Othello and Desdemona: What Could Have Been

by Alden Cole on December 31, 2013 · 0 comments


aka Contentment, oil on canvas, 18″ x 24″ in hand-painted frame, 21″ x 27″ • $567

2013. Last spring the DaVinci Art Alliance conducted a collaboration with Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater to present an awards exhibition featuring art inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello and PST’s spring production of the timeless tragedy. As a DaVinci member I was able to enter three pieces; to my surprise, and delight, two pieces won honorable mentions (although interestingly, neither was the particular piece that I personally considered the strongest statement of the three pieces entered). The first Honorable Mention, today’s featured piece, was begun in the late 80s, has a checkered past of being bought and owned temporarily by an older friend, returned to me a few years ago upon the owner’s decease, then reworked last spring especially for the Othello show.

YinYang3WPThe other piece to win an Honorable Mention was 1992’s Yin/Yang #3 (which could as easily have been titled Othello & Desdemona: What Could Have Been #2), colored pencil on black photo-mounting board, 6″ x 18.5″ framed in walnut, 8.5″ x 21″ • $178.

IBUWPThe piece which didn’t place is a rather quirky oversized construction created in 2008 for an earlier production of Othello (this time the DaVinci AA in collaboration with the Lantern Theater Company). The idea for that artwork developed from an earlier sketch rendered when I first moved to Philadelphia in 1986. The Madness of Iago, the Sadness of Othello, aka I B U, oil on 5 separate 12″ x 12″ panels, mounted on painted blue background, and gold framed, 17″ x 69″ • in the collection of Cassie Vega-Ramirez.

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