“I find something mysterious, romantic and nostalgic about the power of cities, machines, night time and the edgy parts of town.”
Brooklyn NY-born, Allan Gorman (1947) is a self-taught painter who brings his strengths as an internationally decorated ad man and graphic designer to artworks that certainly reflect his own unique and distinctive brand. Soaring chrome exhaust pipes set on a stark blue sky, mirrors that reflect the geometries of industry, a macro trip inside a pocket watch mechanism – hard angles, strong colors and carefully thought-through compositions permeate works that have been seen in dozens of gallery and museum shows and private collections in both the US and Europe.
I’m drawn to the abstract patterns, shapes and random aesthetic tensions I find hidden in realistic objects – particularly within the industrial milieu. Although the paintings are photo-realistic, the focus isn’t necessarily on the photo-realsim at all, but rather on the plays of light and shadow, dance of the colors, overall composition, shapes and contrasts. In this way, I think of these works as abstract paintings in the guise of realism, and that’s what informs me as a criteria for what to paint.
I find something mysterious, romantic and nostalgic about the power of cities, machines, night time and the edgy parts of town. I’m a child of the 50s and 60s, and have great memories about the neon lights and hustle-bustle of old NYC when old subways had wicker seats, and Jazz was in the air.
My influences were the artists of a generation or two before – the ash can school artists like George Bellows, Edward Hopper, and Reginald Marsh; and photographers like Paul Strand, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. And then, when photo-realsim and the west-coast artists first came on the scene in the mid 60’s, early 70’s , I was immediately drawn to the work of Ricard Estes, Robert Cottingham, Wayne Thiebault, of course Richard Diebenkorn, and others who could—within the confines of a small rectangle or square, tell a story about my time, my society, and the things I related to. I think you can see some of these influences in the images I make today. But, while acknowledging my predecessors, I’m certainly not trying to be like them. Hopefully, my art will be unique and interesting enough to make its’ own statement—without any comparisons to what someone else might have said.