During the warmer half of 2015, while plein airing daily smack-dab in a tourist-trapping main drag which Vascio called "a cattlerun," "slammin'," and "clogged like Manhattan," the artist heard passerbys say "Rouen Cathedral" and "Monet" several times a day.
Usually the artist maintained silence or near-silence to this stock appreciation, focusing on his task at hand; but for the especially interested he sometimes pitched into a garrulous kind of ode: that one got appreciably more salient by citing from the underexposed pre-avant gardist North American Impressionists to the livingly advancing Cape School.
If Parisians gave up their first wave avant garde as passé before its subsequent fin de siècle, then, as suggested at least as far back as Edward Hopper, the laud should spread proportionately to the continuity cross-culturally inspired since.
Fittingly, one Cape School of Art teacher thought of this "Cupola" series as "basically a giant block study," in reference to Cape School curriculum.
The similiar croppings of a single up-close architectural feature deliberately perspectived upwards afore yonder and exhibited "salon style" by the dozens, force the issue of the motif serving as a means towards the end of subjectifying light, which often reflected off the shimmering or glassily brilliant nearby bay, bringing a prominence of the sky's hue twice-removed within the shadowed vertical planes locally coloured ivory white.
The artist referred to the cupola's exterior as "manilla" "buttermilk" & "modernly warmer than the original plain evangelical" as the building orangeishly reflected onto its own horizontal undersides throughout sunny days, giving the challenge of depicting complementary luminosities within the same shadow masses with his richly pigmented, depthfully slow-drying, hand-ground recipes - demanding a marathon of painting sessions lasting consecutive months.
One might it view as just another series he may rehomage, season after season.
Photographs by Jim Austin
Photograph at Ehva Gallery by Carol Caradimos