I was speaking with the fabulous artist, Hong Nian Zhang – one of the 100 Living Masters and one of China’s ten most influential artists of all time!
He is such a humble, sweet and interesting person. He was calling to tell me that he is in China researching the costumes for his next historical painting and he went to the Beijing National Museum for a meeting with Curators. To his shock, a painting he had done in 1984 was hanging proudly on and end cap for a current exhibit focusing on workers in the countryside.
He had forgotten about this painting and the fact that the Museum owned it. He introduced himself to the museum docent and started a “Celebrity frenzy”!!!! He is famous in China for his very daring painting “No” , but since moving to Woodstock, NY in 1986 he has gotten away from the limelight.
His wife, Lois Wooley, an American portrait artist was with him at the museum and she had never seen this particular painting. She was thrilled and yelling in the background of the phone. She said the hay in the painting looks as if you could pluck it off and that every stick of hay was “built up” on the canvas to look 3D. She said the rosy sunset clors of the background were so beautiful the painting captivated her long before she knew it was her husbands.