Return to Painting: I cannot say when I restarted painting after my extended lull. The few paintings presented at the end of the Portfolio pages comprised that inactive period, which continued through the early Nineties. I first exhibited with low-brow artists in 1998 at The Rico Gallery in Santa Monica, by which time I had made several works found on this Gallery page. My slight reputation owed to an article featuring my work that appeared in Art?Alternative Magazine a year or two before that. None of the paintings here were in that article (I believe). All were earlier works seen in the Portfolio Pages.
The paintings below include all of the works shown in the two-man show (with Scott Musgrove) at La Luz De Jesus Gallery in 2002 in Los Angeles. There has been no complete stoppage in my painting since this exhibition, although my work did slow to a trickle while I worked on my novel throughout the early Two Thousands, and also into the late Two Thousands once I returned to musical composition. Presently I divide my time equally between all my activities, which is to say I work at a snail’s pace on everything I undertake.
I supply titles to works featured here but, regrettably, no other information. Fiber Optical was painted on linen, and was commissioned by an ad agency in Barcelona, Spain for Diesel Jeans in Milan, Italy. To my best knowledge, no other work of mine resides overseas. The rest of the paintings seen here are on canvas. None are especially large, and a number are small.
Monsters: The monsters of my childhood in the Sixties were whimsical and improbable, whereas in today’s era of CGI, monsters appear to suffer the general disease of our time: scientific literalism. After the novelty of the realism wears off, the ad hoc imagination is left no corner into which it can flee and recuperate. My creatures aspire only to be impossible.
Arcimboldo Ant Farm
Brussel Sprout Cheesecake
Nymphs of The Elbow
Pleasing Fungus Barbie
Green Bunny, Green Dinner
Kinderszenen und Gastropod
Refried and Relinquished
Spooks of The Eyestalk
Red Sushi Sleep
Table of Periodic Objects
Lymph Node and Tar Baby
Oracle of Staplers
Withered and Rigid Dwarves
More Monsters: Works on paper (by which I mean drawing) are to painting what chamber music is to the symphony: Away from creating war horses and other monumentally significant work, the intimate “no-pressure” mood that surrounds a pencil and piece of paper can be liberating. Often in these settings one finds an artist’s most daring and original idea.
All works on paper are mixed media, which includes color pencil, color marker, ink and pen, collage, and acrylic paint. Of these, acrylic is the most rare, and in fact I no longer use acrylic at all except as an occasional canvas primer. When I first started painting and was more experimental, I used acrylic liberally, and even latex enamel house paint. Such is the constitution of a thriving but unprofessional art student. (I am more “archival” these days, for the benefit of potential collectors of my work.)
My paper of choice is Strathmore’s 500 Series Bristol board (Flat Plate finish), and also the 400 Series. The former was used exclusively in the production of Blender Kitty comic strips, and for the works seen below. The 400 Series, which is offered in tablet form, provided the substrate for most of the Profile in Confusion strips. Koh-l-Noor rapidiograph pens are unexcelled for drawing, but due to their temperamental nature and difficulty in cleaning, I stopped using them years ago in favor of disposable archival pens. (I wished, somewhere along the way, I had taken up ink and brush.)
In recent times I have used other papers of similar quality, including Borden and Riley. MM
Unfortunately I do not provide dates of completions. I was in the habit of signing and dating the year on the back of my work through the Eighties, but got out of the practice when I gave up any notion of having a career as a fine arts artist.
Arm Fed Fledgling
Bird Whistle Idyll
Voices of Jellies
The Object Lesson
Tightie Whitie Tamperproof
The Tin Ear
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