Inspired by famed Maine artist Winslow Homer, UMass Boston art professor and artist Zach Horn has created an exclusive contemporary art exhibit for Bath’s Maine Maritime Museum, which opens this Saturday.
“We are honored that Zach Horn created these works specifically for the Maine Maritime Museum to exhibit,” wrote the museum’s new executive director Chris Timm in a press release. “Horn’s paintings capture the essence of Winslow Homer by adding his unique touch. Horn’s approach to his art is based on the everyday experiences of being in nature, but he doesn’t forget all the little things that make a visit to the Maine coast so special.
Having first visited Maine as a child, then as an art student, and now as a father, Horn said his show is about love and Maine.
“I come to Maine with people I care about. We joke, eat and swim. This artwork is trying to capture the essence of those experiences, ”Horn said in a press release.
Horn combined his love of Maine and his desire to re-imagine the work of American painter Winslow Homer, visiting Prouts Neck, Maine, where Homer’s art studio still resides.
Considered one of the greatest American painters of the 19th century, Winslow Homer is best known for his nautical landscapes.
“The work that inspires me the most is the work he did at the end of his life. The last group of paintings is really elementary, with waves crashing against the rocks, ”Horn said.
After spending days studying the waves on the Prouts Neck reefs, Horn said Homer’s version of Maine “didn’t exist.”
With further study, he found that Homer had manipulated time and point of view in most of his paintings. Horn said that the impact point of the waves, the splashing of the sea and the drainage of the water are happening simultaneously in Homer’s paintings, which Horn believes is impossible.
This manipulation motivated Horn to create four stop motion exhibits using oil paintings, plexiglass, photographs and digital animations to show the movement of Maine’s oceans and forests.
Using 80,000 separate frames in a seven-minute stop-motion video, Horn said it took him a year to complete the job.
To make the stop motion experience more authentic, Horn made his 20-foot tall installation and added the original audio he collected from walking through the woods and beaches of Maine.
“There is a certain amount of abstraction. I hope I made the experience as immersive as possible, so that people can feel like they are staring at the ocean and walking through the woods. If people can get lost or suspend their disbelief long enough, then I’ve done my job, ”Horn said.
The exhibition will be on display at the Maine Maritime Museum from 25 June to 27 November.
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