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Fall 2015 Competition:

Seeing RED!


3rd Place Winner

Acrylic reverse-painted on clear acrylic panel
32 x 44 in
2,350 usd

artist statement

What is TRANSCENDENT VISUALISM?  It is an idea, an approach, and a new theory of visual presentation.  Over the years, I have created and developed a distinctive personal style of painting, which embraces elements of representation, expressionism, and abstraction, and which I call Transcendent Visualism.  This name refers to the aesthetic experience that a viewer of my reverse-painted artworks is enabled to have.

The viewer begins by imagining the painting's metal frame as representing the frame of a clear window, through which the viewer is gazing.  The objects being viewed through that portal — which are, in essence, the "subject matter" of the painting — appear to be photographic representations of other dimensions, or other realities. This surprising "photographic effect," which seems to draw the viewer into the alien worlds being presented, is particularly striking when my paintings are viewed in person.

On a deeper level, even though the "subject matter" being viewed might appear at first glance to be a realm of the dreamlike or the unreal, a closer examination often evokes more familiar objects, such as a human face or torso, the delicate parts of a flower, ancient red-rock archways, underwater caverns, an array of stars and galaxies, and so on.  Viewers have told me that the imagery revealed through such "transcendent portals" is reminiscent of fluid, organic, and ethereal forms, which often have a calming or tranquil effect.

The viewer of my Transcendent Visualist paintings thereby experiences a glimpse, or a visualization, of an alternate reality, containing its own autonomous set of structures, objects, and processes.  By means of this simple but sublime experience, it is my modest hope that the viewer's sense of equanimity may be slightly enhanced, and that the viewer's fear of the unknown may be slightly lessened.

artist bio

I have been exhibiting and selling my paintings and photography since 1975, although like many other artists, I have also devoted many years to more practical pursuits.  In my case, I practiced law, first in a large corporate firm, and then in the public service, spending the bulk of my legal career as a prosecutor.  I have five academic degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree (in analytic philosophy) from The Ohio State University.  During my years at Ohio State, I taught a special undergraduate course in art theory and the philosophy of art.

My background in philosophy has given me an analytical approach to the practice of art, which means that I am more interested in the core conceptual issues of aesthetics than mundane things like "what kinds of brushes to use."  For example, do traditional categories like abstraction and representation break down upon close scrutiny?  Is art criticism legitimate?  What is the possible relevance of an artist's subjective intention to the interpretation of an artwork?  What is a work of art, anyway?  And what does it mean even to pose the question, "What is art?"

Having recently relocated to southern Delaware, I am presently represented by the Peghini-Raber Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  In addition, I am a member of the Rehoboth Art League, the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and the International Society of Experimental Artists, and have been exhibiting in their juried and members' shows.  Over the years, I have exhibited my artwork dozens of times in a variety of forums, and have been fortunate to win many awards.  (A comprehensive list of exhibitions and awards is available upon request.)

My first solo exhibition was at the Center for the Creative Arts in Yorklyn, Delaware ("Recent Works on Glass"), in 1995, after which I was represented by the Tideline Galleries in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  One of my graphic paintings has been on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and others have been displayed at City Hall in Philadelphia, the Delaware State Bar Association, and various professional offices and private residences.

I believe that my artwork speaks for itself, and that its unique qualities can be determined and appreciated, by both professional and non-professional viewers, within a few seconds.  Take a look.


 other work by the artist

David Glebe

david curtis glebe
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware [USA]





art scene today Q & A

Q: Where do you see yourself in the art scene today?
A:  I am one of the more fortunate people in "the art scene," because I'm able to create and exhibit my artwork primarily for the pleasure and the fun, without worrying about having to make money from the endeavor.  This is not to say that I am uninterested in selling my Transcendent Visualist artwork, since I will definitely accept payment, but that a significant portion of the proceeds is intended for various charities. Moreover, I am often just as satisfied to give away my artwork, to someone who really loves and appreciates it, as I am happy to sell it.
Q: What is in your inspiration?
A: The mysterious, the beautiful, and the dreamlike.  The cosmic, the universal, and the transcendent.  The sensual, the intense, the spiritual, and the ideal.  The uncertain, the unknown, and the unreal.  The obligatory, the permissible, and the forbidden.  The future, the present, the possible, the impossible ... and everything else.  
Q: What are your challenges?
A: My primary challenge now is a physical one, arising from my recent diagnosis with a serious illness, for which I have been undergoing a variety of medical treatments.  In addition, I am challenged by the unrelenting dumbing-down of popular culture and discourse, the shallowness of consumerism and superstitious beliefs, and the pretentiousness shown by some members of the art world.
Q: How did you/do you choose your medium?
A:  My signature medium and evolving styles involve acrylics that are reverse-painted on glass or clear acrylic panels, which produce a distinctive "photographic effect" when viewed in person.  Years ago, I began to experiment with the application of acrylics on transparent surfaces.  Excited by the results, I continued to experiment with that medium and style, and developed many of my own reverse-painting techniques.

Q: Which artist has influenced you the most?
A: Mark Rothko is my favorite visual artist, followed by Yves Tanguy.  As a Remodernist, I've also been positively influenced by Kandinsky, Pollock, O'Keeffe, Bacon, Zhao Wu-ji, East Asian calligraphy, and the "sand paintings" of the Hopi and Dineh.  On the negative influence side, certain conceptual artists, like Marcel Duchamp, Andres Serrano, and Damien Hirst, who have been repeating the same tiresome post-modernist jokes for the past century, are no longer amusing.

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