Inspire Me! by Stuart Denker

Some of my paintings are based on 35mm Kodachrome slides taken during a 1990 trip to Greece. I completed a painting earlier this year based on my encounter with the re-assembled fragments of the sculpture from the West Pediment of the Temple of Zeus in the New Museum in Olympia. Walking in on this amazing art still stands out as one of the most inspiring happenings of the trip. Created between 472 and 456 BCE, this magnificent sculpture survived in place for about a thousand years before a succession of earthquakes brought it down and buried it.

This is the photo that the painting is based on:

Here is a screenshot of a museum catalog illustration of the surviving elements of both the East and West Pediment sculptures:

I’ve re-peopled the museum visitors, one of whom is a Greek widow walking past, paying no attention to the exhibit. The background wall color was changed in order to give the painting greater impact.

This is a photo of the finished painting:

“Wine It Was…” based on a quotation from Homer’s “Odyssey” (c 8th century BCE) wherein he poetically relates the mythic tale of a battle between the Lapiths and the Centaurs and an intervention by Apollo, the son of Zeus, this being the narrative content of the sculpture.

Be sure to stop by Stuart’s Los Osos studio both weekends of Open Studios Art Tour.  You can also see more of his work in ARTS Obispo’s Visual Artist Directory.


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