Cory Calandra Devereaux
Like many people, I moved to San Francisco from someplace else. I came directly after graduate school. My second job was on Fisherman’s Wharf, selling “art”.
The wharf was an amazing bustling place. People walked southward from Ghirardelli Square until they reached Pier 39. Then they walked back. There was constant motion, and non-stop activity, especially during summer.
The wharf was a three-ring circus, and the Street Performers were stars. There were mimes, tumblers, comedians, magicians, jugglers, tricksters, etc. Talented/inventive folks who worked for tips, posed for pictures, and often gave a break to a beleaguered artist.
I photographed several of my favorite entertainers for a series of large paintings (4 in total, each painting measures 40” by 50”). Coloring books, paint-by-numbers, and photorealism influenced my work before, and during this period. Since then, and in my current work, I augment the coloring book aspect by outlining in complementary colors. This method adds depth to flat shapes and makes specifically highlighted areas “pop”. Oh, and color, then and now, I love bold, bright color.
In the Street Performers paintings one sees two images of each character. Why? Are they yin and yang, two sides of the same coin, opposites attracting? I really do not know, other than 2 figures make the design stronger. Plus, I like them this way.