Unguarded Moment by Rhoda Yanow

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Unguarded Moment by Rhoda Yanow

Painting NameUnguarded Moment
Painter NameRhoda Yanow
Size91.44 x 60.96 cm (36" x 24")
Current LocationPrivate collection

Rhoda Yanow is a master with depiction of contemporary images. His works have left the mid-20th Century abstractness behind, and manage to stand out perhaps as the most real pictures of modern life. In the Unguarded Moment story, there are elements that evoke thoughts of humor, pontification and reality, all passing through your mind like movie trailers. However, this is a rich work, no matter how shabbily priced it might look from far. It has all the elements that tell you this is the work of a great artist when you stand facing it. When I saw this painting from a far end of the room, it never struck me as something out of the ordinary in a contemporary art gallery. However, I did notice the plainness of it when I got closer. You could perhaps even call it boldness, and it is charming – gives you that strange feeling of basking despite the AC blasting away at your throat.

Rhoda Yanow is very direct about what he says in his paintings. He can either influence you to become a part of the story in some other reality, or simply waft you in to exchange boots. For example, in another of his paintings, the Redhead, it almost feels like you are in the room with the woman! All this and more is the result of a genius at work – making you feel as if it were real despite the medium in most of his work – pastel!

In this painting, one first asks – is this really an unguarded moment? Is life so dangerous, that it holds the possibility of an old man being attacked or disturbed while he seems to be taking a well-deserved sun bath in the neighborhood? You could pass that off as acts of naughty kids, but you cannot avoid considering the possibility of a rogue kidnaping the man or simply attacking him for a power trip. Unguarded he is, and truly so. He should be in his 60s, and probably knew he is about to let his shields down when he arrived at the bench. However, the rest seems to be more important for him at the same time. Is it for us?


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