The vulnerable and the immune
in a moment opportune
for reversal.

 

 

 

 

 

Outgrown, 1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 62".
Pathetic Fallacies is a painting cycle that features allegorical animals caught in the act of self- sacrifice, suicidal commitment, or in stunts in which they are captive. They are displayed in the excesses of their conditioning and suffering from selective mutations grown to absurd proportion. These creatures are iconic in their isolation, engulfed by an unadulterated, minimalist, linen ground. Outgrown questions the utopic valorization of the rhizomatic and its practical distinction from the arboreal. The infinite set of points still stem from the central source.

 

 

 

 

 

Downsizing, 1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 54".
The central image in Downsizing is that of a large rat whose elongated tail becomes a rope or umbilical cord that extends to a source outside of the picture plane.

 

 

 

 

 

Downsizing, Detail,1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 54".
The rat gnaws through its monstrous tale in an action that can be read simultaneously as a life affirming escape from its tethered condition or as a suicidal gesture propelling itself into the ultimate fall. On a sociopolitical level, Downsizing refers to an economy that lays off its workers at the expense of inflated CEO salaries that remain ever too topical and at the core of current devastating scandals.

 

 

 

 

 

Downsizing, Detail,1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 54".
On formalist and aesthetic levels, the painting situates itself in the modernist /postmodernist continuum regarding the possibility and efficacy of autonomy. The most obvious allusion is to the essentialist stance in Barnett Newman's zip paintings (themselves indebted to longstanding aforementioned far-Eastern precedents) and to the tongue and cheek follow up flourish of the pattern painter Philip Taffe. The gesture of Downsizing is an unabashed embrace of humor and narrative that comments on real politick and its consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

The Closed Mouth, detail, 2003, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 78".
In Samuel Clemens' THE NOTORIOUS JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY the protagonist fills his opponent's jumping frog with buckshot causing it to lose the competition. The image of a bloated frog filled with ammunition remains a poignant metaphor for US foreign policy.

 

 

 

 

The Closed Mouth, detail, 2003, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 78".
While alluding to the Twain short story, the larger than human scale painting of an enormously bloated frog is an allegory of consumption, constipation and the dangers inherent in an isolationist aggression in international affairs.

 

 

 

 

 

The Closed Mouth, 2003, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 78".
The portrait is of a proud, silent (dumb) king of its own mountain feasting on the living within its expansive jurisdiction. It is the only piece in the cycle in which the creature contains rather than floats in a vacant surround.

 

 

 

 

 

The Locusts Keep Calling, 1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 62".
My brother, who died of AIDS in 1996, was born in the Asiatic year of the rabbit. Shortly before his resignation from his job he overheard his colleagues betting on how many days he had left to live. The subtitle to The Locusts Keep Calling is Consciousness Kills. The deafening drone of the Locust is the call of the sirens, the stimulant of the flesh, the enticement to death.

 

 

 

 

 

The Locusts Keep Calling, detail, 1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 62".
The swollen sensors of the demure rabbit more collectively refer to a state of awareness in the "developed" world" where we hear of sufferings the world over and typically remain impotent to remedy the situations. What are the psycho-sexual consequences for those who listen too much?

 

 

 

 

 

Born(e), 1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 62".
Painting is the art of arrest, and in Born(e) the subject is caught in the awkward condition of being unable to fly or walk. The cormorant is afflicted with an expansive webbed footing too heavy to carry and too enormous to function on the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

Born(e), detail, 1997, Oil on Belgian Linen, 78" x 62".
The world wide web, a misnomer if there ever was one, with 3/4 of the earth's population not having made a phone call, let alone becoming part of the technocratic elite, promises flight, a new air of connectedness and conquest. Is this atmosphere one we are born into or forced, like Sisyphus to perpetually carry?