10. Johnson & Wales, Snowden Hall, 220 Weybosset Street

Dear Andy (Montauk)Series, Mel Smothers

"Last year I read in the New York Times that Andy Warhol’s oceanside estate at Montauk, Long Island was sold, so I made a point of driving out to get a feel for the place. Andy was a very busy guy in New York City; he was famous, he was mass producing contemporary art with images he found in the NY Times. Montauk wasn’t on Andy’s calendar much. His famous friends liked it out there. I’ve taken a look around and like it too. I’ve painted Andy a few postcards.

He would have liked that."

About the Artist
"This series is about a resolution of my West Coast art education with Wayne Thiebaud’s Pop Art, that had a zen-like naturalist feel to me, and the relocation of my studio to NYCand immersion into Warholian East Coast Pop Art. Andy Warhol’s model was indigenous to materialism and mass commercial culture. As a painter, I’m interested in aspects of both; that is, the painterly formalism of California and, the conceptualism of East Coast. My current approach to a synthesis is influenced by van Gogh’s letters to Bernard and Charlie Russell’s barroom communications from Montana."

Selected recent exhibitions include Higgenbotham Museum, Virginia; Brooklyn Museum, New York City; Museum of Community University of New York (CUNY);Whipple Art Museum;
Mid-America All Indian Center and the University of California at Davis. Mel will have a solo exhibition at the Judaica Museum, New York City, 2009, with Warhol’s from museum collection, Emily O’Leary, Curator.

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