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New Beginnings Westward Bound
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Early in my childhood my grandparents moved from metropolitan New York to Arizona. Some of my very first memories were visiting them in Phoenix where they wholeheartedly adopted a new lifestyle. They bought a restaurant, The Ranchero, and often sent us photos of them exploring the desert wearing western garb. I knew at an early age what the West offered – adventure and reinvention – and as a young man I moved to Denver. Gone West was painted at the beginning of the pandemic, represents hope, resilience and faith in the beginning of an enduring future.
I continuously challenge who I am – always in search of my better self. When it comes to my art I attempt to acknowledge what I do well but also identify barriers and habits that I would like to burst through to produce paintings that are more expressive, immediate, and direct. I don’t have prescribed thoughts as to how this will happen. There are immediacies of the moment – thinking and not thinking – experiencing bursts of expressive creative energy. There is a process of creating, destructing, and creating again.
I paint figures. There is attraction to the physical, sexual, and emotional context that is part of our lives. It provides me, perhaps, with a means to express and capture my intensity and well-being at any time.
I like working big — a canvas big enough to allow me to be expansive and physical. Painting is my way to not be quiet, a way to let people know me and how I view the world. My paintings capture the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, observed or experienced, framed in a particular setting or moment in time.
I paint as an extension of the moment; the process is less cerebral and more emotional. Someone might describe it as action painting – painting exceptionally but not fully aware of what is happening. Painting is a lifeline; it’s music that lifts me up.
This is just who I am. I’ve known since I was a child that I wanted to paint. Perhaps it is genetic. My grandmother painted, and her father. According to family lore, he studied art in Odessa, Russia before immigrating to the US.
I’ve learned to accept the fact that the way I paint is a process; it’s problem-solving and accepting the dynamics of the paint and the canvas in front of me. I started out in my formative years wanting to have a definitive image to paint, beginning with it drawn on a canvas. I just could not work within the box, the confines of the images.