Even though the digital photographs of my paintings from 1998 through 2002 are so low-res, my memories of those hard-edged geometric compositions and decisive colors are sharp and clear.
This piece is a way of simultaneously looking back and also looking forward, I’ve been recapitulating and recapturing the raw energy and freeing it up even more than before, feeling inspired and also liberated by the fact of having completed several hundred of these types of pieces over the years (almost 700 paintings total, about half of these falling into the category of geometric abstractions)
And having worked out these nine new pieces this winter and early spring, I feel the energy and momentum to continue with this re-entry into the series.
So if I look back on these titles, and the pieces themselves, it’s gone beyond my previous concepts of Orders Of Magnitude, Ornaments Of Logic, and Urban Legends, and this series is simply encapsulated by the title of our upcoming exhibition
This is one of those elusive and dynamic abstractions that sort of shifts in and out of focus like rolling waves in the ocean, never in the same place twice but occupying a fixed space in the metaphysical realm, meditative and kinetic at the same time.
These pieces are largely inspired and informed by the mechanisms of urban built environments, transportation hubs like airports and freeways, yet also looking at those structures as metaphors for the synapses in the mind, metaphysical forms that are simultaneously fixed and linear while also emergent and biological or organic.
It speaks to my fascination with the object-oriented programming model in which we have embedded our thinking and immersed our experience in the new millennium; scalable, modular, granular, nested and hierarchical, with relationships emerging and synchronized at all levels.
Architecture filtered through a prism of memory and science fiction, this painting conjures a technological framework, yet explores the depths of composition and structure, while still expanding beyond the boundaries of logic.
It’s always a voyage of discovery to work through a color palette and then narrow it down or choose to refine those choices until completion, there’s a certain sense of containment and poetic minimalism, integrated with an explosive and intriguing puzzle.
There’s a collaborative quality to the schizophrenia of creativity, and the synthesis of elements, political, visual, social or whatever stripe, as powerful as the fundamental experience of attachment and loss is the experience of synthesis, bringing together disparate forces into some kind of new and innovative arrangement that satisfies and imperative.
In this case, I feel an expression of the flow of social and political commentary, local and national, an immersion in journalism and advocacy, yet within the collaborative community there is still an electrifying intensity and tension, this piece conveys some of those implications while also achieving synthesis, however fleeting, momentarily getting us immersed in the flow.
Challenges abound, this piece I built up with multiple layers in a painterly expressionistic expansion that became really beautiful, and the imposition of geometry necessarily transformed the composition, yet it became something more, a literary metaphor, or as the title suggests, an exploration of subconscious facets of personality;
sometimes these pieces reveal the personalities concealed or integrated within our psyche, and as a painter you are not only an individual, you are also tuned in to a collective psychology, there is a theatrical quality to the drama of everyday life, and it comes alive through paintings like this one.
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.
The title of this piece comes from an Italian phrase, “Nella boca dell’ lupo” (this is a poetic corruption that I prefer to 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.
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 through these new paintings.