NY Muse, my latest project, is inspired by both Greek mythology and our current culture. The works in this project find their inspiration from many sources including: a Public Works project, Dr. Seuss, the doomed Edie Sedgwick (an Andy Warhol associate), a Vogue magazine fashion photo spread, Jimi Hendricks, and the New York Public Library lions.
The Neoteric poets* wrote about their culture in a colloquial manner — yet with allusions to the classics — expecting their readers to enjoy the work on many levels. My work, which I describe as Popteric*, marries colloquial and classical, traditional painting and installation, and my intention is that my viewers also enjoy it in its many dimensions.
The premise of NY Muse is that standing in my studio one day, I said the fatal words of the ancient poets: “O sing Muse.” They did, and I was inspired. NY Muse is the result. Like Ovid’s Metamorphosis, the project is comprised of many small stories. These stories feature re-workings of original myths alongside newly created myths involving the Greek deities and mythological personae, set against the backdrop of New York City. As an artist, I see these new myths first as “ekphrasis”* developed into paintings, and then morphed into literature and installation.
*Popteric is a word I invented to describe the linking of the Classics with pop culture of 1970’s New York City. Neoteric poets: Ancient Roman writers including Ovid and Catullus; Ekphrasis: an ancient Greek word meaning “picture phrase.”
Marie Hines Cowan is a figurative oil painter who marries mythology with colloquial culture.
Her work is narrative, life-sized, and representational, though unconstrained by realism. Willing to push color further than the average eyes sees, Marie’s work is bold, colorful and painterly, but also graphic and illustrative.
Jumping feet first into the exhibition world in 1979, Hines Cowan has been exhibiting in the tri-state area and Europe ever since. In fall of 2017 as well as being a part of the New Rochelle’s Artsfest Open Studio she had a pop-up exhibit at local florist, Sutton Florists and then flew to England to participate in the Parallax Art Fair in London. She frequently exhibits in group exhibitions, and this past February had a solo exhibition at the Lord and Andra Gallery. She has a second solo exhibit at Lord and Andra Gallery in July and another at the Barrons Art Center, in New Jersey in October. Hines Cowan participates in local and national art group such as the National Association of Women Artists, Pen and Brush and the Portrait Society of America.
Hines Cowan’s paintings have been featured in NYU’s literary journal Icarus and this year will be on the cover the journal 2 Bridges. Curator Margarita Aguilar, who has worked with Hines Cowan on two exhibitions, wrote the essay, “Men and Women: Marie Hines, Portraits 2004.” The Huffington Post mentioned Hines Cowan in an article about Pen and Brush and she has an interview in the upcoming issue of CreativPaper, a British art journal. She has discussed her current project NY Muse on Artists Forum TV with host Elliot Torres, and most recently has had an interview with gallerist Andra Rudder filmed.
Having first met Greek mythological personae in literary form in the early seventies, now Hines Cowan visualizes them on Manhattan street corners and finds her paintings informed by their stories as she works in the studio.