I paint with oils; I paint with acrylics—sometimes mixing them together with nail polish, varnish, ink, and whatever else I deem necessary to translate the ideas in my head onto the canvas. I often apply my colors with the edges of credit cards, the opposite ends of brushes, and with balls of string, fingers, and other industrial and found objects.
Here is a small sampling of my work, in various styles and themes:
BETWEEN A WOMAN AND A MAN
Nobody ever understands all the things that go, between a woman and a man — John Prine
Marche au supplice
We make war that we may live in peace—Aristotle
Jours au Japon
Je vois la vie en rose—Édith Piaf
The resistance of memory
Time moves in one direction, memory in another—William Gibson
Walking the fine line between free will and predestination—they were the Eidolas. I recognized you among them.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished—Lao Tzu
arbeit macht frei
A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world—Albert Camus
There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep―Homer
We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either―Machiavelli
THE HYAKU-EN SERIES - Selections
This world is but a canvas to our imagination—Henry David Thoreau
The Hyaku En series was produced at the end of 2016 in Tokyo Japan. With no exceptions, all materials (including canvases) were purchased at Hyaku En yen shops. (Hyaku En means 100 Yen in Japanese, which is approximately equal to one U.S Dollar—sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less depending on the monetary exchange rate.) The end result of each day’s work was random, in the sense that I would restrict myself to using only those items which were available at the Hyaku En shops around me, much like a chef might base his daily menu on what he/she is able to procure each morning in the town market.
Rather than feeling constrained and limited, such an approach was invigorating and conducive to innovation. With no control over the supply chain, I experienced an ironic liberation: Forced to work within parameters that were completely out of my control, I found that the cognitive dissonance that often goes hand-in-hand with unfettered freedom-of-choice was greatly decreased. So instead of feeling helpless and paralyzed by too many choices, I was able to focus on solving specific problems—to consolidate and marshal my creativity to push beyond the limits of any perceived constraints.
My recent journeys in painting have reinforced my conviction that the arts—whether visual arts, music, etc.—should, by and large, be as accessible as possible (especially in financial terms) for both the artist and consumer. The Hyaku En series has supported this conviction to an extreme degree. I knew that fancy brushes, paints, or canvases would in fact be minimally helpful in physically realizing the visions that had been flitting about in my head throughout 2016. I chose to forgo expensive art supplies and work with all sorts of bargain-sourced unconventional materials such as nail polish, wood varnish, and shodo sumi ink.
If I provide too much context as to the meaning of a work, it will become limited by this narrative. I prefer to leave the interpretation of my art up to the individual viewer, providing them only a title and the freedom to piece together any semiotic cues or clues they may encounter, thus compelling them to form their own conclusions. The best moments in my painting (and music) endeavors have been the results of what I call “happy accidents”—random occurrences that happen dynamically in the creative process that, while completely unplanned or unanticipated, result in something of equal or better merit than what was initially intended. In other words, the meanings of my pieces often change while the work progresses, with planning frequently trumped by whimsy