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Reviving Images with Vitality: Exploring Edward Schulman’s ‘Winter Color’

Edward Schulman’s latest showcase, “Winter Color,” hosted at Mocha Mott’s in Vineyard Haven, serves as a poetic celebration of the interplay between color and motion. Despite its abstract and expressionistic nature, Schulman’s art maintains a connection with the tangible world.

Expressing his artistic philosophy, Schulman elaborates, “My creations reflect a profound fascination with contemporary expressionism, movement, dance, as well as elements of fashion and historical costume design, all amalgamated to deliver a striking yet relatable experience to the observer.”

Schulman’s distinctive gestural technique infuses vitality into his artwork, endowing each piece with a sense of animation. This immediacy is evident from the onset of the exhibition, notably in the charcoal drawing “Kitty,” where minimal strokes delineate a spirited, burlesque-inspired figure. Through strategic interplay of black and white, Schulman encapsulates Kitty’s essence, inviting viewers to craft their narratives around her persona.

Describing his creative process, Schulman remarks, “I don’t so much compose my paintings as they organically evolve.” This organic evolution is palpable in works like “Three Sisters,” where fluid ink strokes bring to life three dynamic female figures in harmonious motion. Schulman’s ability to synchronize these figures seamlessly within the composition underscores the enchanting allure of the piece.

Initially drawn to monochromatic drawings, Schulman gradually embraced the realm of color at the encouragement of others. While his palette tends towards muted tones, strategic pops of vibrant hues accentuate key elements within his compositions, as seen in “Red Cap,” a visually captivating piece featuring rows of abstract figures adorned with crimson headwear.

Transitioning to a group of elongated, African-inspired women in “Joy,” Schulman conveys a sense of jubilation through subtle tonal variations and expressive poses. Each figure exudes a distinct energy, contained within a minimalist frame that accentuates their collective exuberance.

In “Gossip,” Schulman captures a scene of camaraderie and anticipation, where women engage in animated conversation backstage. The subtle inclinations of their heads and the implied dialogue between figures invite viewers to immerse themselves in the narrative unfolding within the painting.

Contrasting the dynamic figures in motion, “Market Day” offers a serene tableau of women awaiting transportation, rendered with vibrant red accents and flowing brushstrokes that imbue the scene with a sense of vibrancy and grace. Inspired by a real-life encounter in Bequia, Schulman’s painting encapsulates the quiet nobility he observed in the subjects.

Venturing into urban landscapes, Schulman’s “Apple” presents a lively depiction of Manhattan viewed from across the Hudson River. Drawing inspiration from artists like Stuart Davis, Schulman infuses his interpretation with dynamic strokes and a vibrant color palette, paying homage to the bustling energy of the cityscape.

For Schulman, art is a conduit for joy and emotional upliftment, akin to the difference between weekends and weekdays. He values the interaction between his creations and their audience, emphasizing the shared experience of art appreciation and the personal connections forged through visual storytelling.

“Winter Color” will be on display until Feb. 28 at Mocha Mott’s, located at 15 Main St. in Vineyard Haven, welcoming visitors during regular store hours.