“Flesh and Blood”
“Flesh and Blood” was the hardest and yet easiest series for me to paint of my entire career. Hardest due to the brutal nature in which I viewed the mirror. Easiest in so far as the flow was natural, unstudied and for the first time born of only my sketches. My past work was usually the result of working from photographs or working directly into paint without any pre-sketches at all. Because of this I find “Flesh and Blood” to be perhaps the most honest I have done to date.
The majority of the paintings consist of oils on gesso coated print paper. I developed this method as an extension of my journal writings thus the paintings and the central installation work are, in my mind, one piece.
While creating the vocabulary for “Flesh and Blood” I chose to depict the human form in a way that seemed more in line with my mental state and other conceptual themes I wanted to explore than the idealized bodies of my past work could communicate. A chance encounter at the DeYoung Art Museum in Golden Gate Park with a stunningly beautiful woman supplied another important visual element for this series. She was in a wheelchair with both arms amputated at the mid-biceps, bone protruded from the tapered muscles at the end of each of her amputated appendages. To me, as a muse, she was perfect and transcendent.
“Flesh and Blood” is catharsis. From the flesh and blood letting needed for the installation work to the subjects I gave form to in paint culminating in the destruction of 15 years worth of writings. An artist in midlife contemplating the waste, sloth and slowly approaching mortality of his life framed by moments of self flagellation. My figures seem to have a resigned appreciation of their own personal hells.