Studies: Titian’s Bacchanal of the Andrians by Jzin Teng
Titian is one of my most admired painters. This study was started on weekends back when I was still a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Southern California. During the intense work week, I spent long hours on my beautiful 7th floor cancer research laboratory overlooking the skyline of downtown Los Angeles pouring DNA sequencing gels, Western blot gels, and so forth, back in those dinosaur days. On Saturdays, I would go for long nature hikes with my Bulgarian friends. Sunday afternoons were my sacred time for painting. This piece is incomplete, more than a decade later. However, I learned a lot from copying this master work.
Above: Master reproduction study by Jzin Teng.
Growing up with a great story-teller for a mother, I love stories, painting them, making up stories, making dolls, making puppet shows, etc. Perhaps this was why bacchanalian scenes with multiple characters are intriguing to me.
Detail: The love triangle by Jzin Teng.
More than a decade later, I realized two of the men I painted in my Titian’s Bacchanal the Andrians study were my Bulgarian mathematician friends. They did not model for me, so they are unaware of their presence here.
A photo (about a decade later) of the unwitting model…
With some digging in my garage, I manage to find an old sketch of Ivo here… from 1997.
Upon closer inspection, about a decade or more later, I realized this character here looked like another Mathematician friend of ours, Tihomir (who also did not pose for me) …
This putti caused much hullaballoo in my then employee from Shaanxi.
This painting was in hiding for more than a decade of my life. Partly due to the puritanical-Catholic-Asian-Muslim-Buddhist cultural background of mine, partly due to conservative peers, partly due to self-critical perfectionism of my twenties and partly due to my sense of betrayal to science for not focusing more on my intensive scientific work and having a dichotomous life of science and art…
With excuses upon excuses of my youth dismissed, my works are now gradually being shared. – Jzin. May 21, 2014.
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