| ARTIST STATEMENT AND BIO|
Painting is an investigation, its history serving as a visual record of mediation between the artist and the world around us. At the center of this mediation is being–our being– looking, questioning, interpreting, shaping, and giving responsive form to the mediation. The inquiry and subsequent artistic performance must happen somewhere; for me that somewhere has largely been Southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania. To many this American landscape isn’t remarkable, but that is where the leverage begins for my painting–seeing the larger meanings there in front of us, requiring only the looking, attentive looking.
The landscape material becomes aesthetic fodder when landscape painting traditions are assimilated and processed into contemporary experience, a vision tempered by the circumstance of humankind; this is plenty of material for painting. Extending this material into coherent imagery requires talent and expressive facility–the facility often a large source of the aesthetic magic. Given sufficient preparation for the painting endeavor, one of the hardest challenges is striking the posture–the contemporary posture–from which the paintings emerge, a posture that makes the story relevant to the prepared audience.
On the surface, my paintings represent the character of New Jersey and Pennsylvania landscapes. Fields, clouds and water, with occasional buildings, offer a mix of patterns and shapes from which painting images are constructed. The paintings are conceived and constructed over time, beginning with a place that has pictorial potential. The rural landscapes are a starting point for the images, often supported by hundreds of digital reference photos. Usually photo scenes contain combinations of visual elements that suggest painting possibilities. The photos are explored on a digital display and combined and manipulated in search of a vista from which a painting may be developed. A plausible place then is manufactured and established with the photographs from which the painting is formed, both for the 2D picture place (graphic space) and for the 3D illusion (the illusion and the design of the illusion– like set design). The form of the painting –the totality of the image with all its relational components–is sought and developed throughout the painting process. From the general to the specific, the painting is shaped and reshaped, adjusting the spatial, formal and content relationships–kept alive throughout the process–with radical changes possible to the very end, the painting process guided by “a feel” for the relationships. The painting form, the workings of the painting as an expressive entity, is usually not realized until the image is put aside, and distance from the painting is gained. In time I can realize the form–the idea and the organic whole–that carries the expression. Part of the paintings’ look is in the particular use of the acrylic medium, applied with transparent strokes, over and over, to establish the surface quality; the result is a very active surface, with an illusion of paint body, owing to the seemingly infinite transparent paint strokes rather than an actual build-up of paint.
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Gallery affiliation: O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 2008.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 2003.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 2000.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 1994.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 1991.
Tortue Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 1988.
O.K. South, Miami, 1988.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 1987.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 1984.
Michael Berger Gallery, Pittsburgh, 1984.
Thomas Segal Gallery, Boston, 1983.
O.K. Harris- West, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1982.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 1982.
O. K. Harris Works of Art, New York, 1980.