ARTIST STATEMENT

In light of the recent tragedies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, it seems important to provide background for several of the paintings in this show, which contain elements that could bring these tragic events to mind. The paintings were created under entirely different circumstances, in deed in a more innocent world, and elements such as particle masks and fire were employed in a context quite different from the one that has confronted us since September 11.

The title of the show, “Myth Understood,” is a subtle word play that suggests both the understanding and misunderstanding of Myth. The paintings combine interpretations of Greek Mythology, the Old Testament, and modern street sensibilities, to create a sense of history within a futuristic vision.

The Greek Myth of “Andromeda and Perseus” is the story of Cassiopeia’s arrogant boasting about the beauty of her daughter, Andromeda. Poseidon, in a jealous rage, sends a sea monster to destroy the city they live in. Andromeda is chained to a rock as a sacrifice to appease the monster, and save the city from destruction. The hero Perseus rescues the young Princess, slays the monster, and they are married.


Perseus and Andromeda
2001, oil on canvas, 69" x 45"

My interpretation of “Andromeda and Perseus,” is a story about the sacrifice of innocence, with a hero who is less prepared for a rescue. I was inspired by Delacroix’s treatment of the subject, Bruegel’s painting of Icarus, and Sprite soft drink commercials that show skate board dudes in a free fall from a high place. Andromeda is fashion conscious in a Goth style black vinyl dress. She stands self absorbed in front of an image of her former self. She is now victim to a different sort of monster, a corporate media campaign setting styles and targeting youth culture for their buying power.

There is more emphasis on the human figure in this show, with a recurring theme of the lone figure involved in the familiar adolescent theatrical trick of putting ones arms around themselves in an act of deception. It is an illusion of a passionate embrace, a visual joke. Both funny and poignant, the figures are self absorbed, almost arrogant in the way they ignore where they are, what is going on around them, and even the audience for whom this display is made.


             

  Corporate Friendly 2001, oil on canvas, 76" x 60" (left)
My Little Plum, 2001, oil on canvas, 48" x 36" (right)

 

The paintings “Corporate Friendly” and “My Little Plum” represent a turning point in the making of this show. “Corporate Friendly” remained unfinished in the studio for many months, and it was not until completing “My Little Plum” that I was able to see its relevance. Despite the lush natural setting in “My Little Plum,” there is an urban quality suggested by what the lovers wear to protect themselves from unseen environmental hazards. The building in “Corporate Friendly” is literally a reflection of the environment that surrounds it, and it became an urban backdrop for the entire show.

While elements like dust masks and Greek Heroes plummeting may remind us of recent events, they are coincidental elements. The building in “Corporate Friendly,” however, is not. It stands shimmering and contradictory, both strong and vulnerable, symbolic and realistic. It is a record of our time.

ARTIST STATEMENT

In light of the recent tragedies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, it seems important to provide background for several of the paintings in this show, which contain elements that could bring these tragic events to mind. The paintings were created under entirely different circumstances, in deed in a more innocent world, and elements such as particle masks and fire were employed in a context quite different from the one that has confronted us since September 11.

The title of the show, “Myth Understood,” is a subtle word play that suggests both the understanding and misunderstanding of Myth. The paintings combine interpretations of Greek Mythology, the Old Testament, and modern street sensibilities, to create a sense of history within a futuristic vision.

The Greek Myth of “Andromeda and Perseus” is the story of Cassiopeia’s arrogant boasting about the beauty of her daughter, Andromeda. Poseidon, in a jealous rage, sends a sea monster to destroy the city they live in. Andromeda is chained to a rock as a sacrifice to appease the monster, and save the city from destruction. The hero Perseus rescues the young Princess, slays the monster, and they are married.


Perseus and Andromeda
2001, oil on canvas, 69" x 45"

My interpretation of “Andromeda and Perseus,” is a story about the sacrifice of innocence, with a hero who is less prepared for a rescue. I was inspired by Delacroix’s treatment of the subject, Bruegel’s painting of Icarus, and Sprite soft drink commercials that show skate board dudes in a free fall from a high place. Andromeda is fashion conscious in a Goth style black vinyl dress. She stands self absorbed in front of an image of her former self. She is now victim to a different sort of monster, a corporate media campaign setting styles and targeting youth culture for their buying power.

There is more emphasis on the human figure in this show, with a recurring theme of the lone figure involved in the familiar adolescent theatrical trick of putting ones arms around themselves in an act of deception. It is an illusion of a passionate embrace, a visual joke. Both funny and poignant, the figures are self absorbed, almost arrogant in the way they ignore where they are, what is going on around them, and even the audience for whom this display is made.


             

  Corporate Friendly 2001, oil on canvas, 76" x 60" (left)
My Little Plum, 2001, oil on canvas, 48" x 36" (right)

 

The paintings “Corporate Friendly” and “My Little Plum” represent a turning point in the making of this show. “Corporate Friendly” remained unfinished in the studio for many months, and it was not until completing “My Little Plum” that I was able to see its relevance. Despite the lush natural setting in “My Little Plum,” there is an urban quality suggested by what the lovers wear to protect themselves from unseen environmental hazards. The building in “Corporate Friendly” is literally a reflection of the environment that surrounds it, and it became an urban backdrop for the entire show.

While elements like dust masks and Greek Heroes plummeting may remind us of recent events, they are coincidental elements. The building in “Corporate Friendly,” however, is not. It stands shimmering and contradictory, both strong and vulnerable, symbolic and realistic. It is a record of our time.