Monday, August 21, 2017

NY Artists Equity 2017: 1947 exhibition

LIC Jackson Avenue Reflections
Oil on canvas
24x18 inches

I am delighted to be one of 7 artists chosen to exhibit in the upcoming 70th anniversary exhibition of New York Artists Equity. We were asked to look through a list of the founding artists and choose the one who was an influence on our work. I chose Charles Sheeler. This new painting depicts some of the ongoing construction reflected in the glass facades sprouting up all over Long Island City and Sheeler's work was an inspiration.

Here is the statement that accompanies the painting.

The paintings of Charles Sheeler, one of the founding members of New York Artist Equity, intrigued me after first seeing them at MoMA and the Whitney when I was a young art student. As a member of the Precisionist movement, Sheeler’s scenes of the urban industrial landscape greatly influenced my own work. An accomplished photographer, Sheeler used his photography as a basis for his drawings and paintings and I too work from my photographs. Sheeler’s “Stacks in Celebration” are reminiscent of my studio view of “Big Allis”, the ConEd plant in Long Island City. “River Rouge Plant”, a painting of industry and manufacturing are not unlike the LIC neighborhood I first came to in 1980. And “Upper Deck”, a beautiful painting in stark muted tones of whites and grays reminded me of Whistler’s works, which I greatly admire. My painting, “LIC Jackson Avenue Reflections” pays homage to Charles Sheeler in that it is very much an urban landscape capturing the ongoing development of a community painted in a clean, crisp style.

The exhibition is on view from September 6 - October 7, 2017 with a reception on Wednesday, September 6, from 6-8pm.

For more information here is the press release.

Friday, August 11, 2017

NYC Relics

Downtown Relics Study
Oil on canvas panel
6x6 inches

I recently read the book "The Gargoyle Hunters" by John Freeman Gill which focuses on 1970's New York, urban renewal and the upheaval as seen through the eyes of a young teen-age boy. The city's upheaval is mirrored in his own families trials and tribulations. An intriguing book.

After reading it I was reminded of a place downtown on Houston Street and 2nd Avenue where a building selling architectural artifacts from demolished buildings were sold. The building itself came crashing down one day. Once the lot was cleared, some of the relics were propped up and stored. I'd had this photo for awhile and the book inspired me to do this small study.

I've painted many gargoyles and architectural details and they are still to be found all over the city, one just has to keep looking. It is a subject I never tire of as they add so much to the character and whimsy of an increasingly bland streetscape.