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.
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.
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.
My paintings are often intended to explore dualistic themes such as entropy and sustainability, alignment and chaos, geometric and organic forms, and designed to expand the visual lexicon of pattern recognition in a surrealistic, technological theme of prosthetic telepathy, the assimilation of consciousness into technology.
This is my first new painting for 2016, the beginning of a new series of free-style studies delving into the above ideas, thinking abstractly, picking up where I left off and mixing techniques and ideas old and new.
I’ve returned to Motor House, which used to be LOAD OF FUN, I had a studio there for four years (2005 – ’09) and this new space is smaller but the building has been renovated and I’m happy to be back.
I’m picking up where I left off, with a couple of projects in progress … I cut up the paper stencils remaining from the Joe Squared mural project, and have been using them to create some anachronistic geometric studies, right away there are some exciting images emerging and this will lead to more finely-tuned pieces at some point …
then these are some beautiful spray-paint on paper pieces I did back in May and kept on the shelf, quite a few of these have made their way into the Aquasphere series, getting cut and collaged and sculpted into fish and coral reefs, we’ll see where these go next …
This 24-inch square is a cinematic and decorative object as well as a textured color field, the bronze layer provides a warm and mystical counterpoint to the miniature surrealistic quadrangles arrayed in between; perhaps an homage to Frank Stella’s early work.
An intimate look at an imaginary aquatic world, fish drifting over the manufactured reef of industrial artifacts, their altered habitat for the foreseeable future, unnatural yet beautiful in its own disconcerting way.
An enjoyable metaphor within this series of paintings, I feel that the containment offers plenty of tension and the story provides a release from that tension, a sense of optimism in an environment entangled in crosscurrents of conflict, the window of opportunity open to those creatures who respond immediately and decisively to make the leap, enter into the realm of risk, life or death, alive in the moment, immersed and cheek by jowl with their companions in tumultuous waves of probability.