Saturday, June 18, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

U nfinished molecular structure painting

Top image: is painting Bottom image: Hybrid digital study for next step. 1984-2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Anarchists Book Fair

The line-up for this incarnation of this enigmatic arrangement:
Blaise Siwula: Horns
Adam Dym: Horns
Grady Gerbracht and John Loggia: percussion and electronics
Aron Namenwirth and Mary Reed Banjo and Guitar

Very happy to be playing with Ideosynchronic tomorrow friday april 15th

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

More Grids and Digital Manipulations

untitled uncertainty  pencil on paper 2010-2016

"uncertain certainty"  digital photograph- mixed media- macpaint, pushpins-soundboard 2016

So much of my education was directed at the the development of a style or personal language though lots of hard work. This work ethic is the by-product of the industrial Revolution and the assembly line. Modern education has modeled itself on these practices with the goal of mass producing a product. Modern art and art in general also favors this mode  of production. People are not comfortable with change. An appreciation of the history and study of the contemporary. This brainwashed my ability to think for myself. In this world were pop-ups are always blocking your vision literally and people are invading your space pushing you out the idea of making a physical object is daunting. Especially when you have finished it unless you are a brand name, most likely you will be responsible for it till you destroy it. As I have reviewed what has been coming up on 40 years of art-making mostly in the form of small works on paper for having living most of that time in NYC and moving the first 10 of those years so often that this was the best medium. At first all the influences appeared trendy as a am child of post modernism. But now those influences are seeming gracious. The arrogance to think that any of us really came up with anything for everything comes from somewhere. Agnes Martin, Piet Mondrian, Sol le Witt, Jackson Pollack, Pablo Picasso, you drop the name. All these people are microscopes, scale shifters, medium lifters taking the tools of their time,
and adapting the fashions.  For them it was what was in the wind. They read the science, philosophy
of there time.  Now deciding what to do with all the choices and technologies at our fingertips makes the creative act more and less impactful. Instagram- with its square format and filters ease of use and really lack of commitment makes it popular and at the same time very transient. Facebook even more so as posts flicker momentarily unless they are liked or shared. They quickly are scrolled down to some hidden recess of some distant  servers hard drive until they are erased to make room for the ever accelerating new. So I come back to the Blog for here the post while like on the studio wall it may not be seen by anyone has it's place. Until the next post comes and pushes it down, everything we make pushes everything else further into the past. But in creating we invest in the hope of a future even just a virtual one.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hand of Man 4 eyes of god

This painting above is from 1977 the second painting I made  without any instruction from the Art teacher at Salisbury School. His name was Mr. Brown and at this time I was 17 years old. I remember that the art room was always empty so I could go there to find some peace from this all boys school that was a constant source of stress and torment to me. In the painting op art which was technically and conceptually also very escapist is merged with the ocean which is pushed to the side and my eye has been separated from my body by my own hand. At the time I was an injured wrestler. I was on a wrestling scholarship so I was feeling very guilty about not being able to earn my way. I had time in the afternoons when i could not practice with the team and had nothing to do. With a ripped sternum there was little that could be done. Further my science teacher felt that i lacked the organizational skills to be a scientist so all that I felt I could do was be an artist. They had a test at the time that tells you after answering hours worth of questions what one should pursue as a career. There was no profession on this test labeled artist or painter, the closest category was interior decorator. The second image I made yesterday. It was made in mac paint taking the earlier effort and opening it up using a lifetime of art making experience. It is a mixed media. It's exists here on the screen it has no materiality it can not be bought or sold. It belongs to everyone and can be possessed by no one.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Molecular Structures

The above image is from an unfinished painting dated from 1984-85. It is 36x36" acrylic on canvas and was painted while I was a student at the university of Connecticut. It was during my junior year and I was fortunate to have become a university scholar a dyslexic one. This gave me the privilege to basically do whatever i wanted so I was spending time in the geology department looking at thin sections of minerals under their microscopes and finding diagrams of the molecular structures trying to combine the two. This was a very slow a methodical process and it was not really appreciated by my teachers in the department of fine art, but they loved the images in science. At the time I was trying to figure out where I was going to go after school. My parents were pressuring me to apply to graduate school which was not what i wanted to do. Further the faculty felt if i continued to make this work i would not get accepted to the schools I was applying namely Yale, and Columbia. I was a really good representational painter and they wanted me to work on that for my portfolio. All this pressure on one side and no support on the other forced me to cave. I think this became a pivotal moment of many for me as an artist. Never cave!!!! I will say it again and again as an artist, musician,
any truly creative person, don't listen to those who criticize your directions. No one can know where they will lead and it takes a lot of perseverance to find your voice. The unknown is uncomfortable especially to those who know not your roots. The bottom image is a hybrid that I worked on yesterday in macpaint. It exists only here- it may or not be finished- Like the previous post it spans an enormous gap of time. The decisions and additions to the image are the byproduct of much experience, pain, and pleasure. I am contemplating destroying the original and wondering how that will inform this digital image and the body of work as a whole. If anyone is out there reading this and wants the painting please contact me- as that will effect the outcome. Thanks!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The very first painting "Snake"

"Snake" 16x20" acrylic on panel 1977-2016

This was the first painting. Painting a subject that was close to my heart a snake lover I had a Reticulated Python that I kept with me in my Dorm room at Salisbury School. My Dorm Master had nightmares that the snake escaped and made his way into his room. This snake actually did escape from it's aquarium from our house in Willington and survived somehow for years before being discovered by my father hanging from the shower spigot. I used science as an excuse to bring my pet to boarding school measuring his weight gain against food consumed as a science project. I never felt like i could figure out how to finish this early work as it was a product of my imagination. The bottom image is worked into on the computer using a free version of MacPaint that came with my first Mac. As always I listened to music while completing this painting- Meshuggah!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Abstraction- Sailing through the twisted tangled web of life

 "sailing through" Pencil on paper 8x8" 1986

After making many perhaps 25 drawing completely abstract fields of cross hatching and staring at them for countless hours looking for something to emerge and studying mysticism at Yale fearing i would fail cause I am such an unreligious jew. This image and some others I will post were found.
Not to say i was not looking at Myron Stout, Paul Feelie, and Jake Berthot, and so many other influences. Milton Avery and Bonnard as well as Jackson Pollack the list is long. But somehow these seem like me. This particular image came about thinking about the spinnaker which is a large sail that is used racing downwind. If the conditions are rough this sail will over power the boat taking it over.
So here we have the storm, the sea  and the boat and certain disaster. While I was at Yale I wanted to join the sailing school as it was a passion of mine, but like so much in my life it was sacrificed in devotion to the art.

Girls from the past

Both of these small pencil drawings date from 1988 and are studies for larger paintings. They are of Suki Smith who sadly I have lost touch with, and If she sees this I hope she forgives me for being a stupid and shitty boyfriend. The reclining nude painting is with Kate Korten, I will try to get a picture of it on the Blog. The portrait also an oil painting painted with a car striping tool, I believe belongs to one of Suki's 3 lovely sisters. Looking back on this old work makes me really sad, the more I think about it. Not that I am not lucky to be happily married, or have a lovely daughter and great life, but that i made so many destructive decisions and hurt so many people i loved. Most upsetting was that i listened to others considering my artwork. Before I was probably finished with any body of work all those artists I went to school with were encouraging me to do something else, this was a pattern to my years in the city. When I started to work with dealers it was the same talk, we can't sell this you should do something else. My advice to artists musicians everyone, don't listen to your critics follow your heart and mind trust in your vision. Also, If you are lucky enough to find love hold on to it, be good to those who love you.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The King and the Tortoise

"The King" pencil on paper 8x8" 1988

 "The Tortoise" pencil on paper 8x9.5" 1988

Both of these drawings imagery came out of the process of their making. The King is a wish fulfillment of my youth, the desires of ruling my kingdom which at that time was some illusion I had of being the most important and powerful artist in New York City. Little did i know that these works would never leave my studio in Hoboken. Actually at some point through a connection with a childhood friend once called Brian Salzburg and later known as Brainard Carey, I was introduced to a Richard Bolger who had a space in a clocktower in Porchester N.Y. I believe that on showing the drawings they remained inside a box that i made to contain them and there they have lived ever since. Also, at that time I was very inspired by the story thus spoke Zarathustra. It is interesting how we delude ourselves to ideas of greatness. In my mind I was a king and my tortoise and my cat were my trusted servants. I took me many years to appreciate just how smart my pets were as they turned out to be my master. A friend asked upon me recently posting 28 year old drawing if this was the same redfooted tortoise I have and love today. Sadly it is not.  The first redfoot was sunning himself outside the little red house on Block Island in a pen I had made. Some Risd students had heard i had a studio on the Island and came by to visit to see the line stripe paintings I was making at that time. I heard many years later a story that they came back when i was out and took my tortoise, this came from some other artists, It is a small world and as these creatures live for so long maybe he is still alive and will find his way back to me and he can be friends with Peekaboo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


"i" pencil on paper 9.5x9.5" 1988

This drawing is a recurrent image that I may have first seen by Edvard Munch. As a 25 year old fresh out of school I was questioning all sorts of philosophical things I had read and trying to figure out who I was. Being very romantic on the one side and ambitious on the other, I wanted to come up with a distinctive style and voice. It was very important that I could find a way to tell stories, have the imagery come out of the process of it's making and have that process revealed. Other notable influences were Sol le Witt, who I had the fortune of seeing at the Stelick in Amsterdam that spring.
Also, I was thinking about Albert Pinkham Ryder and Jake Berthot. But this was also intensely personal as the image was from an actual experience sitting on the beach with a childhood love all night and watching the sunrise. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Looking Back

In trying to figure out what happened to my passion and love of art, mine and others included, I have decided to make a website where all the different bodies of work are organized by date, content and style. After working with square space for a couple days have rethought this. It is going to be to time consuming and am afraid that maintaining it considering the amount of work involved might become expensive. So very day I will post a new image to my blog. When I first moved to New York- it was actually Hoboken from Yale the drawings and paintings never left the studio, and probably were never seen, other then by a few friends. These included  Lisa Yuskavage, John Currin, Richard Phillips, and some more behind the scenes people like Matvey Levenstein, Richard Shaw, Kyle Staver,  Jim Mcshea, Dik Liu, Joe Begonia who was my roommate. I think somehow the intense pressure for success and survival, the mixtures of ambition and expectation, combined with the explosion and crash of the art world, made it difficult for me to stay focused on the work of making art. It also took away from the fun, adventure and vision. Sharing these images will be a joy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Blog Archive