Nov 3, 2010

Industrial Skyways Exhibit

I will be opening a 2 person show with Grace-Anne Alfiero at the Studio @620 AnneX in St. Petersburg, FL on Saturday, Nov. 13th at 6:30. I will exhibit several new pieces, including West End Backside, bricolage no. 2, and a collaborative piece with Grace-Anne titled "Angels on the Beach".

Aug 9, 2010

West End Backside, bricolage no. 2

"West End Backside, bricolage no. 2" 2010
Oil on canvas, found object assemblage. 24 x 44 in.

This painting was entered in the 2nd annual juried exhibit at the Trillium Arts Centre in Travelers Rest, SC. It was awarded the 1st place honors at the show's opening and will be on display through September 11th. The piece includes the other two 16 x 20 inch oil panels which, together with their companion piece, West End Backside, bricolage no. 1 (see below) was conceived as a triptych landscape panorama. These two were made into a diptych and combined with artifacts from the location. No. 1 is currently on display at the Fuller Gallery Featured Artist Exhibit, SC Botanical Gardens.

I am also gearing up for a show at the Studio@620 gallery in St. Petersburg, FL opening the 13th of November. Here is a statement I developed for this piece:

In this present work I have combined two visual art traditions; realist urban landscape, painted entirely on location through direct observation, and found object assemblage of artifacts, collected from within the space pictured in the painting. This painting/assemblage is the second one from this location.* Together, they form a triptych arrangement of this view.

In using this process, I have tried to form a more complete sense of place. The paintings themselves could be viewed alone for their surface content; a painterly “moment” of time and space at a specific location. However, when seen together with the other objects in the assemblage, they become part of an abstract composition. Lines of motion, shapes and color in the painted image inform the arrangement of pieces of debris. The physical process of painting affords me the opportunity to study and observe over long periods of time.

I spend about 2 and a half hours each day sitting at the location and during “stretch breaks” I walk around in the vacant areas and in between buildings, helping myself to any discarded things which capture my attention. Some objects are just purely abstract in terms of color, texture and shape. Others are more literal, or sometimes more metaphorical in their relationship to my perceived understanding of the natural environment and human presence. Creating the paintings "on location" adds my own presence to the historical reality of that place, and the canvas and paint are transformed into yet more artifact. Together with the found objects, all are combined and on display become a form of contemporary urban archeology.

Because this work refers to a specific location, the surface representation often evokes stories and reflections from viewers. I learned, for example, that the building on the right (with the wooden staircase outside) used to host some pretty wild Halloween parties. One passerby told me of the prevalence of brothels in this part of town, many decades ago. I enjoy hearing stories like these.

I started this work in early December of this year and completed the first of three paintings by early spring. When I returned to finish the other two in this series, a building had been torn down and I was confronted with a large sumac tree which had decided to grow dead center in the composition. I kind of like that tree now, having gotten to know it so well.

May 10, 2010

Back on the trail...

Now that the weather has picked up and our garden is on its way, time to venture out again and pick up the trail. I will be returning to various locations along what is known here as the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a "rail to trails" type project that has seen the conversion of an abandoned freight and passenger rail line to a pedestrian walkway and bike path. The trail passes through the once vibrant but now mostly decrepit "textile crescent" west and north of the city of Greenville, SC. I will expand on my previous efforts of combining found objects from various location with realist artwork of urban factories and artifacts in bricolage assemblage. The artwork is a point of entry and departure for inquiry into the social, historical and cultural realities of the contemporary past and of the present conditions shaping the urban cityscape. Bricks and rust, plastic, metal and glass with oil painting.