In The Press

Art Trends - January 1998

"The Romance of the Mediterranean"

by: Debbie Hagan

Excerpt from the article: "The Romance Of The Medeterranean"

Bob Pejman paints a type of paradise that might be imagined at the top of a remote cliff in Greece or Italy. As seen in "Winding Terrace," published by Pejman Editions, the artist's images are carefully composed, full of romantic details. In the foreground, carved Grecian figures dance around an ancient cracked urn filled with flowering vines. The eye continues along a serpentine cobblestone path that leads to a panoramic overview where a gazebo is perched, draped in rose-colored flowers.

In a style he calls romantic realism, Pejman creates idyllic, tranquil worlds. "No one is there, so you can imagine yourself in the painting" he says. "The scenes are already romantic, but my idea is to make them even more so." In doing this, he pushes the colors the make them more intense and exaggerates the sunlight.

"I don't simplify shapes. You get into the cracks and the feel of the structure and stones," he says, considering them to be marks of cultivated wisdom rather than declination. "The effect of age gives a warm feeling to my work." There is romance in history, and Pejman reminds the viewer of classic beauty and emotions that transcend time, all inherent to the Mediterranean.

The Patina of age and the blending of past and present are concepts that intrigue Pejman. "The buildings have been standing for centuries, and next to them are ruins that are thousands of years old. There is this interweaving of history and homes. The roads and highways have not been built with pre-planned structure," says Pejman. This paths meander over the countryside, poetically in and out of view, diverting knolls and structures, just as they have been for centuries.

Pejman is a seasoned traveler. He grew up in Vienna, then lived in England before coming to the US in 1976. Of all the places he's seen, he considers the Mediterranean coast most inspiring. People love to travel there. It's not just the warm weather. The Mediterranean has incredible landscapes. The mountains have very interesting formations," says Pejman. "The sky is so blue and the soil is a terra-cotta. The blending of the sky and the soil creates a magnificent purple." Ask any artist to come up with a favorite Mediterranean spot, and non chances out of ten the answer will be Portofino. It's a small fishing village that is a perfect blend of quaint Italian coastal imagery.