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Galerie Sommerlath

"Girl At Her Dressing Table" Modern Acrylic on Canvas by Bob Novak

"Girl At Her Dressing Table" Modern Acrylic on Canvas by Bob Novak

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Through singular facial analysis, the artist dissolves the traditional concept of perspective, presenting the central figure with a multiplication of contours. The main subject, likely a woman, is depicted in profile, augmented by four distinct outlines, evoking a sense of plural personalities or perhaps the visible manifestation of her aura.

The exaggerated shoulder pads, reminiscent of those worn by American football players, give the silhouette a blend of strength and strangeness. In this way, the artist challenges the viewer's perception of space and form and calls out the complexity of identity and the fluidity of the human psyche within a societal context.

The outfit, including the hat, appears almost symmetrical, with each part adorned with a varied palette of colors and patterns. This multiplicity of faces and caps is a literal representation of the expression “wearing several hats,” which alludes to the various roles individuals fulfill. Just as each corresponds to a specific function or role, the central figure appears constantly in action, engaged in myriad activities, and surrounded by a gang of household appliances operating in a postmodern contemporary universe of electrical, electronics, and furniture. The precise details and suggested decorations hint at the character's domestic setting, likely in her kitchen. This ambiguity invites us to contemplate the intersection of tradition and modernity and the evolving roles and identities within the realm of domesticity and consumer society, emphasized by the sensation of seeing an articulated wooden puppet. Through this composition, the artist invites viewers to explore the intersection of shape and color while encouraging reflection on the human condition. Questions arise about agency and influence: Are individuals the masters of their destiny, or are they like puppets manipulated by external forces, shaped by societal norms and pressures?

Bob Novak is an Impressionist & Modern artist. He is as colorful as the neon characters that inhabit his Picasso-inspired paintings.

Also known as Bumblebee Bob, Bob Novak is a West Side blues musician who has worked with such greats as Big Walter, Freddie King, B.B. King, and Muddy Waters. ”Nowadays . . .” is one of Novak`s shorter painting titles. For example, his reclining nude of Marilyn Monroe is called ”Marilyn had health, wealth and beauty, yet each night she waited for the Wolf to make the midnight creep.” Novak says, ”My paintings and their titles are like mini-soap operas.”

Employing the rhythm of `50s beat poetry and the street language of the blues, Novak often converts his art titles into full-blown blues songs and vice versa. Novak`s nomadic life would make for an intriguing novel or film. Even at 57, Novak says he still ”lives out of a suitcase,” dividing his time between Europe and Chicago. A 1958 graduate of the Art Institute, Novak has displayed his art at the Gilman gallery.

PERIOD: 1980-1989
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 50" Width: 40.5" Depth: 1.8"
CREATOR: Bob Novak

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