Welcome to the new blog for my "Painting Dante's Inferno" Project!
As many of you know, my Kickstarter campaign for my Inferno project has ended. Upon launching the campaign in mid August, I was immediately approached by several private collectors that wished to contribute to the project, though not publicly, on Kickstarter. It quickly became evident that Kickstarter wasn’t the best approach so I chose to just let it run its course. Thankfully, I have almost 60% of the project funded. It seems that once again, I’ve been surprised by the outpouring of encouragement and support from so many old and new collectors. I look forward to forging new friendships and welcoming my newest collectors to my studio. Also, my wife and I will be throwing a cocktail party at our home in November to thank all the contributors. At that time, I will be unveiling the first two panels.
Now that my Kickstarter campaign is over, I am continuing the campaign privately to secure the rest of the projected funds. As I begin working on the project, ongoing funding will be necessary for me to achieve my goal as expected over the next two years. The generous contributions from my collectors were greatly appreciated and I feel blessed and invigorated for their faith in my tenacity and talent. For more information on how you can contribute click here.
Jerry's Artarama Contributes 40 Large AlumaComp Panels to the Project
The biggest news I’m so grateful to announce is that Jerry’s Artarama, one of the largest art supply companies in the world, has generously supported my project by contributing all forty, 5 foot by 4 foot, AlumaComp aluminum panels, for my project. I am beyond humbled that Ira Goldstein has pledged such a large and generous gift to this project. The gift of forty, high-quality, AlumaComp panels will not only ease a great financial burden, but will also assure that these panels will be free from any potential warping. When I initially considered the scope of this project, I was concerned about how many large wooden panels I would have to build for this series – this task takes far too many hours away from painting. However, the main concern was the potential warping – common problems associated with the irregularity of the material. Thanks to Ira, all of these taxing concerns have been put to rest. For those not familiar with this brilliant and innovative product, you can see one of my recent demos and reviews of AlumaComp two weeks ago when I painted "Paris". After painting on this material only once, I have committed to using it for all my work going forward. Being able to use this product on such a large series of work will not only demonstrate Jerry’s high quality merchandise, but a new higher standard for my paintings. Thank you again, Jerry's Artarama for your unwavering faith and enthusiasm!
So what’s next?
Over the next two years I will contribute to this blog several times a week to keep everyone informed as to what’s happening in my studio. I've already begun to work on poses for some of the panels and I've had several models here to my studio already. This week, I am working intensely with Professor Chris Kleinhenz to make selections for my models of Dante and Virgil - the two most important figures in the story. The casting of these roles is absolutely paramount to the integrity of the project. Currently, we are also discussing wardrobe for these two characters – a key element in keeping Dante’s vision alive and accurate. Along with careful costume choices, we are also dissecting the complex personalities in order to best articulate their various range of emotions and personalities described throughout the cantos of Dante's Inferno. Gustave Dore's illustrations for the poem have been a magnificent testament to Dante's vivid world, but a black and white illustration can only take the story so far. I want the viewer to become a pilgrim traveling with Dante on this transformative journey. I want the viewer to experience Dante’s emotions so profoundly; they become lost in his world. For me, that would be a great and rewarding accomplishment.
I am so grateful for the outpouring of good will and support for my campaign. I encourage you to check out my blog often, as this will be no small feat, even for me. I will be challenged beyond anything I've ever experienced as an artist and I look forward to sharing all the ups and downs of this project. Your support will get me to the finish line. I thank you in advance for your support for my campaign and for sharing this blog with your friends.