“I felt honored and happy to be a part of this musical tribute. My grandfather Mikhail Matusovsky was a famous Russian song writer and the author of the internationally beloved song “Moscow Nights”. From my early childhood I was surrounded by musicians, poets, and artists. Maybe that’s why I have a special affinity for people who take on speaking their hearts through their songs…”.
Yes – yesterday I met Bruce Springsteen…
“They’re always in search,” he said. “Born to get lost and suddenly you’re home. “We want to be great. We want to be important in your life. That’s all that mattered to me, You keep us in search of the force that reignites our gifts.”
Ever since I was asked by MusiCares to create a special life-size portrait of Springsteen for his Man of the Year Grammy’s gala I have immersed myself into his music, lyrics, and the magic of his performance. It was a profound journey that resulted in a mini-series, with each of the portraits revealing a new aspect of Bruce’s world. After many months of working on this project, last night was a red carpet gala event that opened with a silent auction presenting my portrait.
It was a night to remember: among the 3000 guests were Tony Bennett, Sting, Elton John, Sean Penn, Katy Perry, and many others to celebrate Bruce’s legacy.
When the painting was sold, I was both delighted to help the MusiCares foundation in their mission to assist musicians in need and also sad to finally separate with one of my favorite portraits. I was rewarded when I met Bruce and we had an opportunity to speak about my vision of him. “THAT’S ME, GO ARTIST!” was Springsteen’s response. The evening culminated with a heartfelt speech and remarkable performance by Bruce.
My painting depicts him with his arms up, facing the audience as if in a blessing and giving himself to the world. As soon as he stepped on stage, it is as if I saw my art come alive – the power of The Boss to become one with his audience and make everyone feel that he is singing just for them. In that moment I fully understood what Bruce meant by his famous lyric:“TALK ABOUT A DREAM, TRY TO MAKE IT REAL”.
You can see one of the portraits in the Bruce series at Leslie Sacks Fine Art Gallery in Brentwood through February 25th, featured as part of the exhibition WOMEN’S ART NOW benefitting the charity Women’s Voices Now.
For images and more information about the artist Zhenya Gershman, visit her website www.zhenyagershman.com