Urban Labyrinth

Urban Labyrinth (2016) 36 x 24" acrylic on wood panel
Urban Labyrinth (2016) 36 x 24″ acrylic on wood panel

This has been an intense experience, a very involved piece of work synthesizing the energy and pressure of a variety of personal and professional challenges

From a technical point of view, this painting includes the same kind of compositional intrigue that is becoming characteristic of this series, perhaps even more dramatic in the juxtaposition of the geometric and organic layers and the powerful color contrasts

Yet it still feels liberating and forward-looking, maybe coming from a darker corner while finding yet another path to emergence.

In The Mouth Of The Wolf

In The Mouth Of The Wolf (2016) 18 x 24" acrylic on wood panel
In The Mouth Of The Wolf (2016) 18 x 24″ acrylic on wood panel

The title of this piece comes from an Italian phrase, “Nella boca dell’ lupo” (this is a poetic corruption that I prefer┬áto the exact translation)

“In the mouth of the wolf” is a saying familiar to theatre performers and musicians, it’s roughly equivalent to when people say “break a leg!” to wish someone success on stage

And it speaks to the intensity of pressure we all feel in trying to “perform” some kind of emergent transformation

So I see this piece as a very concentrated, focused and intentional yet spontaneous act of creation, one of the most successful expressions of this concept and one that visually conveys the intensity of trying to be centered and grounded while simultaneously liberating oneself to fly to freedom.

Seismic Splashdown

Seismic Splashdown (2016) 20 x 16" acrylic on wood panel
Seismic Splashdown (2016) 20 x 16″ acrylic on wood panel

Another involved architectural painting with compositional focus way off center, some labyrinthine constructivist central elements floating above an intricate, organic underpainting

I feel there is a strong dualistic poetry there, and the intersubjective transference characteristic of our current times and emergence into spring, chaotic world news, urban dynamics, so many powerful social forces of upheaval

Perhaps being immersed in journalism also plays a role, as Arts & Culture Editor for What Weekly, I’ve been meeting a dozen or more new artists and writers each month since last October, assigning, writing and photographing new developments in Baltimore theatre, literature, architecture, visual art and other areas, so coming off of a hiatus from painting after the Aquasphere series, I have a lot to express┬áthrough these new paintings.

 

Rebel Music

Rebel Music (2016) 18 x 18" acrylic on wood panel
Rebel Music (2016) 18 x 18″ acrylic on wood panel

 

In this process I’ve been working on 21 paintings over the past two months, I narrowed it down and set ten of them aside to focus on completing new pieces for an upcoming exhibition here at
Motor House

This piece is typical of this series in that it consists of about seven or eight layers of paint on wood panel, I’ve worked in square format geometric abstractions for 18 years so I always enjoy pushing the boundaries in terms of color, composition and contrast as well as subtle painterly surface texture

Compositionally this piece kind of throws down the gauntlet, pushing the eye down to the lower right corner even as there are a few points of escape to keep our point of view circulating into the “background” and revolving through echoes and passages of dark shadows, a powerful tension of attachment and loss.