As a child I spent hours riding the Great Plains on horseback and in luxurious automobiles, passing abandoned farms and towns. This engaged me not only with the grand, magnificent scale of it all but with the nature of passing time, change and decay. With these derelict superstructures I attempt to distill all I know of our species and the natural systems that sustain us down to a gentle yet sorrowful beauty. Here, magnificent acts of disobedience form stacks and shoot forth into the heavens.
With a lush hand I lay bare the formidable intelligence and energy of man, what drives us, and what we leave behind, bringing extinct mega-steel structures to life once again. This new kind of progressive realism has a surface energy and a powerful sense of space, regions of hyperrealism transition into areas of energetic vibrato brushstrokes.
Many structures in these paintings become sexualized and adorned with the beauty of that which made them necessary in the first place– the mass production of luxury goods and transportation. Many structures I paint are surrounded by topiary gardens of a misdirected beauty, suggesting man’s infallible desire to control nature. The once luxurious ocean liners and the glory of man’s energies have great steel panels missing from their broken hulls, where they sit cracked and beached in a deceptively beautiful marshland or stricken on a violent sea.
The round paintings recall porcelain collector plates, the kind issued when the great ocean liners where the benchmark of technology, human arrogance and aesthetic attention. Once filled with every luxury, yet finite in resources these ships become a tender metaphor for the earth and her fragility.
In my recent work I have separated many vistas with meticulously painted fences of precious metals, blinking aerial warning lights and stylized jewels. Some recall the era of the 1950s when the nation’s steel mills and production plants were in full glory and operation. I paint rubies to look like chiseled dollops of red wine and clusters of other sparkling gems emit licking flames. Here, a combination of a backfield decay and a foreground of seductive beauty create a potent marriage of emotions in the viewer. The “fencing” off of the distant ruins suggests the complacency of so many to the reality of the aftermath of our sources of technology and luxury.