Jul 29, 2011
Fab Fridays: Artist Steve Alpert
Each Friday Simplifying Fabulous! presents Fab Fridays, an up-close-and-personal look at how one of our community members simplifies fabulous in their own life. Is there someone you'd like to see featured? Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simplifying Fabulous! with Artist Steve AlpertSteve Alpert has not only been painting for 40 years, (professionally for the last 12), he also writes books, produces television and theatre shows and is a philanthropist. Alpert has dedicated time to making military paintings that he has donated to non-profit organizations that assist Veterans and their families. When not working on one of his many projects in his Quogue, NY studio, he spends time with his wife, Dorothy, and indulges in a game of golf. Robin Baron: Is there anything about your artwork that embodies the mantra of Simplifying Fabulous: Confidence Begins at Home? Steve Alpert: For me, Simplifying Fabulous refers to the simplicity of nature. Translating that feeling into art is really wonderful to live with. Painting brings me peace and serenity. My paintings are my way of passing this on to others. We humans, especially urban human, forget that we are a part of an intricate and unfathomable matrix of natural existence. What catches my attention are moments of extreme beauty and peace, whether it is found simply in a field or the way the sun is shaded by cloud mist. I am interested in those moments of deep relaxation we are able to access outside of ourselves, and within.
The Legacy, Steve AlpertRB: Tell me a bit about your work. Is painting your main creative outlet? SA: Painting is the wellspring of my creative life. I was a TV producer for many decades, and I am now a theatrical producer. I’ve produced one Broadway show and one Off-Broadway show, and I have a new show, “The Steadfast," in development. The play is based on “Legacy,” a military-inspired painting I was asked to make for an illustrious gentleman in Washington DC. The soldiers are from the eight US Army uniform eras. The "Legacy" is based on the thought of, "What if those soldiers were to step out of that painting and tell their stories?” It's a love letter to all the men and women who served our nation in uniform.
Black Hawk, Steve AlpertRB: You have a strong connection with the subject matter of military imagery...Where does that come from? SA: I was of the Vietnam War era and that was a terrible time in our history. And two years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, I began making military images beginning with a series of paintings with Blackhawk helicopters. I made other military images as well and eventually realized these paintings had a job to do, and that was to raise money for Veterans and their families. I’ve been donating these paintings, and some landscapes as well to organizations that provide valuable support to our Veterans; Fisher House, and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
Steve Alpert, middleRB: Enough about work! How do you rest, relax, recharge and get your find creative inspiration? SA: I actually rest and relax on the golf course. Golf is mental floss for me. Also, reading is something I don’t nearly do enough, but I read mostly non-fiction, a lot of military history and books of a spiritual nature. Regarding my creative energy, I say that my "radar" is always on. Inspiration comes to me at the oddest times, often when I least expect it. I remember what I experience and have these "digital image files" in my head that I access pretty much anytime I choose. When I make paintings, I like to work in an improvisational way, or “non-objective,” which produces the romance and adventure that painting is for me. I like to work, “wet in wet” mixing and blending the colors on the canvas. This is serious painting fun and it is part of the adventure into the unknown.
RB: How do you put this level of personalization into your home? SA: My big decorating secret is my wife, Dorothy. Dorothy has a fine decorating and design aesthetic and has created two beautiful nests for us! What I love most about Dorothy and my home(s) is that they both make me feel quiet and comfortable. The art around our apartment in the city is mostly of other artists...beautiful pieces by Dean Mitchell, Wolf Kahn and Cynthia Knott. Living with art that you love gives me a sense of excellence in my life. It inspires me to strive towards excellence in all aspects of my life. Am I excellent in all aspects in my life? No! But I try, I try.