By Tony Falcone, Artist
As a commissioned fine artist, most of my work begins with a commission request by a potential patron to create an image which best represents a particular subject they wish to capture. During my initial meeting with the Shubert Theatre’s 100th Anniversary Design Team, I was inspired by the request to create a painting that would capture the anticipation of the audience just as the curtain is about to rise; no the physical interior of the Theatre, which in and of itself is breathtaking, but the magic that emanates from beneath the curtain just as the performance is about to begin. It was the magic of live theatrethat has engaged audiences for the last 100 years which the Shubert wished to commemorate on this – their 100thanniversary.
My challenge was hot to create that visual and emotional excitement through a painting. Commissioned artwork tends to scare or worry an artist. But I love the opportunity that it provides, especially when the creative process is a collaborative effort with the patron. In this case, I worked with a team that included Shubert staff and administrators, Judi – Falcone Art Studio’s Projects Manager – and me. Their vision created the starting point, and our ensuing discussions inspired numerous thumbnail sketches. Sometimes, the vision comes together easily; other times many sketches are needed. A color study helps to focus the direction and spur discussion towards final composition.
As it turned out, my first color study was off the mark; too representational; too monochromatic. But a compositional doodle I had done for the team during an earlier brainstorming session was resurrected and unanimously selected as the direction. Well, no worries! Here was an opportunity to go toward abstraction. I embraced the team’s decision, and created another color study – more colorful and somewhat more abstract. In it, I used form and color to capture the magic of opening night and the excitement of the crowd, which translates into an almost palpable aura that connects the viewer of the painting to the experience of the audience.
The result is very different, especially for me, since most of my work is realistic! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
May the Arts be with you,
photo by David Sepulveda
Reproduction prints, signed by the artist, and poster prints, are available to purchase in the Shubert lobby. Proceeds benefit the care and maintenance of our legendary theatre.