Hughes Gallery, Inc. | P.O. Box 35, 333 Park Ave.
Boca Grande, FL. 33921 | 941-964-4273 | Email | Facebook
Once in a great while, we come across an Artist, who stands far above and apart from the others. We take special notice of this One and follow their progress. If we are fortunate, they stay on mark and don’t deviate from where their spirits guide them. It's difficult, if not impossible, to hide disingenuousness when someone lives and expresses as an Artist, simply because their Core is out there for everyone to see. Artists live lives of transparency, which few among us have the courage or tenacity to live.
I've known Kevin Fitzgerald and admired his paintings for many years. His work mesmerized me back in the late 1990's and my appreciation has only grown. Enchantments are wonderful things – sort of like stepping back into Druid-time or some place, long past - deep and full of earthiness.
Fitzgerald's paintings come at us with a quiet, but sure, contemplation – a haunting familiarity, which silently celebrates the immense intensity of our natural world, begging us to move into them, unafraid to surrender so they can take us on their moody journey into the heart of wherever they have decided to go - we are willing participants. Their strong pull keeps us going back for more. Personally, at times, I feel sort of Huck Finnish – as though I sit in a canoe and the river’s current captures it, holds it hostage and forces it (with me in it) deeper into the sultry, blue dusk or misty early hour of dawn. There I am, standing on the edge of that copse, watching and waiting for…..well, something. Not quite sure what, but I feel its presence, its energy, its thrum. Yep, there’s an undeniable buzz emitted from that one. Just there!
Comparable to a lovely Yeats poem, these paintings emit a mysterious quality – it permeates them, like a beautiful gauzy veil tenderly laid over our eyes, making what we see slightly out of focus. Desirable. The visual of the descriptive word "petrichor". ("1960s: blend of petro- 'relating to rocks' the smell is believed to be caused by a liquid mixture of organic compounds that collects in the ground and ichor." Google)
His process looks simple. It is not. I am amazed when I think back upon Kevin’s road and what he began developing many years ago, and just what an immense distance he travelled; how fine and how exquisite the workmanship. He did not deviate, he did not stop and choose a different fork, he plodded ahead, then he forged ahead and he, now, must surely be one of our Tribe's Very Best. He is.
Fitzgerald's paintings evoke an introspection so genuine, we cannot look away. I watch my clients as they pause, then stop and turn toward his work. I watch their eyes roam across the canvases; I watch how, in their imaginations, they decide to step into Kevin’s magical realm - into the depth of those colours. I sense my fellow Tribe members disappear. Eventually, when I approach them and they startle, I feel as if I am an intruder: I've awakened them from some wonderful daydream. Kevin's paintings hang by my desk and in the front of the gallery and, at times, I swear they whisper to me and I find myself leaning in to them, closer, attempting to decipher their code. But those messages, those murmurs I so intently desire to hear, remain secret. That's the beauty. In love, a declaration might serve well – in painting, especially in the Tonalist genre, silence and shadows more accurately express the emotion, borne by the artist.