NORM SIEGEL
LIFE AND DEPTH

Nov 16 2018 - Jan 31, 2019
Opening reception Friday Nov 16th 6:30-8pm

Inspired on a 6 th grade school trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the magnificent landscapes of Albert Bierstadt, and a trompe l’oeil painting by William Harnett; I knew what I wanted to do. While studying art at Cooper Union in the days when abstract expressionism was pushed hard I felt like the left-handed boy being forced to write right-handed. Though my photorealistic and figurative style was tolerated at Cooper I felt out of place; so naturally I went over to the dark side: advertising.

After serving a stint in the army I worked as an art director at various “MadMen” agencies and was fortunate to have won many awards.

Disliking the politics of the agencies I began freelancing and taking up painting again. Along with my writing partner Steve Lance we helped launch the Discovery Channel in 1989.

I joined the Air Force Art program 12 years ago. In exchange for the temporary rank of colonel and incredible trips on the latest jets and helicopters, artists donate their paintings to the Air Force. Some are in the Pentagon, some in air and space museums.

I have no intellectual or emotional reasons for why I paint like I do. Nor do I have any fancy explanations for what I’m trying to communicate to the viewer. I paint like I do because that’s the way I’m wired.

Growing up as a child of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s I was a huge fan of 3D comics and the early 3D movies. It seemed like a great challenge to see if I could work out the process to achieve in paint the 3D effect. So in that regard my 3D painting is somewhat “interactive”. You need the red/ blue 3-D glasses to see them. I’ve also created a genre of “Coffee Table Book Paintings”. Famous rare book editions and magazines that interest me; realistically rendered that you can either display them on a coffee table, or if you prefer, on your wall.

I must confess in deriving pleasure from watching people attempt to turn the pages.

‘You’re insane’. I get this a lot from people who view my work. Including other artists.
— Norm Siegel
 Photo: Steve Pomerantz

Photo: Steve Pomerantz

Norm Siegel lives and works in Norwalk, CT.