IN 2008 NATASHA KUZMANOVIC, WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAVID ROCKEFELLER, WROTE THE HARDCOVER BOOK: “YARD: THE LIFE AND MAGNIFICENT JEWELRY OF RAYMOND C. YARD.” DAVID BEHL, A MASTER PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE WORLD’S FINEST JEWELS FOR OVER 20 YEARS, WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF YARD’S JEWELS
Raymond C. Yard used the highest quality gemstones and the most exquisite platinum mountings to create some of the most magnificent jewels in the Country, worn by clients such as the Vanderbilt’s, DuPont’s,’ Woolworths,’ and even movie stars including Douglas Fairbanks and Joan Crawford. Today the Yard name is synonymous for the highest standards in fine jewelry.
So what do Yard and this book have to do with the Highwaymen?
If the Yard name is synonymous for the highest standards in fine jewelry, so too did the Highwaymen achieve the highest standards in fine American folk Art.
So it is that Natasha Kuzmanovic, with David Behl as her photographer, is writing a book on A. E. “Bean” BacKus and the Florida Highwaymen. The book will consist of six chapters; five on BacKus and one on the Highwaymen.
Natasha Kuzmanovic’s book, Tropical Light / The Art of A. E. Backus will be released on November 8, 2016. Here is an Amazon link to pre-order your copy.
Painter A. E. Backus (1906–1990) portrayed an unspoiled Florida that has made his paintings synonymous with the state: backcountry terrain is often described as “Backus landscape,” emotive clouds as “Backus sky,” and translucent waves as “Backus water.” As more and more of the state’s wilderness is lost to development, Backus’s paintings emerge as poetic testaments of Florida’s lost paradise. Defining his artistic roots as “part Cracker and part Monet,” Backus was drawn to tropical nature as defined by light, which he rendered using complementary colors. His avant-garde use of a palette knife to create entire compositions produced paintings that combined a sensitive observation of nature with gestural paint application. Backus excelled at capturing the essence of traditional Florida: rustic fishing camps, magnificent beaches, tidal rivers fringed with palms and mangroves, and the abrupt changes in the weather that characterize Florida’s tropical light to both natives and visitors. This is a lush celebration of the life and work of a remarkable regional painter.