FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BERNIE TAUPIN | Somnambulistica
January 24 – March 31, 2015
Opening Reception with Artist in Attendance: January 24, 7-9pm
KM FINE ARTS | LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles, CA (January 8, 2015) - KM Fine Arts is pleased to announce Somnambulistica, a solo exhibition of new paintings and mixed media works by artist Bernie Taupin, on view from January 24, 2015 – March 14, 2015 at the gallery’s West Hollywood location at 814 North La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 24, from 7-9pm with the artist in attendance.
Somnambulistica highlights Taupin’s ability to manipulate a wide range of media into lyrically abstract works that only hint at narrative but are loaded with dynamism. While creating this new body of work virtually any material was subject to serve in his creative arsenal. Among the use of more traditional media such as acrylic and oil paints, wax, cheesecloth, bubble wrap, glass, metal and shredded paper can also be found within this body of work. Each painting acts as a visual ensemble of color, texture and movement.
Bernie Taupin, a British-born American artist, whose early childhood appreciation of the arts was introduced by his Bohemian mother and maternal grandfather. While in New York during the winter of 1970 and 1971 Taupin found himself seeking solace in the myriad museums in the city. It was during these visits that he began honing his visual sensibility.
In 1990, armed with an acute painterly awareness and an appreciation of modernist painters of the 1960s and 1970s, Taupin began a serious career as a visual artist. The aesthetics of Anselm Kiefer, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko live keenly within his work and figuration is of little interest to him. By restricting himself to the vocabulary of abstraction he remains open to explore the more visceral relationships between color and texture. Zips, splashes, blocks, dabs, and drips of color coalesce to form symphonic paintings that appear to hint at a message, but intentionally fall just short of doing so.
Bernie Taupin may be best known for his legendary songwriting career, yet very little tangible overlap exists between his work as a wordsmith and his approach to painting. As critic Doug McClemont writes in “Earthy Delights: Bernie Taupin’s Alchemical Abstraction,” published in the accompanying exhibition catalog, “Taupin’s vigorous abstractions are extensions of his id.” He continues, “Abstraction, like Jazz music or a Shakespearian monologue, is felt more than cognized. If, like a younger Taupin visiting museum after museum, we succumb to its challenges and charms and allow color and form to wash over us, the rewards are plentiful.”
About Bernie Taupin
Bernie Taupin, songwriter-turned-visual-artist, explains that his creative process is “simply the visual extension of what I have spent my life creating through words.”
After his successful career working with Elton John, Taupin began to expand his creative oeuvre beyond writing. In 1990, equipped with an acute visual sensibility and infatuation with painting, he set out to begin his career as a serious visual artist.
Taupin first began frequenting art galleries and museums in the early 1970s as a way to seek solace from the chaos of New York City. During his visits he found unexpected crossovers between the art and his own songwriting, particularly in Modernist paintings and sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art.
Although he now lives and works on a ranch house in central California, the influence of 1960s and 1970s modernist painting is apparent in the work of Bernie Taupin, a self-described “east coast painter.” Early in his career he found a particular kinship with artists Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Clifford Still, evidence of which can still be seen in his paintings.
Taupin’s work cannot be defined by one particular style, but rather tends to hover around the canons of abstract expressionism punctuated by elements of Pop Art. He has been known to use house paint, acrylic and oil paint, wood stains, spray paint and even collaged elements in his highly expressive works and has found that certain shapes, colors, and even painted words convey different feelings and emotions. His work does not aim to convey any obvious narrative, however, Taupin paints in such a way to invite viewers to interpret the works according to their own thoughts and experiences, and encourages viewers to insert their own perceived narratives.
Since he began his painting career, Taupin’s work has been exhibited nationally, including exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles, and his work can be found in significant private collections throughout the U.S.