SM15: small works
October 7 - October 29, 2015
Opening Reception: October 15, 2015, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
I make abstract, acrylic paintings on canvas, collages and mixed-media pieces (including drawing, painting, collage and, at times, printmaking) which, through a rigorous process of working and reworking composition, color, shape, line and texture arrive at a harmonious expression of the essential nature of the subject. My work is inspired by my experience of places, distant, close to home and from my imagination. I work thematically as each experience may suggest many possible outcomes. Subject matter may serve as metaphor for intangible ideas. At various times, my work examines boundaries, addresses the fragility of existence, of presence, of absence and of memory.
The idea of an identity within a virtual reality is a recent development that most people are starting to embrace due to the vast possibilities of having an Internet presence. Our adaptation to technological instruments helps to construct a cyber domain for people to socialize in this manner. I’m interested in the notion that certain people have developed an unsettling sense of self within a digital age even though this virtual reality is derived from actuality.
My homage to the carts of the homeless led to a series of watercolors and paintings done with a general feeling of naturalness, slight distortion and obfuscation – a natural by-product of the short period of time I allotted myself to each piece. I am fully aware that giving witness to a subject I am unfamiliar with, yet empathetic towards, led to these fictional narratives. These watercolors and paintings are self-portraits, without any image of me, because they reflect upon a world which exists on the streets which I am not actually involved directly -- yet I and everyone else are unwitting participates.
I began working on these images with a decidedly limited palette, generally with one color and even one brush -- a limitation or equivalency equal to my perception of how restricted the lives of the homeless appear. Simple materials and practices seem appropriate in this acknowledgement of homelessness—their mysterious, enigmatic structures -- the carts -- or of my ability to do what I can with paint and brush to find meaning beyond self. The development of these images evokes more curiosity and complexity of the subject than at first perceived.
Both the portraits and the carts derive from the same empathic, personal view. The portraits though accompanied by names are essentially anonymous, painted simply with little reference to environment or narrative. My intent was to bring attention to the sitter’s expression and question the notion of what information is required to read a portrait or to what limit is our scope of inquiry.