Focused on Creativity

Alan Gerson

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Alan Gerson’s paintings have been described as ‘dreamlike’ in that he creates a world that is convincing and appears real but is at the same time highly personal and imagined. His work, whether a tromp l’oeil bulletin board or a large still life is always multi-layered, ironic and technically sophisticated. Gerson typically employs  a “faux naive” technique that combines aspects of the real world with his own totally imagined universe. His “Goofy Guy” is a figure and character who is present in much of his work even if at times only in spirit. This teeth-grinding everyman figure inhabits a world he barely understands or is capable of understanding. He is in Gerson’s renditions of children, a witness to space ships, gardener, observer and actor in a strange world that alternately beckons and threatens him.

“Initially, the viewer is attracted to Gerson’s technical virtuosity. His exaggerated floral arrangements recall the Baroque still lifes of De Heem, and often include a creature or two. Gerson’s pseudo-realistic light infused manner of rendering though is closer to Rousseau’s fantastic and fanciful growth,” (Marion McLellan, The New Orleans Art Review, Nov/Dec, 1996.) Though Gerson often deaLs with philosophic themes that may”…radiate lost innocence and existential dread,” there is always a deep dark sense of humor at work. “Gerson’s imagery is fantastical, the product of strangely encompassing if somewhat twisted imagination.” (D, Eric Bookhardt, Gambit
Weekly.) “…his pieces compel us with the kind of authority and inevitability we associate with the most sophisticated painting.” (Terrington Calas, The Times Picayune, Sept. 4, 1992. “Gerson is one of the city’s best painters…willing to put himself into his work to give himself to us, to be the kind of wholly committed artist that we romantically hope is common, but we secretly know is rare.” (Doug MacCash, The Times Picayune, October 1, 1999).

Alan Gerson lives in New Orleans with his wife Beth Meyer and their French Bulldog Sophie. He has taught art at Tulane, Loyola and the University of New Orleans. He was also the visual arts director of the Louisiana Contemporary Arts Center from 1980 to 85.  His work has been seen in numerous one-person shows as well as many group shows throughout the United States. His work is in the permanent collections of The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art as well as other Museums and private collections. He is represented internationally and was an award winning participant in the 2000 Florence Bienalle. He has a degree in philosophy from Boston University, a masters of fine art from the University of New Orleans and a law degree from Tulane. Though he practiced law for three long years the artist has since recovered his senses and since
1992 has been a full time artist.

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