REFLECTIONS FROM THE HOMELAND
A theme that I often visit as a painter is that of “mythic landscape”- whether external landscape involving sky, trees, rocks, and water; or internal landscape involving the interplay of tectonic, “under the surface” forces. For me, landscapes are both literal and imaginary vistas, and involve the interplay of physical forces ( light, weather, geologic events), images from both the natural and the man-made world, concepts, and symbols. There is never just the landscape itself, but always the complex inter-weaving of external images with images from different levels of inner experience. Some landscapes are more nearly literal, some more conceptual or symbolic. Mythic landscapes somehow capture and epitomize frozen moments of a multi-layered and ever-changing inner scenery.
Sometimes, events in the world create mythic landscapes that go beyond even the worst of dreams. Since September 11th, I have found that cities in varying states of fragmentation or collapse keep appearing in my art, often merged with dream images of human and animal souls, and the symbols of ideology and ideological warfare. Since March of 2003, I have found myself besieged by images of war, and with the enormous, and perhaps hopeless challenge of finding some sense of being “at peace” with a war that strikes me as morally wrong, and instigated by members of my own generation. The paintings in this exhibit were executed starting on 9/11, but mainly since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and while listening in my studio to NPR coverage of those events. Most were done rapidly, using both brushes and palette knives, and with resin added to the oil paints to build up layers and accelerate drying.