Inside the New Van Arno Series ‘Upright’

by Andy SmithPosted on

Van Arno’s latest series, “Upright,” represents yet another evolution for the painter, who has worked professionally for two decades and taught for five years. Arno was last featured on here.

Arno maintains that his career has been a gradual push and pull with the presence of narrative in his works. “For a long time my work was based on very specific stories gleaned from history, mythology, and religious subject matter,” Arno says. “I felt the viewer could enjoy the piece even if the viewer knew little or nothing about the story depicted. Over time, I became less interested in storytelling and more interested in the individuals involved.”

The artist said a turning point came from the creation of a 2014 painting titled “Sweet Tart,” which presented a figure without a specific story attached. Arno noticed that in its proportions, 24″ x 48″, and the manner in which the image is cropped, the figure appears “larger than life size.” These new works reflect a blurred approach between the push and pull of his relationship to storytelling.

“Some of these pieces are still based on history (The Black Dahlia makes figure composition unconventional, since she is cut in half) and mythology (Medea deciding to kill her children) and some have obvious narrative qualities,” Arno continues. “But the story behind the action is kept obscure in most cases.”

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