Reginald Case December 23, 1937 - April 24, 2009
Reg Case was born in Watertown, NY and graduated from Watertown High School in 1955. He studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, San Francisco State University and Boston University where he earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. He studied with Peter Busa at SUNY Buffalo and Robert Gwathmey and Walter Tandy Murch at Boston University. Upon completing his graduate studies he taught at Phillips Exeter Academy and Norfolk State College (now Norfolk State University).
During this time, he completed a series of large still-life paintings which extended the imagery of by elongating vessels and vases, transforming them into "architectonic towers". The direct quality of the collage textures led him to abandon these paintings altogether and turn to collage.as his next form of expression. The Jewish Holocaust was a prevalent theme in Case’s early pieces – in these modest but masterfully executed and consistent works, Case has been compared to something of a graphic Edgar Allan Poe or Pier Paulo Pasolini by Ronald A. Kuchta, Director of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY.
Case's 1980's-90's work in assemblage, collage, and construction fused early influences in film, photography, and architecture. Beginning with Rudolph Valentino from the 1920s through the 1930s with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Buck Rogers, and into the 1940s with Betty Grable and Humphrey Bogart, Case culminated this body of work with a series of objects that focused on Marilyn Monroe.
Case continued with contemporary works of Barbie and Madonna (entertainer) that reflected the glamour of an earlier era. In these, there is an iconography of twentieth-century life that explores the imagery at the roots of American history and popular culture. In a recent series consisting of four groups of photo collage prints, Case has depicted Marilyn Monroe in variations called "MARILYN MONEY". This series substitutes her image for American currency and are notated with quotations by her reflecting on her life, e.g. "Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul."
Additional works by Case have made oblique references to 9/11 in his series of Gouache Heads. "365 Views of Delray Beach" and the series of New York City altered painted photographs. Each of these series cast a shadow on the event as seen from a distance of TV or Photographic News images.