An April 2015 show of my work at the Blackfish Gallery in Portland, Oregon, included both paintings and some of the drawings from the series I call Studies in Sanguine.
In many ways, my paintings are attempts to bring together elements in the works of other artists whose work I admire. For example, the abstract geometric compositions of Richard Debenkorn, the suggestive and disruptive narratives of Eric Fischl, the expressive imagery of Francis Bacon, and my longtime love of Pierre Bonnard’s use of color.
My compositions are quite formal. The geometric shapes, suggestive of domestic interiors, are deliberately compressed, like a shallow stage setting, and the figures are shown like actors in a stop-action domestic drama. They are physically implicit, but what exactly is happening or about to happen remains ambiguous. It is a narrative the viewer has to complete. The dog and cat are domestic symbols but also compositional elements that activate the space as well as add tension to that which exists between the figures.
What I try to create is a painting that works on several different levels at the same time and that can be viewed in a variety of ways—as a formal construct, as an orchestration of color, as a narrative with sexual implications—all the while reminding the viewer—with the shift from flat planes to suggestions of three-dimensionality—that the figures are of paint and not flesh and blood.
Ideally, I would like the paintings to be emblematic of this time we live in and a reflection of our human nature—desires, frailties, and conflicting beliefs. On another level, I simply want them to be about form and color, a rich symphony for the eyes.