With a Smile, a Frown, and a Wink
Independently Published (2020)
Born in Brooklyn, NY of 1954, Martin Bunis grew up in a working class, multi-ethnic neighborhood. After attaining a Master’s degree in Education, he worked as a civil servant for 40 plus years, though not in education.
Martin doesn’t consider himself an artist. The works that appear in the book pretty much erupted out of him during the most intense years of his analysis. As he approached retirement, he decided to put those bursts of feelings into a book. The result is “With a Smile, a Frown, and a Wink.”
Hi Martin, Welcome to Reader Views! Tell us, what is “With a Smile, a Frown, and a Wink” all about?
The book is, at its core, about me, and my feelings expressed through the various images. That, along with my desire to share those feelings. While each of us is unique, we all do have much in common when it comes to our emotions; feelings of all kinds often resonate with images with are exposed to. It was, in a sense, my attempting to connect with others who might be interested in the internal workings of a fellow human.
How did you come up with the title?
I tried to come up with one that in some way summarizes the sentiments the images reflected. In the end, I just thought it had a nice, interesting ring to it.
You’ve stated you don’t consider yourself an artist and yet your work is phenomenal. What inspired you to publish your collection?
Thanks very much. Over the years since creating the images, I thought about having an exhibit of some kind but didn’t pursue the idea. Not long before I began working on putting the book together, I felt impelled to go public with them in some way. I don’t know that I can put it any other way, I just had this drive to get it out there. I was reluctant to do so for various reasons, exposing myself in that way and it also being presumptuous, thinking that it would be of interest to anyone else.
Have you submitted your work to any exhibitions or competitions?
Not being comfortable with such outright competition, I never thought of entering an art competition.
What are some of the different mediums used in your collection?
The images were created using oils, acrylics, crayons, and pens. I don’t really have any preferred medium. Whatever struck me at a particular moment is what I used.
There is no prose attached to any of your pieces. Did you consider adding information about what each piece meant to you? Why or why not?
I did consider including specific information about each image, materials used and a title, where one occurred to me at least. I decided against it because I thought doing so would be intrusive in a way, getting in the way of the viewer’s reaction.
Can you talk specifically about a couple of the pieces that mean the most to you and the motivation behind each piece?
It’s difficult to choose images that mean more to me than others. The one on the front cover would, though, be one. It was done quickly one morning after having had a particularly powerful dream. At the time, I didn’t think so, but in some ways, it was prophetic. There is a woman in the painting that resembles a woman I met years later, someone who continues to be important in my life.
Do you have friends and family who supported you through the publishing process? How did they react when they learned you were publishing your work?
Over the years, others have, in general, tried to encourage me in various ways with respect to various endeavors. Once I let them know about the book in particular, they were very supportive.
Do you still create today?
I haven’t created any new works in some time. Now that I’ve retired, I’m hoping I’ll get back to that form of expression.
Where can people purchase your work (artwork or book) and/or learn more about you?
Anyone interested in a hard copy of the book can contact me by email at MacMartinI@webtv.net.
Martin, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing a bit about yourself and your work.