New Oil Paintings in Studio (And How They Came to Be).
I had been trying for some time to come up with a oil on canvas technique that would give me some of the same satisfaction I get from the temporary sand works.
Not wanting to do just paintings of text (pretty much did enough of that in the 1970's and 1980's), I started playing around with ways of making images using oil on canvas applied in daubs to a grid in much the same way I was using tinted free sand in the mid 1990's.
The first time these sand-images were shown was as part of a solo exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland at Galerie Analix in 1996. Most of the show was still text oriented but these self-portraits did appear off in a quiet corner, lit only by votive candles:
Bring Me the Heads, 1996, 1M x 4M (overall), tinted sand.
Later that same year, I did a version the same self-portrait as a second work for the De Rode Poort show in Gent, Belgium. A larger version, also in free tinted sand, it was titled Up Comes Chuck as a sort of homage to Chuck Close. Impossible not to associate the use of pixels (or little piles of sand) to create a close up portrait without calling to mind the work of Chuck Close. The actual influence was most likely an article in Scientific American Magazine back in the mid-1970's about the image perception work done by Leon Harmon or even the work of Salvador Dali who made a number of paintings using pixelated imagery.
Up Comes Chuck, 1996, 3.3M x 2.3M, sand and tinted sand.
After the turn of the Millennium, I was still trying to hold on to my vow of not adding more physical, permanent artistic clutter to the world, but I did want to see if it would be possible and began trying make actual oil paintings on canvas. It was only natural that I would continue with the pixel technique that most closely resembled the little piles of tinted sand.
The following images below are only snapshots... just something to document the process of figuring out these new paintings.
Oil on Canvas - First images (studio).
Oil on Canvas - Landscapes (studio).
In 2003, with the invasion of Iraq and Bush/Cheney administration attitudes towards Europe front and center, I began work on plans for a re-design of the Statue of Liberty. The statue was closed for a year back then and covered in scaffolding for maintenence, so, in my mind anyway...
Below is a preliminary drawing. The work was realized in 2004 at my solo exhibition in Germany entitled Magnificent Failure.
Preliminary drawing for Failure of Liberty.
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