Collection of Dr. Mark Crafford & Scott London; Norfolk, Virginia
Morocco: La Place, The Marketplace in Marrakech received the Judge's Choice Award on the occasion of the 2nd Annual- Artist Supporting the Arts Gala, October 23, 2010 by Guest Judge, Jeff Harrison, Chief Curator/Acting Curator of American and Contemporary Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Harrison comments below:
"A wonderfully evocative scene of everyday North African life—of the bustle and color in a contemporary Moroccan bazaar. The artist's handling of color and atmosphere is really masterful, right on the money. Somehow he manages both to muffle the scene in the heavy atmosphere of a dewy morning and to suggest a range of brilliant hues glowing beneath the haze. Both palette and composition are wonderfully balanced, with the tower in the distance locking the busy scene down at the center. An anchor amid the flow of life.
Scenes of exotic North African and Near Eastern life have a long tradition in European and American art, one that stretches back to the 19th century, and it takes a degree of confidence—and I think, even nerve—for a 21st century artist to revisit a genre that's already been covered by masters like Delacroix. But the artist here, I think, really carries it off. He definitely knows his sources, he knows that brilliant color stands at the center of this kind of exotic subject—and by blending figures in traditional dress with others in modern Western dress, he gives us a knowing update of the Orientalist genre. It's exotic, romantic, its brushwork masterful and its palette downright lush. Congratulations!"