Last night the tour director of Lure of the Ocean, Mike Rivkin was able to visit the exhibit during its opening reception. We had the opportunity to chat with Mike about his passion for the artwork
How did you become involved with the Stanley Meltzoff Foundation?I’ve always been a fisherman by trade, frequently going on sea fishing trips. While attending school in New York in the Late 1970s I walked into a gallery hosting a show by Stanley Meltzoff. I was mesmerized by the pieces and began following Stanley’s work. After selling my mail order business in 2004, I was looking to purchase an art piece and immediately remembered the work I had seen at Stanley’s gallery show. I went to the Stanley Meltzoff website to inquire about purchasing a painting. To my surprise, I actually received an e-mail back from Stanley Meltzoff himself. Sadly, Stanley passed away later that year; however, I became friends with his family and continued to purchase and collect Stanley’s artwork.
Which painting in the exhibition is your favorite?
All of the pieces in the exhibition are great but my two favorites are Bluefin Tuna and Ballyhoo and Secrets of Arcimboldo's Reef. Bluefin and Ballyhoo is one of Stanley’s most powerful works. The painting’s realistic representation of the Bluefin tuna as the apex predator that I know it to be makes it one of my favorites. I also enjoy Secrets of Arcimboldo's Reef because of its sheer beauty. It is a gorgeous representation of marine life and it is the personification of seeing this fish in person.
Why should people in Green Bay come to see Lure of the Ocean?
People should come and see this exhibit because although there are other marine artists, none of them are able to paint these fish as realistically as Stanley Meltzoff. Meltzoff created his works with such realism that it is as if you are seeing them in their habitat. I understand that, here you are not near the ocean, but people in the area may never have the opportunity to see these fish in real life. Coming to see Stanley Meltzoff’s work is about as close as you can get.
One thing worth repeating is that he is not an artist nor does he consider himself an art specialist. His is an avid lover of deep sea fishing and marine life. This is what drew him into Stanely’s work and now he travels sharing these pieces of art with people around the nation. See the works yourself and explore oceanic life through these inspired pieces. Lure of the Ocean is open through May 8th.