|Morning in Samoa by Nolan Haan 24 x 36 inches oil on canvas|
When I returned to the United States, I became a wildlife artist and specialized in portraits of birds:
|Nolan Haan Peacock oil on panel 40 x 60 inches|
When asked at cocktail parties what I do, my answer is "I paint portraits of concrete blocks." As you can imagine, this is usually met with a glassy stare and a hasty retreat. I draw strength knowing that Andy Warhol once had to say, "I do paintings of Campbell's soup cans." And we all know how that turned out. On occasion, however, someone will ask the logical next question, "Why?"
It took me a long time to answer that question, to realize that these concrete blocks were actually portraits of myself. I never painted a traditional self-portrait, always reluctant to reveal so much about myself. Subconsciously, I was using concrete as a diary. One by one, the cement blocks were documenting my emotions, my states of mind--my life. My concrete alter ego is less self-conscious, so honesty comes more easily. A life story told in the language of cement...
|Close to Silence acrylic on silk, mounted on hardboard 70 x 40 inches|
Since they look so 3-D, most viewers go first to the technical aspect of the work. My hope is that the content will also be explored. I want viewers to see something of themselves reflected back.
|Nolan Haan in his studio, holding Close to Silence|
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