This website includes work created between 2014 and 2017 and is representational with social and political content.
There are brief statements describing each series on the gallery window. Representational work is new to me and is a departure from 40 years of abstraction. I haven't left abstraction behind as a practice, however now see it as a separate practice.
The current political climate of nationalism and authoritarianism, both in this country and globally, has pushed me to attempt to reflect it in my paintings. Historically, the artwork that stands out the most during difficult times has been art that is grounded in the moment and makes clear what the artists' beliefs are. Artists such as Goya, Manet, George Grosz as well as numerous documentary photographers and filmmakers come to mind. These are the people that are engaged artistically in their world and reflecting their visual and political beliefs. For the recent work I'm doing, these are my models and heros.
Over the past 3-4 years I have been working on paintings with representational imagery and political references.
The goal with non-objective paintings has always been to create imagery with complexity and visual uniqueness inviting the viewer to look and keep looking. This goal remains the same with representational art. The following are brief descriptions of each series.
1) "Sleeping on the Streets" This series of 16, free-standing paintings was inspired by my growing awareness of homelessness. Images are not based on individuals I have encountered, but instead are generic images from the internet which I develop into photo-montages on photoshop. The paintings are from these photo-montages. The phenomenon of people asleep in public places such as sidewalks reflects the challenge of homelessness in the most stark way possible.
2) "Presidential Candidates Sleeping on the Streets" These paintings are an imagined scenario where Republican presidential candidates are asleep on the street as if they were homeless. The meaning is obvious, that these individuals aren't sympathetic with the homeless. My fantasy is that they would not be so callous if they were homeless themselves.
3) "Bobble Heads" I rendered each of nine of the Republican presidential candidates in a way which suggests "bobble heads", heads which bounce around, up and down. Listening to the many presidential debates during the primary campaign, I got the feeling that each of these people was going to say whatever it took to try and survive.
4) "Trump's Cabinet of Rhinoceroses" The series is based on the Ionesco play, "Rhinoceros" in which members of a village start to turn into rhinoceroses. The play is often read as a response to the sudden upsurge of Communism, Fascism, and Nazism during the events preceding World War II. The parallel to today'spolitics is what inspired this body of work.
5) "Landscapes of War" This series was done after 911 and the US invasion of Iraq and is an abstract expression of the darkness, chaos and violence of warfare during this time.
6) "Walls" This series of paintings of walls, brick and cinder block, is in response to Donald Trump's plan to build a wall
on the border of Mexico and the U.S.