Writing a statement about one’s own artwork is inherently difficult due to the nature of art vs. language. Images generate feelings and thoughts in ways words cannot. Moreover, the process of creating art is a process of evolution and maturation. It has taken over forty years for my artwork to arrive at its current state. As with the study of history, it takes time to interpret events with some degree of clarity and objectivity. Therefore a statement about my artwork is at best fleeting and temporary.
With that said, I recognize recurring themes in my art. First, there is an ongoing interest in the subconscious, and it’s role in dream imagery. The compelling characteristic of dreams is the juxtaposition of random imagery within a single framework. My job as an artist is to transform these images into a coherent design. This process is both active and passive: I must be both “listener” and “doer”. The artwork, as it evolves, “speaks” to me how it is to be fully realized. There is a great sense of peace and harmony in succeeding in this challenge for it brings me one step closer to self-realization.
Dream imagery serves as a metaphor for the seeming randomness of events that occur in our lives. I believe each of us will find peace and harmony when the grand design/designer is revealed in our own lives.
Another recurring theme is social commentary. It is a responsibility of the artist (poet, painter, musician, writer, etc.), to speak out against injustices. The status quo should be unacceptable, particularly when societal inequalities are so evident and prevalent. Moreover, when the people feel powerless to effect change, they become cynical and apathetic. It is one job of the artist to hold up a mirror to society so it can see both its ugliness as well as its beauty. Beauty should inspire goodness and elevate our spirits. Ugliness should be revolting, and motivate us to right the wrongs.
The final, and most compelling theme I explore is that of spiritual mysticism. I have yet to find the words to adequately describes the "where" this comes from and "how" it gets to my canvas. I think I can safely say that the spiritual imagery serves as a metaphor for the search for the grand creator. The searcher may see a glimmer of the divine, but the non-searcher certainly will not. I would also like to acknowledge a great teacher, Rabbi David Weis, for inspiring my later spiritual art. However if my art should be judged harshly, it is solely my failure, and in no way should reflect on this gifted, brilliant, and compassionate man.
These are the things that drive my art – at this present time and place. I paint because it takes me on a compelling, mysterious journey. I paint with the hope that some piece of me may live on long after I am gone. I paint with the faint hope that my art could bring about just a tiny change for the better. And finally, and most importantly, I paint because I have to; I have no choice.
In the end, we are all blessed to be here, even for but a brief moment in time. We should make it count for something.
January, 25, 2015