I’m showing some of my paintings starting this Friday, August 29th, 7pm, (and ongoing dates) at Black Sky Brewing near the Santa Fe Arts District in Denver. Please join me in this opportunity to see my work in a unique venue with expertly crafted local beer and food.
16×20, acrylic on canvas, 2012; 2014
Spring Tongues is two separate series of paintings completed years apart.
The first series is Tongues, a narrative about lost languages, extinct cultures, diaspora. I often have structure and graphic design in my work for contrast, and used illegible calligraphic elements to portray the theme in these pieces.
The second series, Spring Studies, is the most recent of my paintings and is loosely based on renewal and spring, in technique only. They were created on repurposed canvases with different processes than I usually work from — palette knife, no sketch, set color range.
This painting depicts a scene outside the Church of the Holy Spirit in Palermo, Sicily. The style I chose to work with is similar to an older piece I did, using Italian history as a reference point. From there, the interpretation of events isn’t as clear and my narrative devices take over. The scene shows a common Sicilian man tired and on his knees after a struggle with a French-Sicilian noble. The nuns in the background, as well as the church, are meant to reinforce not only their location, but to draw a distinction that even those in the employ of the State were disgusted by the reign of Charles, a foreign tyrant.
Other production notes include a conscious decision to have the majority of the piece created with a grey monochrome and to have a shock of yellow color for the lettering. I also used the yellow to give the piece some vibrancy and cast aside what would’ve been an easier decision to use black, red, or white. The title of this painting and the typeset on it pulls directly from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, i Vespri Siciliani :
E sorse il giorno alfin
che di novelli oltraggi
lo colmi il, fier nemico,
ond’ei si desti e s’armi la sua mano!
And the day has come at last
when our fierce enemy perpetrates
such brutality that the people
are forced to rise and take up arms!
This painting is another mashup in the same spirit as my “Masks” piece, converging ideas into one thought. On Miasma, my thinking was simple – take a handful of my major influences and bring them together. My longstanding love of Art Nouveau presents itself again more prominently in this work, along with my interest in typography and language. A third influence was the stark, contrasting monochrome of jagged and angular crust punk. Instead of the black-and-white photomontage of John Heartfield and generations-later Discharge, I used silver paint and ink. More tension was necessary so a plain field of black, framed in diagonals and repeated secondarily was added. My finishing touches were to add black back in to tone and texture everything and reduce some of the flatness of the metallics. As disparate as all of these influences might be, I found that they work well in forming a common language.
Update: Original piece has been sold! Reproductions not available.
This series is entitled Human. I wanted to explore a few different design ideas such as color, decorative element, and form and have them be consistent throughout this series. I chose my standard type style and revisited a variation of it that I used to use a lot, where the forms might be more hieroglyphic as well as having a modern pictoral form similar to mechanical objects or medical equipment. I chose red and black to be alternating colors and used silver ink for the detailing. Lastly, the human elements are just a device to tie everything together and give it more of a grounded feeling.
Another one, using type style to define the subject.