Currently on display at thirtyninehotel
October – November 2012
For anyone who has seen my work before, you will probably notice that this work is unlike any other I have shown here in Hawaii. For those that haven’t, my previous work has been heavy laden with allegory and narrative. Visually referencing stories both known and unknown. If I had to put a label on it, I would say it was best described as contemporary folk art. For this show, I took a complete break from everything I’ve recently done, and instead left logic behind and embraced the spontaneous…
In my painting, I would act without sentiment. I would be brutal in execution. No longer filtering my actions… guided solely by impulse. I would travel back to the roots of inspiration. Back to the reason I decided to become a painter. Action painting… Abstract expressionism… Rejecting all literal references. A visual stream of consciousness that forsakes word and object. Raw expression, unfettered by rational thought. Instinctual painting, where every layer is informed upon by the previous one… eventually dominating the surface and, in turn, being dominated by the next.
The paintings come to life, die, and are resuscitated again and again. The key is knowing when to stop.
Typically, I would refrain from writing anything about an exhibition because of all the references already in the work. I felt it would unfairly taint the viewer’s perception to whatever I was potentially thinking. With this work, I’m free to share a bit more about both my process, and my choices for titles.
As you can imagine, this work is all about process. 100%. It’s about nurturing raw inspiration and pouring it out onto the canvas. So, naturally, the titles are a reflection of the environment I was in at the time. Not just my physical environment, but emotional, and some would say… yes… spiritual.
The titles actually come from a variety of origins… even the title of the show.
A Libelous Rogue Wit – Again, those that know my work know that I love wordplay… especially anagrams. This is an anagram for one of my latest personal mantras. Let me step back a moment and explain that yes… I do have personal mantras that tend to echo in my head for a given period of time, until it’s eventually replaced by the next. I don’t wake up every morning, look myself in the mirror and start the whole “I’m good enough… “ speech. But nonetheless, I have maintained a series of mantras over the years that do tend to have something to do with what I’m going through or where I’m trying to go with my life. I don’t know you well enough to share what this one is. But I can tell you that it’s not only an anagram for my previous personal mantra (yes, I have a new one), but it’s also an anagram for one of the other titles in this show.
Slow and Long, Infinitesimally – While working on this show, I’d been obsessed with a classical composer that I recently re-discovered. I didn’t know it was him at the time I originally heard it, but when I recently heard his music again, I was just as moved and was inspired to do some research to figure out who it was. Turns out, it was a neo-classical Polish composer Henryk Gorecki, and the piece was his 3rd Symphony. Words just won’t do to describe this music, I’ll leave it to you to find it and fall in love with it as I have. But this title is a derivation of the title of the second movement… Lento e Largo, Tranquillissimo. Which is loosely a piece about a child’s loss of a parent… whereas the first and third movements are about a parent’s loss of a child. Heavy stuff indeed.
Orpheus Lament – When I was working on this piece, I was just starting to figure out what I was doing with this body of work. At the time, I felt I was floundering… horribly. But in retrospect, the process was beginning to give back to me. Throughout it all, I couldn’t get the phrase “Orpheus Lament” out of my head. It first popped into my mind a long time ago as I was listening to a commentary on the opera Orpheus And Euridice. I wrote it down in my sketchbook and it reverberated in my head for weeks. That was over three years ago. If you’ve never really paid attention to the story of Orpheus, you should. Gorgeously tragic…
Two Burial Eulogies – This was almost the title of the show. Which pretty much tells you that this is the other anagram for my previous mantra… and for the title of the show. I felt it was a bit over the top for the show title, but as I finished this piece, I noticed a lot of the repetitions of two in many of the elements. It does have a bit of a monolithic feel, so in a sense, it chose the name for itself.
Divine Contortion – I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to math and geometry. Especially Phi. Which is a special Greek number supposedly discovered by Ephidias… a ratio that exists throughout nature, science, and art. In everything really. Many say it is the ratio of beauty, and it has many names. The Golden Mean. The Golden Ratio. The Golden Section. This title is a play on words of one of these titles… The Divine Proportion.