth). The images are at times comforting and at times subtlety disturbing. However they are always colorful, wonderful and engaging.

 Michell Obama's portrait is all that but also a departure for Sherald. While her subjects, to date, have been anonymous  Michell Obama is iconic. So apart from the masterful composition, the symbolic dress and the seated posture we can't help but look at her facial features. 

As a painter who uses and loves bold colors the choice of the Wedgewood like neutral blue feels too cool in which to place the monochromatic face. So be it. It's not my choice (I'd go yellow).It's not awful, not between. 

While the figure captures everything Michelle, her facial features are not recognizable to me as "Michelle". The features were minimized. Eyes too far apart, distance between the bottom lip and the chin too far and eyebrows shrunk. Gone are the big eyes, lips and beautifully strong nose. The hairline/forhead has been softened into and oval, where it is more familiar as angular. She is barley recognizable as the Michelle Obama we recognize.

They say every painter paints themselves into a portrait and perhaps that is the case here. I wish Sherald would have taken another pass at the eyes. Alas, even if the portrait is not quite Michelle, like all great portraits through time, Michelle will be the portrait. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Brickbottom Open Studios 2017 Nov. 18th & 19th 12-6 PM

Crazy Color Buoy by Marian Dioguardi,12 X 14, oil on panel c 2017
I will be exhibiting Brickbottom Open Studios, 1 Fitchburg Street, Somerville, MA for 2017 as an invited affiliate guest artist again this year. You can see my paintings on the 5th floor entrance in the Cannery building.

Brickbottom is one of the oldest Boston area open studios. Now showing in its 30th year, there are 60 artists located at Brickbottom's live-work complex, joined once again by 50 artist at the nearby Joy Street Studios. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Future First Fridays SoWa 2017-2018 and beyond

Summer in September, oil on panel by Marian Dioguardi, c2017
My last SoWa First Friday in Studio 223B is tonight, November 3rd. From here on I'll be at First Fridays by request, by appointment or by whim in the wonderful studio #306, at 450 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA of  Mary Mandarino, weaver, and Deborah Macfail, bead jewelry designer. It's a studio bright with complimentary jewel colors of beads and threads where my painting will feel right at home on the wall.
After nearly nine years of being in studio 223B I wanted a creative change. I find that I am more productive painting uninterrupted in my messy studio at home. However, I love having a curated space on a wall for my paintings, new and old, that I can share with interested visitors. Because I do not need to rent floor space to paint and with this new big show wall  in Studio #306 I have it all.

You can call, 617-332-9967, or drop me an email,,when you want to come by to see my paintings. I'll meet you at studio #306 at your pleasure. 

And now; onward to painting and surprises. And so it goes.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

SOUTH END OPEN STUDIOS - SoWa - Sept. 16th and 17th, 2017

September 16th and 17th my studio, 223B, will be open to you and the public during the neighborhood-wide South End Open Studios at the 450 Harrison, Ave, Boston building and beyond. The SoWa Open Market will be in full swing featuring crafts and food trucks along Thayer and Harrison Street.

My new series of buoy paintings will be featured this weekend during Open Studios.  The buoy series is a continuation of my interest in humble yet beautiful working objects from life; objects that are discarded after serving with purpose and beauty. Believing that beauty is never truly lost, I find these objects captivating in their color and compositions and noble in their humble service to life. Come and see buoys in a whole new color and light and life.

Up Close and Personal with the Buoys, 30 X 30, by Marian Dioguardi  $3,150

Little Green Buoy, 12 x 12, by Marian Dioguardi, $525

Odd Couple Buoys, 12 X 12, by Marian Dioguardi, $525
Crazy Color Buoy, by Marian Dioguardi, $550