Modern Life No. 2—paint and polyurethane layers on two, joined mahogany planks, approximately 32 x 21 inches.
M Y A R T — I mentioned my plaid paintings in the post immediately below, and realized I hadn't posted any here before. These are paintings that illustrate the way I feel about the way other people live their lives, the people that drive their children to nine different places every day instead of spending time with them, the people that run red lights to get to the shopping mall before anyone else does so they can buy the same crap everyone else has already, the people that can't stop talking on their cell phones, even in a grocery store or checkout line. Yes, I'm generalizing just a wee bit, perhaps a bit of my bitterness at the way the world has moved on around me, but I really feel this way. Everyone is running around helter-skelter, willy-nilly, to-and-fro. Some of their roads intersect cleanly, some are eroded away. Some are wide and relatively clear, others have so many obstructions one has to wonder why they even exist.
These paintings are created in as many as 50-75 layers, and I've used as much as three rolls of painter's tape, or more than 180 yards. Sometimes I leave the tape on until the paint is dry, leaving a clean edge. Sometimes I take it off when the paint is wet, and the edges will be a bit rough. Sometimes I take it off before I'm done painting the stripe and it ends up not quite straight. I will sand off almost as much as I paint on. I also detail some of the intersecting lines with dots, or patterns or geometric shapes, giving as much distinction as possible in a world that's increasingly the same. This particular painting took about 200 hours to complete, not counting drying time, and was painted on new imported South American mahogany boards I bought at my nearby lumber store. In the event that someone felt they were cold and lacked the 'human touch' when you look at them in just the right light, you'll find my hand print in one of the many clear layers of polyurethane. It's a way to tie my work in with artists as far back as prehistoric cave painters—there are footprints and handprints alongside their paintings of animals. I love to include as many details as I can for people to think about and discuss when viewing my work, even in a seemingly simple plaid painting.
B T W :
One last little trivia about my work. Back in my life in New York in the late '80s until the late '90s, I had a passing acquaintance with RuPaul, the famous singer and performer, although at the time she was just another clubbie to everyone. We'd see each other in the clubs du jours, and shared a couple of cab rides. I still have a small crystal she gave me one night telling me to smile more—I was always morose and worked the dark corners, lol. She is famously known for telling people to use "Every color in the crayon box" and I actually try to do that in every piece. No matter how subtle some of my work is, I try to incorporate some type of blue, green, yellow, orange, red and violet. Sometimes they're quite saturated, other times quite pale. It's my own personal meme you might say, my own personal rainbow coalition. You'd be surprised how many people that have seen my work haven't "gotten" that aspect, and I haven't necessarily gone out of my way to inform them. Until now.