Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah-Bernhardt-(after-Nadar),epoxy-resin,-mixed-media-on-wood,-48-x-39,-2007In 1878, long before Mae West’s spiky-heeled stomp across a Vaudeville stage or Madonna’s inflammatory hip gyrations to the tune of Like a Virgin, the French actress Sarah Bernhardt gallantly hovered in a hot air balloon in the skies above Paris. Free-spirited and oozing with scandal, Bernhardt quickly became a transformative figure both viciously attacked and celebrated in print and caricature. Finzi was impressed by her talent, lifelong artistic dedication, savvy management skills, and proto-feminist way of life. In this body of work, Finzi’s distinct resin painting technique operates as a fitting metaphor to capture the elusive core of his subject. In his enclosed studio the artist substitutes syringes for paintbrushes. He works with propane torches to heat the epoxy resin and paints to just the right temperature. The medium is volatile and demanding, and the artist must work swiftly to control the direction of the pigments before they set up. At some point, he has to cede control to chemical reactions, an uncertainty that both challenges and enchants him. In Finzi’s resin paintings, scientific experimentation, theatrical direction and artistic surrender blend to create the final output.
Written by: Andrea Pollan, independent curator/writer

Portrait-of-Sarah-Bernhardt-in-her-Study,-24-x-26,-epoxy,-mixed-media-on-wood,-2008Sarah Bernhardt in her study, epoxy resin,mixed media on wood, 82 x 64,2007Sarah dreaming, epoxy resin, mixed media on wood, 39 x 48, 2006Sarah-Bernhardt-in-Triplicate,-44'-x-36_,-epoxy-resin,-mixed-media-on-wood,-2007Sarah-Bernhardt-(after-Nadar),epoxy-resin,-mixed-media-on-wood,-48-x-39,-2007
  • Portrait-of-Sarah-Bernhardt-in-her-Study,-24-x-26,-epoxy,-mixed-media-on-wood,-2008

  • Sarah Bernhardt in her study, epoxy resin,mixed media on wood, 82 x 64,2007

  • Sarah dreaming, epoxy resin, mixed media on wood, 39 x 48, 2006

  • Sarah-Bernhardt-in-Triplicate,-44'-x-36_,-epoxy-resin,-mixed-media-on-wood,-2007

  • Sarah-Bernhardt-(after-Nadar),epoxy-resin,-mixed-media-on-wood,-48-x-39,-2007