Recently I was notified that one of my drawings, "Inner Struggle", has been chosen for a juried exhibition at First Street Gallery in New York. There were over 500 submissions, so I’m pretty excited about having been included.
“Inner Struggle” is a seminal work for me & one of my 3 or 4 most favorite pieces ever. It represents a major departure that continues to this day. There’s a sort of serendipity that just happens when a work flows out perfectly; not a usual occurrence; most pieces are indeed an “inner struggle”. This one, as it developed, indicated a whole new direction for me that I could go, & I’ve been trying to live up to the huge directional shift ever since. I have a copy over my mantel at home; it reminds me daily of new possibilities.
My work is kind of a synthesis to everything that’s happened over the last hundred years in art; my spin on it thru the late 1800s right through the postmodern movement. I can look at this particular work & find little bits of Picasso & de Kooning, & Bacon, & Dali, & Lucien Freud, among others, rattling about in this picture. It’s a form of organic cubism; all said & done probably the most influential art movement of the 20th century. Inherent in this movement is the ability to see on a two-dimensional plane a multi-dimensional image. Without cubism, there could have been no surrealism, no abstract expressionism, & there never would have been a need for pop art.
Though I don’t particularly like the name “Inner Struggle”, it fits. It also is for me a major intellectual & technical work. The piece itself functions so well on multiple levels, each with a subtle intonation of the other going on simultaneously. It’s the best integrated piece I’ve ever done. There’s no dominant personality in the work; it has 4 different personalities going on at one time, & it holds together. I’ve never been able to do that in any other piece. It has lots of compassion without any sentiment.
The truth of these pieces lies in the combination of facility & rehearsed emotional spontaneity. All in all, I’m flattered someone has noticed just how good the piece is & very pleased to be in the show.
“The exhibition, “Strange Paradise” is juried & curated by Steven Harvey from Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects in the Lower East Side. David Cohen, Editor & Publisher of the online journal artcritical.com, has called First Street Gallery ‘the most consistently energetic of the several veteran artist cooperatives that have migrated to Chelsea.’
An artist-run gallery, First Street's dual mission is to exhibit and promote the work of talented artists and to provide the public with an opportunity to see and learn about contemporary art in a more accessible milieu than that offered by commercial galleries. The gallery remains focused on the presentation of art in the figurative tradition but embraces a wide diversity of styles, media, and interpretations of 'figuration'.
The opening reception for “Strange Paradise” is Saturday, June 27th, 3-5 pm. The exhibition will run thru July 18th , 2015 at First Street Gallery, 526 West 26th Street, Suite 209, NY, NY