The Oceanside Museum of Art is fortifying its niche as the leading venue for military art in California with two new exhibitions this spring. The rarity and significance of the displays make them “must-see” exhibitions for every expert on the visual arts in California.
The first program, “Honor: Marine Portraits” by Stathis Orphanos, opened this week to great acclaim. The first exhibition of its kind, “Honor” presents 300 contemporary portraits of U.S. Marines from recent photo assignments. Orphanos shares perspectives from on-site and unstaged photography on base at Camp Pendleton. This includes never before seen views of restricted security areas. This exhibition matches portraits of U.S. Marines today with replicas of ancient Greek statues called Kouros to highlgiht similarities between the heroism of today’s marines and idealized images of heroes from Greek mythology.
Los Angeles photographer Stathis Orphanos began exhibiting photography in San Diego in 1988. He was soon recognized as a talented portrait photographer and received a steady stream of commissions for defining signature portraits of book authors. Many appeared with the author’s biographies on book jackets. Others were featured in national magazines. Some of the most admired are Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, Graham Greene, and Christopher Isherwood, the British author whose Berlin Stories were transformed into the musical production “Cabaret.” He is one of the few contemporary artists whose works are archived at UCLA. You can meet Orphanos Saturday, April 24 at 2:00 p.m. for a special presentation at the museum.
The second spring show at the Oceanside Museum of Art is “Painting World War II.” This exhibition of 55 watercolors shows artists’ rendtions of troops serving in the pacific regions. It is an important reminder of the importance of artists working in color played in the era of black and white photography and a time when supporting morale of the troops families at home was critical to the successful war effort. Featured artists include: Arthur Beaumont, Rex Brandt, Hardie Gramatky, Dong Kingman, Barse Miller, Phil Paradise, Charles Payzant, Ed Reep, Millard Sheets, and Milford Zornes. This program opens with a special Preview Reception Saturday, April 17th from 5:00- 7:00 p.m.