Modernist Aesthetic: I admittedly credit myself with an immodest degree of uniqueness, which stems from my formative exposure to and adaptation of Modernism. As a creature of this Twentieth century aesthetic, I spent a portion of my formative youth rebelling against the ruinous tyranny Modernism became through art academia in the Eighties. By the time we get to Post-Modernism, and the glib politics of “identity” used to justify the lamest banality imaginable, those distant European pioneers, who inspired me to apply my imagination first and foremost, were long dead and relegated to the pages of art survey books.
Modernism is ended in its best sense, and what we are left with are self-aware parodies of its once revolutionary ideas (as found in anachronistic, factory-showroom Manhattan galleries). Today we live in an era of post-ism-ism, where everything is allowed. There are many more crafty artists than in times past, especially where artists accomplish unparalleled levels of achievement in furthering styles originated in other epochs. Unfortunately, this unprecedented commitment to doing-one-better has given us a kind of replicable scientific algorithm. Momentarily, few are interested in seeing past this data base.
Oil Paintings: The works presented in this gallery include paintings exhibited at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA in 2002, as well as what was created in the subsequent decade. Because I was working on Icarus Transfigured during the mid to late double aughts, I did not paint much. Having put so many words to that written endeavor, I can add little to what you are about to see. I can talk about my art glibly, or in earnest, but I cannot convince myself I do much more than redistribute carbon dioxide molecules around a room.
Works on Paper: If I were to limit myself to creating only art on paper, I would have a vastly larger inventory of work. Yet it is the prerogative of an older man of diminishing energies to create fewer works. I can only thank God that I have had the time, health, and ability to make so much. My only regret is that my insistence on originality, in not allowing myself to be influence by better artists, came at the expense of not being able to apply gained know-how retroactively on so much unschooled early work. I do not shrink from sharing it with you, as my mistakes, and lessons learned, have benefited my painting students greatly.
Learning Curves: Every twenty year-old believes he is a genius, and were it not for this fact, I would not have made some much incomprehensible work. Still, there is nothing to compare to this quixotic time in my life. In the following pages, I supply negligible autobiographical background to my development as an artist.
Portfolio 1: Mostly Figurative, Portfolio 2: Modernist-Inspired, Portfolio 3: Transitional, Portfolio 4: Graduate School 1, Portfolio 5: Graduate School 2, Portfolio 6: Beyond Art School, Portfolio 7: The Wilderness
Odds and Ends: My great fault as an artist is that I have not cultivated mystery so well. Dali said he was never a great artist because he was too intelligent, by which he meant he was too intellectually curious about too many things to slave over the finer points of his profession. Oscar Wilde said that his genius was in his life, and only his talent was in his art, so he lamented the same sort of thing. I, myself, wear a good many hats as a creator, and though I have a style, I am too distracted by the possibilities to be a strict adherent to it.
At the very least one can cultivate a genius for silence. Archeologists pore over Vermeer's handful of paintings and insert their own narratives into his life where few details are available. I, on the other hand, explain too much, and take all the fun out of it. If I had a doppelganger, his job would be to present himself as a closed book to the world, and inspire.
I say all this before including this section of doodles, commission work, and whatnot. If one pimps one’s self out for a day job, then somewhere in here is my compromise. Nothing ensures the reputation of an artist better than madness, because a mad man can never betray his disease. Sanity, however, sees the value in a payday. My only virtue here is that I have never been very good at selling out, and where I bow to taste it still looks… well… off.
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