In the Key of Red Purple
These eight oil paintings were done in the course of two months, from mid-January to mid-March, 2013. The unifying color theme is red purple, a large tube of which I received as a gift from my friend and fellow artist, Marilyn Kramer Feinberg.There are other themes as well, consciously taken from my last three painting exhibitions: Return of the Light, Doppelgangers, and The Birthplace of Infinity. Not that conscious intent particularly rules my art, but these are some of the things that I was consciously attempting to include in these pieces:
1) From Return of theLight, the use of light rays and the light spectrum of colors to allude to the energy that comes down onto the canvas from beyond it. The return of the light to my studio in late winter is amazing to experience, and pervades my winter paintings.
2) Also from Return of the Light, the technique of scratching through a layer of rapidly drying paint with a palette knife to reveal an underlying layer of previously dried, contrasting paint ( and, hence, of a different reality), and also to create a rhythm in the painting. Thus using the knife as a conductor would use a baton.
3) From Doppelgangers, the use of opposing colors, textures, and human and animal forms to suggest that reality is structured in opposites: good and evil, light and shadow, animal and human, curve and straight line.
4) From The Birthplace of Infinity, the use of the symbol of infinity ( the sideways figure eight) and of mandalic forms to suggest that realities are nested inside of other realities, that this nesting process is infinite, and thus that a painting is never finally or definitively complete.
I think of this Octet as the visual counterpart to eight movements of a musical form, though the eight paintings are not entirely arranged in the chronological order in which they were produced. In music, they might be referred to as variations on a theme. The ninth, and final painting of the series, is the imagined “conductor” of the octet- in this case, the artist with his brush rather than baton.