Right-Brained Lawyer Brings Art to Starbucks
Most people visit Starbucks to order their customized form of caffeine, then proceed to engage in conversation, complete a novel or homework assignment, and simply relax. Norman Rosen has given the Englewood Starbucks on East Palisade Ave. yet another form of attraction for the whole month of October. The cafe features a fifteen-piece art collection by Rosen called Right Brained Art by a Left Brained Lawyer that will last until October 31st, 2011.
Norman Rosen is a husband, grandfather, and retired lawyer. What started as elementary sketches in a travel journal has become his passion and talent over the years. Rosen started taking art classes at the Old Church Art School and the Art Center of New Jersey, where he learned to harness his craft using different media and styles. He describes his artwork as having Asian, expressionistic, and fauvist themes. Fauvist painting is often seen in popular works by Van Gogh and Paul Signac as a mode of expressionism. Painting flowers, birds, fish, and trees allows him to combine naturalist images through abstract means, as seen in his #2 painting that depicts three canvases; the center one of a skewed forest in a purple dawn, surrounded by close ups of vibrant flowers to the left and right.
The naturalistic style of the paintings emanate warmth, and the viewer is able to appreciate its appropriate placement in the cafe. The exhibit inhabits two white walls to the right of the register near the pastry case and creates a welcoming corner in the cafe for customers. Although the works are dimly lit, the display is unexpected and inviting in an otherwise high-capacity Starbucks, which makes standing in a long line worthwhile. When approaching the art, the area is no longer a corner of a cafe, but becomes an inspiring space that invites a change in conversation.
The collection features a few engrossing portraits, with each piece using different media: pastel, oil, acrylic, watercolor, and pencil. The Albert Einstein portrait labeled #9 is reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Pipe and Straw Hat and offers a new perspective to the classic Einstein image. Lines from this painting are similar to Van Gogh’s style in that their imperfection creates attractive shapes. Vivid shading highlights otherwise forgettable features in Einstein’s face – a common technique used in Rosen’s other paintings.
Rosen’s watercolor parrot portrait labeled #1 is especially eye-catching due to its bright lifelike characteristics. Its weighty gaze and upright head position suggest humanesque personality traits. Personification permeates the painting through the parrot’s pensive stare. The colors used in this painting allow the viewer to experience depth in character comparable to an actor frozen on stage. Complementary hues make these works naturally enticing and mesmeric.
His paintings also illustrate surreal landscapes, namely #11, overwhelmed with disco-colored clouds, neon reds and oranges, and are contrasted with darker earth tones. Layered acrylics designate a horizon on what seems like a dismal evening in an ocean of fuchsia. Even his simplistic interpretations of flowers and insects and naval scenes give off a sense of excitement in their surprising cerulean blues, lime greens and jaundiced yellow and off-center composition.
The gallery will remain up until November, and it is uncertain whether or not the art is for sale because no prices were listed. Rosen also cannot be found online as an artist, but his contact information is available at the cafe.