June 29, 2015
Portrait of a Renaissance Man
Following an accomplished career as a physicist, Sylven approached retirement as a time to embrace new (and renewed) artistic endeavors. Picking up from the music lessons of his youth, he purchased a Steinway and started taking piano lessons. He also enrolled in painting classes.
Given the breathtaking beauty of his works, one could easily believe Sylven took a lifetime to cultivate his talent. Each week he and his Care Partner Nick Biscardi visit the Sirovich Senior Center, which offers art classes Monday-Friday. Nick sets up the canvas and paints, and leaves the rest to Sylven. “You could call me the producer, but the star of the show is Sylven.”
Sylven paints in many styles, but has a special fondness for abstraction. Interestingly, he never signs his works. “I do that intentionally so that each painting can be rotated and viewed from different perspectives.” Many of his works employ clean lines and geometric patterns. Sylven doesn’t have a particular premise behind this aesthetic, but believes these “structured” patterns are a homage to his background in physics. Federico Fellini asserted that “all art is autobiographical,” and Sylven’s work is no exception. It’s wonderful to see how his paintings capture so many different aspects of his personhood.
When asked what inspires him to paint, he replied “I can’t recall what happens beforehand. All I know is when I’m painting, I’m in a great mood.” And from our perspective, that’s all that matters.
Update: July 1, 2016
Thanks to his unique talent and Care Partner Nick Biscardi’s advocacy, Sylven has been discovered by the art world!
His first gallery showing debuted at the Gallery d’Arte this month, during which Sylven sold a total of 13 pieces. Friends, family, and art enthusiasts came to appreciate Sylven’s recent paintings, along with works from his years studying at the Art Alliance.
His niece observed that “while the styles have evolved, there is a common thread of mathematical orientation in all of them, a love of clean lines, angles, and patterns. Sylven’s paintings illuminate the creative power of the human mind and the connection between mathematics, order, and beauty, and they are emblematic of a man who has never ceased enjoying life and challenging himself with new endeavors.”
Congratulations, Sylven – we hope this is the first of many exhibitions, and we can’t wait to see how your art continues to evolve.
Topics: Holistic Care