Thursday, February 24, 2011

Studio Update

 This is the recent state of this painting. Each successive layer and work session move this image in different directions. Sometimes I think my paintings are as much about doubt and indecision as they are about decision making. I feel like my paintings are in a perpetual state of flux. This painting is still not completed.

This is an early state of the above painting.

This is a very large painting which is developing in layers. So I am trying to be very sensitive to how layers of color and paint are interacting. On a recent trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I was very intrigued by the surfaces of the Indian miniatures  and the Gothic paintings. I love those surfaces, they reminds me of urban surfaces I grew up around in New York. It is the poetry of the effects of time on colors and surfaces.

I have been working on this large drawing since last summer. It is going very slowly. There are many things I am trying to do. I want to develop a kind of cubist space, incorporate the influences picked up from studying El Greco's painting Laocoon, from comics, and from dreams. The artists that are influencing me in many of these recent drawings are Matisse, Picasso, Giacometti, El Greco, Frida Kahlo,  Robert Crumb and William Kentridge. While there is a definite desire to orchestrate and flatten the pictorial space, I am trying also to contend with the element of time, and what that can mean in a drawing.  I am growing increasingly interested in film and animation and find very inspiring film makers like Jan Svankmajer and the Quay Brothers. Of course Kentridge has been very inspirational and instructive. I saw his work at MOMA and was profoundly moved by the scope of his vision.

These drawings, above and below, are a kind of compression of a lot of the feelings and vague impressions I had in my mind when my wife was going through her chemo treatments before she died. The entire series of these images were meant as a kind of cathartic release of feelings. I can not quite tell whether they are negative or positive in feeling; to me they feel like a combination of both.

This is another recent version of this theme. This drawing is very small.