Transparencies | Essay

My first solo show at Winsor galleries (January 2011) is called Transparencies.  The show encompasses my basic ideas of capturing beauty using photography as a reference to my paintings.   This show is also influenced by the aesthetics of Neo-Pop Art.  It involves the relationships of glass, lenses and transparencies and the ideas these materials bring forth.

One of the goals in my paintings is to capture moments in time that highlight the unexpected beauty of the everyday.  I use several applied layers of oil paint and blurring techniques to create my paintings; referring from photographs that capture sublime moments.  As with the camera lens, certain areas of the painting are blurred while others are brought into razor sharp focus.  Hopefully one realizes the work that initially appears to be a representation is filled with complex meanings and doesn’t pretend not to refer to photography but instead embraces it.  Photography, being today’s dominant visual language, challenges and impacts upon the production and representation of my paintings.

Pop art (or more recently – Neo-Pop Art), as influenced by my visit to the Jeff Koon’s show at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), is also touched on in this show.  Pop Art is the remaking, presentation or quotation of common, pre-existing, mostly mass-produced objects and images. Many of the images I have chosen to paint are familiar objects that encompass a certain mass cultural appeal.

The paintings are like windows offering my view of the world or a mirror reflecting what I see.  They include memes of glass referring to the German Romantics’ idea of it as a mystical material, the German expressionists allure of it as the motivation behind a futuristic new world and modernist interest in it as the significance of transparency by Walter Gropius as basic to a Utopian functionalist architecture.  The expressionists published texts on this subject and built the Glass Pavilion at the 1914 Werkbund exhibition. Inscribed around the base are sayings about the material, written by the poet Paul Scheerbart.

"Colored glass destroys hatred”, “Without a glass palace life is a burden”, “Glass brings us a new era, building in brick only does us harm"- Paul Scheerbart, inscriptions on the 1914 Werkbund Glass Pavilion

In conclusion, my first solo show is about lenses (including glass, Lucite and plastic) and photography, oil painting and architecture. Each painting looks at the world through different lenses and is of lenses and what is offered is in the mind of each viewer.