Watercolors and Linocuts
Artist - Scott Ponemone
Biography / Statement
Scott Ponemone has focused his work to two parallel explorations of the human condition over a 40-year career as an artist. In most cases his medium has been watercolor, although he never considered himself a watercolorist, rather an artist in watercolors.
One route has taken him on a quite literal representation of what it is to be human and what we human beings look like in the process. This exploration began by zeroing in on how we use our hands, since our extremely dextrous hands with their opposable thumbs has given us the ability to be great tool makers and users. Then Ponemone literally broadened his image-making to include whole arms. For these paintings he asked individuals to hold up above their heads objects that help define who they are. For instance an auto repair mechanic holds up a spare tire. Then only his arms and the tire were painted. Most recently he asked couples that he met in public places to become instant models. The resulting paintings presented both the bonds of the couples and the strengths of the individuals. This latest evolution of his exploration he calls “2 by 2.”
For the other line of exploration Ponemone focused on persons’ attempts to make sense of the chaotic and dangerous world they live in. As a world traveler he became fascinated with the details of the decorative arts he was surrounded by: patterns in pavements, carvings on furniture or picture frames, stitching on clothing, etc. He also thought of the patterns of language. Why has mankind needed to create so many patterns? He realized, just maybe, we humans need patterns to make sense of the chaos and the unknowns around us. He decided that the sky, while sometimes beautiful, is an appropriate choice to represent chaos and the uncontrollable–God’s territory! So in his series called “Planets,” he paints a sky–always from memory–and surrounds it with a decorative arts pattern that has caught his eye. In other words, he placed the (man-made) knowable around a celestial moment of the unknowable.
These twin explorations have been celebrated in two dozen solo exhibitions, numerous group shows, awards by watercolor societies, placement in corporate and public collections, and over twenty fellowships and residencies.