It’s been awhile since I’ve written. It would be easy to say – hey – I’ve been busy – but that isn’t the whole truth. Yes, I’ve been busy – with a home to care for, a new extremely adorable grandson and some volunteer work – but my writing which had been a large part of my creative life – has dwindled. The pandemic has contributed since the past few years have been so depressing. I’ve felt so isolated and not motivated to expose the sense of futility I’ve experienced. Today I’m committing to being open, even if what I’m saying isn’t all pretty and positive.
Part of what I’ve been doing is revisiting work I had done in the past. The above piece, “Complex I” was originally done in the late 1990’s and I revised it in 2022. Originally it was all on Yupo paper and the revision was to sew it onto canvas, add more paint and extend the linear aspects. Part of the motivation for the piece was to speak to the idea of minimalism. Minimalism was dominating museum shows at the time. It’s an understandable development in contemporary art since paring down expression has an academic feeling to it and in the U.S., fine art became an academic pursuit sometime after Pop Art. Although I have a master’s degree, it’s not in art and therefore I am outside the academic art system. So much of academic art writing is inscrutable and difficult to relate to. Why obfuscate your ideas? It’s intellectually pretentious and elitist. Art, thankfully, is bigger and wider than the academy.
My work continues to be influenced to move beyond the academic type of work that abounds. My influences include the notion of rebellion. I reject the formalism of minimalism, even if I’m intrigued by the works of Ryman. By working both in an abstract and a realist style, I expect my audience to be able to hold both styles simultaneously in their vision and to appreciate both. All of my current work involves both realist and abstract elements. After all of the deconstructionist focus of contemporary art, one needs to construct a vision that has depth and interest. That is my mission.