Eve Plumb is not
your go-to Brady for back-in-the-day. With a nation still aching
for any crumb, any plumb of trivia regarding the 1969-74 series, she
is not biting. Not her problem.
Although she has
no visible gripes with the show that made her a pop culture icon,
she is not going there, so don’t ask. She is living for today, and
what a sunshine day it is.
Even though she
continues to act and audition, her true passion lies on the canvas,
not the small screen. Her recent exhibit of oil paintings appeared
in February 2010 at the Gallery of International Naďve Art (GINA).
This was her New York art-world debut – a solo exhibition at that –
in the gallery’s 2,000-square-foot space on the Upper West Side.
Her series of
paintings, entitled “Bistro,” display her keen, detail-oriented eye
on simple table-top scenes in cafes, restaurants and coffee houses.
“I decided a few
years ago to focus on the small, intimate moments of my life, which
meant still life,” she tells me on the night of her debut. “I was
all over the board with landscapes and dogs and other things. So I
decided to focus on still life and that really brought forth the
creativity. Those little moments where you happen to look aside or
you see an interesting setting.”
All images moody
and dusky and void of human beings, her work received some serious
attention from the art world. Most of its patrons quite possibly
have not even seen an episode of The Brady Bunch (or admit to
it), and the elegant, articulate, still strikingly beautiful Plumb
does not use that seventies show as her calling card.
has been focusing on the quiet rewards of art for some time now.
painting about 20-25 years ago,” she says, “and finally got to where
I could stand to look at it on the wall myself. Then, other people
started liking it. It was something I had always done for myself,
something I was always working on, trying to get better at.”
Her striving was
always a factor, first apparent when she appeared in the
ground-breaking TV movie Dawn: Portrait of A Teenage Runway
in 1976. Gritty and bold, Dawn was a to-die-for role which
left Jan Brady in the dust, but not for good. Since then, her
relationship with the Brady legacy has been firmly love/hate.
She picks and
chooses her Brady reunion projects (infamous for declining the
horrendous Brady Bunch Variety Hour, in which actress Geri
Reichl filled in for her and gained the permanent nickname “Fake
Jan”). Still, Plumb is perennially a good sport, gracious to fans
and generally okay with our national obsession with her.
coinciding with her gallery debut is her appearance with her TV mom,
Florence Henderson, in a one-night-only engagement for Broadway
Backwards (to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center. This took
place on February 8, 2010 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.).
When asked about
Henderson, Plumb was pleasant but not forthcoming: “She’s doing
well. I keep in touch with her, off and on, sure do.”
And that’s all folks. The Brady reminiscing ends there.
She has her art
to keep her warm.
She says, “I
paint every day if I can, but life often interferes. I wind up
painting about three days a week, and it usually winds up being
about four hours a day spread out over eight hours. I’m not very
good at portraits, but I think I would really like to try to paint
architecture. I really admire architecture painters. And I do take
photographs before I paint. I travel a lot to the galleries that I
go to, and I travel with my husband for pleasure or for work, and
that’s where I get a lot of my subject matter.”
Does she have a
lifestyle preference between a life in art and a life on screen?
“You don’t have
to get dressed up as much being an artist,” she says.
For a closer look at Plumb's art, go to:
information about GINA, go to:
information on Broadway Backwards, go to
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