As a very young boy, George Delany drew likenesses of Abe Lincoln on his Winky Dink screen, one his mother had given him as a birthday present. Mom noticed! In sixth grade, the teacher hung his chalk drawing of a horse on the wall for all to see. George won an award-- second place. During middle school, he studied drawing with the mercurial Rex Gorleigh, in Princeton, New Jersey (the artist hopes Mr. Gorleigh is looking down, now). George undertook some odd stuff at the time-- drawing typographic letters 2' high, individual words, in graphite, of all things--boring, to be sure. But more typography followed, accompanied by familiar drawings of horses and romantic landscapes from now-famous Jon Gnagy scenes he loved to try to emulate--as were found in his book, "Learn to Draw."
At the Milton Hershey School, while in the Glee Club (thank you, Mr. A.), Mr. Delany began over the course of the year to take photographs of various concert performances. After graduating MHS, George spent a pivotal, rigorous summer studying art at Carnegie Mellon University. Later, he went to art school where he studied photography under Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design--using his magnificent, $50 Zeiss camera with its spectacular Tessar lens. George has been snapping photos, ever since. These days, he uses a small Nikon and his Apple iPhone, nothing fancy. He lives mostly in the digital art world, now. His old Rollies and Nikon F2 sit on the shelf. The digital world is exciting. For some time now the call has been irresistible.
George spent much of his career in the graphic design world serving early-on as a young graphic designer, Art Director, then Creative Director. He founded his communications design firms...first, Dandyroll Studios; later, Delany Design Direction, then aaaForay, all award-winning visual communications companies. Mr. Delany's creative work has been included in many personal and a corporate collections and has been cited for excellence by a wide assortment of professional organizations including the Women's Ad Club of Rhode Island, the Boston Advertising Club, the New York Art Director's Association, ID Magazine, Print Design Annual, and Graphis Poster Annual, among others. Mr. Delany's AIDS/HIV poster was admitted first to the Smithsonian's National Medical Archive and then to the permanent MOMA Collection before eventually being included in a retrospective of American Art, 1960-2000, "Open Ends."
Influences on Mr. Delany's work are too many to count, he says. Graphic Designers would include RISD instructors Malcolm Grear, Harry Beckwith and Sewell Sillman, and thru him, Josef Albers. Major contributors of the time included Walter Gropius, Paul Rand, Muriel Cooper, Saul Bass, Ivan Chermayeff, the Push Pin Studios boys, Milton Glaser, Herb Lubalin, Seymour Chwast, and others. "Artists in broad brush who have made deep impressions on me include, where to start--Rembrandt very near the top of the pile." Then, the usual suspects would include the likes of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Reubens, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, Manet, Monet, Bosch, American John Singer Sargent--and pop-artists of the period, Andy Warhol, Johns, Rosenquist, Pollock, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Indiana, and others. A few industrial designers impacted the way we thought about our youthful, 'modern' world; Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfus and of course, Bucky Fuller, then George Nelson, Charles & Ray Eames, Massimo Vignelli, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Frank Loyd Wright...What a crazy, wonderful time it was to stumble into consciousness with this crowd. A special mention of Francisco Goya must be made, thankfully-- as with Rembrandt, something about the humanity in his painting lives deeply in me. Then, most locally, the powerful painting of Dean Richardson over the years has stirred me in wonderful ways. And to think, we used to play basketball together! The first time I saw his painting, I thought, "Wow, he is painting for the history books!" Could well be! I know I've left out so many. I could add any number of special musicians and bands to this list, but that would mean another paragraph or two. Thank goodness Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were singing in the background during this period. Thanks, to all.
A thanks, a big thanks, to RISD teachers for all the lessons they left with me, chief among them...a way of seeing the world so as to grasp what it is I think I am seeing-- still a principle in use, each day. Thank you to George Pappas who taught us freshman year that what we put down on paper or canvas comes from the heart as well as the head; to Gracia Melanson who taught us drawing is a big idea, to Harry Callahan who taught us beauty exists in the simplest of moments; to Si Sillman who taught us to "see it," in every color study we created-- and left us with an indelible experience in which we learned to express the difference between a wrinkled sheet and a wrinkled sheet of paper. To Ken Hunnibel who taught me machine shop, to weld, to braze, and to pay attention to materials; to Malcolm Grear who taught us the negative is as important as the positive. Also, a thank-you to Ken Hunnibel and to Rick Mitchell for asking me to teach, first in the Industrial Design Department at RISD, and later in the Graphics, Web and Multimedia Department at NEIT. It was an honor to have been asked, to have challenged young art and design students, and to have witnessed growth in their own creative capacities, skills and sensibilities.
"Painting now is my first love," the artist states. "Though I painted and drew as a child, I put these skills away for many years but fortunately picked them up again after a long stint in the graphic design world. One of my paintings, a nude woman reading the paper, 'My Stockbroker,' won Best-of-Show at the Providence Art Club, and the Grumbacher Award. This was a wonderful surprise and catalyst for all that has followed."
"I'm glad and honored some of my efforts hang in some nice collections, many private, but many corporate, too," the artist recounts. These would include, among others, the Smithsonian's National Medical Archive, National Monument at Ellis Island, Reagan, Iacocca collections; and the graphic design collection of the MOMA-- and most recently, the Library of Congress. "A list of private collections...that would be an interesting list," he says. "Many are friends or former design clients. There is so often a warm personal connection, a history to these relationships." Then, I recall a conversation with one complete stranger in Michigan who purchased one of my Americana Posters and exclaimed on the phone how happy she was to hang this work in her classroom. In another conversation, an American military man mentioned as how he was so pleased to have another from this same series, the Americana Posters Gallery hanging in his tent in the Green Zone, in Baghdad. Recently, a friend described how enthusiastic he was to receive a print from this same gallery to hang in his mountain retreat, in Vermont. Lastly, an acquaintance from Florida sent me photos of three prints of paintings he purchased...on the subject of Newport, Rhode Island waterfront, the harbor area. I am always glad and grateful to hear these anecdotes.
Two features of this site may be worth your time. For any work you may select, see how your possible art purchase looks in various room settings, living room, bed room, sitting area, conference room and more. Customize wall color, medium, finish, frame, size...wonderful feature. Even more helpful, use your phone and this Augmented Reality software to depict your art selection on your OWN wall! Ingenious. Let me know what you think.
Thanks for your visit...and interest. Follow me on my weekly blog site. Note, you can see your art selection here on this art site-- and using the nifty Augmented Reality feature, see your chosen image...on your wall. Have a ball.
I am glad to present this body of work, today. Please explore this visual landscape. If you like honey-bees, you may find new prints of bees moving about on their frames...on this property last year. I would hope you find something you like, a work just right for your walls, collections or art-gift needs. I offer this site in gratitude for the faithful patience and many gifts the Almighty has made possible in my life...which include among them all the ways I continue to learn how to see and express this world in its ineluctable mystery, beauty and challenge.
"The sun comes over the top of the hill...
shines on fields I've yet to till...
my bones are weary but I know I will....
and not just because you ask it..."
--from "Apples in a Basket," by Gordon Bok