Thursday, July 19
The foundation of what I do are my sketchbooks. Working through ideas and process it is always a challenge working the ideas up to a painting. The graphic quality of a drawing is difficult to translate into a painting. Paintings and drawing are like first cousins that shouldn't get married although sometimes it happens.
230 x 175 cm. This is new work which I've been developing over a long period of time. Here are some images of the process. Sometimes not knowing where to take a painting it gets killed. Below are paintings in various stages of progress, some already obliterated and turned into something else. The first image here is an earlier state of the finished work above. The organic elements are vocabulary I've been using for a long time.
Sunday, September 24
Friday, October 30
Saturday, June 6
Monday, May 25
Wednesday, March 25
Monday, March 23
Friday, October 24
Saturday, August 9
Wednesday, August 12
A friend asked me to do some drawings of Kamasutra positions. It was an idea she had for some posters. I couldn't do them as straight drawings, and I really tried; like the ones you see on temple reliefs or images out there. Instead, the result was Mickey and Pluto doing their own Kamasutra thing -- really more a porn image-- well, Kamasutra. If I can't twist it and give it a personal spin it means nothing to me. My friend was pretty miffed that she didn't get her drawings and basically hasn't had much to do with me since. Oh well.
Saturday, August 1
Wednesday, June 18
Monday, June 16
When I moved to NY in 1997 I decided to change my work. Since I had decided to change my life, the change in my painting seemed logical. The move was quite radical and I started from zero in NY. I was quite well set-up in Barcelona and very comfortable there when I left. NY was necessary to start fresh and leave the pop images behind and just concentrate on painting what I loved, which was abstraction. That work culminated in a show in Barcelona at Galeria Victor Saavedra in 2000, where I showed these and other works.
I used to go to this junk store around the corner from my studio in the Raval, which was called the Barrio Chino, but now they (El Ayuntamiento, ie. City Hall) have sanitized both name and hood after tearing-down the worst parts of the neighborhood and eliminating a lot of the marginal activities like prostitution, drug dealing and whatever else. That still goes on, but it is nothing like it was. Anyways, I'd go to this junk shop when I was stuck in the studio and find curious stuff, like old photos, figurines, etc. I found this cheesy cast figure of an angel with a movable head that I painted and these are the outcome. The painting with the male figure is Brains from the Thunderbirds, which was another series of paintings I did but fits with this theme.
All these paintings are 230 x 170cm. I believe one of these paintings was shown at Galeria Tomas Carsten in Barcelona in 1995 -- the angel with the turquoise back ground. The three works are in private collections: Javier Herrero, Barcelona and Juan Redon, Barcelona.
When I moved to Barcelona in 1988, the city was a very out-of-the-way-place. An alternative, unknown quantity, very authentic, and for me quite exotic in its authenticity. I knew instinctively even before coming here that there was nothing going on as far as visual art. Well, there were things going on but they definitely weren't very interesting as far as painting, seeing paintings, good galleries were concerned. That was fine for me. Sailor bars, junkies, and locals. Real stuff in your face. That was inspiring if not disturbing. I needed to develop my work and isolate myself from my surroundings. One of the things that grabbed my eye was the comic book "Mortadelo and Filemon", quintessentially Spanish, and very interesting visually to look at. I wandered around my neighborhood, looking at stuff. It wasn't the comic parse that I liked, but the covers, which were well displayed in the kiosks on the Ramblas That was a continuous presence and something very native and pop. There was some good painting coming through town. Bits and bobs at the Caixa Forum. Some great shows. I liked the frenetic warped surreal scenes and the bright, garish colors. I ended-up painting Mortadelo and Filemon. Well, just Mortadelo --230 x 170cm size in oil. The two paintings in the photo are installation shots from the show I did at Carles Poy Gallery in 1993, in Barcelona.
The bunny portraits are installation shots shots from the expo I did at Carles Poy Gallery, Barcelona in 1993.
The two painting below are 230 x 175 cm of the cosmic bunnies series that I did. I showed the one with the bluish ground at Kiku Mistu Centro del Arte, Barcelona in 1996, and subsequently sold both of them privately.
Sunday, June 15
When I get bored with painting non-figuratively, I do these figurative drawings in black gouache. This was one of a series I did. The real Mickey Mouse, Man, and Woman in distinctive situations. Mickey has always been real limpid. Sanitized Americana to make your mind mush and indoctrinate American values. Had to spice him up a bit. Some of these were shown in New York in Williamsburg in a group show at Side Show Gallery, run by Rich Temperio around 2000.
2 very different paintings by the same artist. Although all 3 deal with the same issue--......
This is a copy of a thrift store painting. Probably exactly the same as the painting Rory copied, but I really suspect that Rory's version is better, but, if not so, equally banal and a ridiculous proposition.
Rory Macbeth. Was once a Street Painter who I met in Barcelona in 1988. Phenomenal painter, phenomenally talented. Now he shows all over the place aside from being one of the organizers of Pilot, in London, an archive and showcase of unrepresented artists.
This image is of one of his amazing paintings. And it is a painting, not a piece of sterling board, although you wouldn't know it. A real challenge to our notion of reality as it is perceived, and to our expectations of how things really are and not how they just appear to be.