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Orthogonals

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Roger's work includes a series of some 16 pieces with a central theme from antiquity. Technically referred to as "Orthogonal pattern of adjacent alternately vertical and horizontal pairs of opposed scales", Orthogonal Scales were used throughout the Roman Empire as a basic floor motif. The first piece in this series entitled "Ides" simply takes the pattern in Black and White, as presented in antiquity, and cuts through it with a broad band of Red, implying the blood of Caesar. The result is a starkly literal statement as to the death of Caesar…at and in the hands of the Roman Senate. 

The motif appears again in an Easter piece that relates the crucifixion with the pattern reference to the Empire. With a change of hue in the pattern, we are then reminded of the existence of the vestal virgin of the Roman Forum. The piece entitled "Vestal Virgin" is a languid Modigliani type model at rest in the presence of the Empire. Several other pieces employ the pattern done in the palettes of artists such as Gaugain, Degas and Monet. 

The pattern is then integrated directly in to the forms as in "Francesca de Remini" a reference to Dante's interpretation in "The Inferno". Here the Klimpt like figure actually becomes part of the background…. the swirling ring of fire. 

Two renderings of a reclining nude "Esther" advance the Orthogonal theme by introducing colors of suggestion, dark in "Esther at midnight" and light in "Esther at dawn". The series concludes with the magnificent "Amphitrite hides and awaits" a 6' x 5' display of the Orthogonal providing a background for the warm ocean stream setting at "the far ends of the Earth" where Amphitrite hid from the advances of Poseidon.





    Orthogonal Works




"Francesca da Rimini" was completed in 2006 and measures 24" x 48". The unfortunate Francesca has been portrayed throughout history with the most notable piece of art being Rodin's "The Kiss" which was originally entitled "Francesca da Rimini". Her story is well known and her plight outlined in Dante's "Inferno" the 5th Canto. Here Francesca is portrayed as forever swooning in the heat of hell (A companion piece "Youthful Passion" (seen in the mosaic portfolio) depicts the young lady giving herself over to passion represented by red, or the male) with the andamento of her body being the same andamento of the background.
                                                                                                       
 




 
"Ides" was completed in 2003 and measures 28" x 39". It relates in stark terms the death of Caesar. The black and white scales represent the Roman senate with the red being undoubtedly the blood of Julius Caesar. In the proper setting this solidly formed mosaic would be unsurpassable in establishing a design theme of the minimalist ilk.                                         
         





"Vestal Virgin" measures 24" x 39" and was completed in 2006. This lovely one of a kind piece uses a Modigliani form at rest on the Roman floor motif. Purple and green hues set a complimentary base for the young priestess of the sacred fire of Vestra who has a golden outline on her head, neck and upper shoulder. In Ancient Rome these Goddesses of the hearth were portrayed in full dress. Liberties have been taken.


Featured Piece of the Month


A Night in Tunisia

"A Night in Tunisia" which measures 31" x 48" uses the orthogonal scales as the only design element and develops the sense of an evening by the sea. It is a particularly effect piece in a dimly lit setting where the dozen or so gold tesserae add greatly to the intended effect. It was tiled in 2006.







"Degas Orthogonal" measures 31" x 24" and was completed in 2005. The piece draws on the palette of Degas and, indeed, evokes a Degas like feeling. The musty mahogany scales are rich in color and bring to mind the hide of a fine steed. We can image the bright day with the colors of the racing field. A fine decorative piece.






"Amphitrite hides and awaits" Considered by many as the mosaicist's best work the piece measures 6' x 5' and was completed in 2007. In many respects it might be seen as the concluding piece of the orthogonal series as it explores the motif to a certain extreme. The pattern appears in the woman's faces and forms. It is in the coral formation, surrounds the dozens of schooling fish and forms the structure of the sea. It is rendered in 10 shades of blue, several of green and light purple with the picture literally weaving in and out of it. 

In Greek mythology Amphitrite is seen by Poseidon dancing near the island of Naxos. He is smitten by her but she has different ideas. She flees to the farthest ends of the seas where she is eventually found by a dolphin of Poseidon who speaks persuasively on behalf of Poseidon. Here she is portrayed hiding is a warm sea grotto with her attendants. One sleeps, implying time, while the other seems to be doing girlish type things implying waiting. Amphitrite is watchful. In Greek portrayals Amphitrite is often shown with the pincers of crabs affixed to her temple. This mosaic clearly defines the pincers in the waters of the sea cove up and to the left. After all, she is not the Goddess of the seas until she weds Poseidon; this implies her future. A wonderfully descriptive piece and a one of a kind flat glass masterpiece!



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