Stuart Dunkel

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Stuart Dunkel

United States

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STUART DUNKEL                                            

      My paintings are autobiographical.  They reflect and explore issues in my life.  I like to transpose my philosophical ideas into the creation of still life, animal, and landscape paintings.  I cherish the teachings and procedures of the old masters, especially the Dutch painters, and encourage my students to explore and continue with these rich traditions.  I seek to achieve strong, balanced, and interesting compositions, using movement to lead the viewer through my work.  Looking at my art, I would like a collector to find a secret place within them where they discover the knowledge and truth of joy, optimism, humor and playfulness, as well as a sense of classical balance and beauty.

  Being a painter, musician and author, sight, sound and words are the tools of my expression. I began painting at age five and at age seven I began studying music. The very discipline of formal training has always appealed to me and I have dedicated my life to the in- depth study of them. I studied music and art at Boston University, Mannes College of Music, the Juilliard School (Doctorate), and art at the Boston Museum School, Kent State, and The Seattle Academy of Realist Art as well as privately with respected teachers.

  My breakthrough moment in art was when it was revealed to me that music and art were made up of the same ideas. Conceptual juxtaposition has always been my gift. (I try to balance my left and right brain, yet the right side seems to always win!). Rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, balance, contrast, scales, chromatism, keys, high and low, dark and bright, loud and soft, colorful and dull, jumbled in my minds eye - all the polarities in the arts and indeed in life itself! I have the ability to think of a scene or object and project it on my minds screen and then draw and paint from it.

Major influences have come from the Netherlands artists between 1550 and 1720.  Their clarity of image and beauty have inspired me my whole life, in particular, Kalf, De Heem, Heda and Claesz. My early works were Dali inspired and taught me that creativity is that place inside that ideas mingle, collide, and create new ones. The past meets the future on the inner screen between the eyes where reality and fantasy collide

  I usually enjoy the darkest of backgrounds in my still life paintings as it affords the eye the most comfortable place to perceive reality at its beginning. The great Netherlands artist of the 16th century knew this, and many of the most beautiful images are set against a blackish backdrop. This perception enforces my belief that nothing exists until light is draped over it. From the nothingness of black we build up to the perceived objects. As in love, we create the feeling the other inspires in us. As in art, we create the feeling to inspire the others in us. In other words, we must think of the consequences of our actions and what results each brushstroke and image communicates. 

         My professional life includes teaching art to private students through my school, The Nautilus School of Realist Art, and music at the Boston Conservatory of Music. I have written music, published two books, “The Audition Process: Anxiety Management and Coping Strategies”, and “An Artists Life: Insights to the paintings of Stuart Dunkel”.  I also produced a solo CD of myself performing music I have written based on four of my paintings, called “Oboe Colors.”  A golden retriever, and cat, and 2 mice that teach me about how to live each day own me.



* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.