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.

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