A Mesmerizing Juxtaposition
BY CHARLOTTE RUSSELL
For his painting “Harpa,” John Gaitenby was mesmerized by the modern angular lines of The Icelandic Opera housed in Harpa, a concert hall and conference center in Reykjavík, Iceland. What caught his eye was how the opera house stood out against the adjacent harbor and the city’s older buildings. The juxtaposition of old and new intrigues Gaitenby and is a thread throughout his practice. He lets the subject and medium dictate how the picture will evolve and what kind of feeling it evokes. His work captures a place, a time and a feeling. “Harpa” marks a turn in his work towards abstraction as he starts painting with looser lines,
scrapes and drips to capture movement.
John Gaitenby lives and works in Raleigh. He is represented by The Mahler Fine Art gallery in Raleigh and City Art Gallery in Greenville, North Carolina. View more of his work at johngaitenby.com.
“Painting an urban cityscape is different from my normal work. Here, the opera house allows for an element of excitement. This painting is about the juxtaposition of the old and the new.” – John Gaitenby
BELOW: Harpa, 2019 | John Gaitenby | Acrylic on panel | 36 x 48 inches