8 /18/ 2017
When I was a boy I drew incessantly. I had sheets of paper roughly 10 by 15 inches,
and I covered them with Civil War soldiers. Literally hundreds of them, each one
drawn with the same delicacy as if they were alive. Later I advanced to WW2, with
German soldiers attacking the well meaning but hapless Brits, grey against ochre,
with tanks and explosions and beautiful landscapes where it happened.
As I became older, I wondered what it was that so intrigued me with these war
scenarios. I became fascinated with the symbols. icons and pictograms that were
behind the conflicts. They had a substance and meaning for me that far outweighed
their prescribed meaning. A cross meant Christianity, but in the films of Sergei
Eisenstein, there was a distinction between the Teutonic knights with their iron
helmets invading the Russian orthodox warriors to the east. A cross could mean
many things. . We bow down before a cross, yet are repulsed from a swastika. Yet
they are related. If you cut the corners of a circle with a cross bisecting it ( an early
Christian icon ) ….it becomes a Sulfot cross and then a swastika. Once the Nazis got
ahold of it, it became a symbol of the most profound evil.
I became bewitched with how symbols invade and influence what we believe and
think about who we are. Years later this sensibility became the fodder for my
I love to paint. I love the smell of it (oil) and the way it does different things
depending on how you apply it. I love how if you use a lot of turpentine, it forms
these rivulets like streams in the desert. Acrylics just can’t match the intensity or
viscosity of oils. In early days I painted landscapes and portraits, but I tried to infuse
them with my own nomenclature. The colors, brushstrokes, and marks that I put on
a canvas transfigure into a profound sensibility that I cannot deal with in any other
way. And color is a way of expressing my emotions, and the way it is planted in the
works helps tell the story.
So what does this mean?
It means that the symbols and icons we are subject to vastly influence our lives in a
way we are totally unconscious of. And that is what has importance for me. It
determines and manifests in our lives and in my work a subtle unconsciousness that
I am not cognizant of in my normal day-to- day existence.
This is where my art stems from. It is subtle but real, and infects me like a disease.
I try to find why and how these symbols and icons have such a powerful and
meaningful reality in my life.
That is why I paint.