As a self-indulgent “old hippie” painter I’ve always relished the opportunity to make art that’s idiosyncratically mine.
Indeed, my formative experience as a youthful longhaired “wheat germ freak” of an artist occurred in 1972 on a warm summer day in Newfane Vermont when my mentor-to-be Gandie Brodie invited me into his barn and asked me what I thought one of his paintings looked like.
Responding “it looks like painting” (duh), I established a niche for myself in the barn, and with a certain wickedly subversive delight Gandy took me under his painterly wing that summer.
Gandy was a product of the Provincetown MA and E 10th St gallery scenes in New York in the 50’s. He knew all the Cedar Bar Ab Ex luminaries of the time, and by the 60’s had met with enough success to move to Vermont and paint in a barn.
The barn was his studio but he also ran a “school” there. Inclusion for a few of us local post college art kids meant a chance to try out our brushwork around a painterly guru.
Although Gandy was a no-nonsense critic and would let you know in no uncertain terms if he thought you were painting something crass, he was also a flower child at heart. His preferred lesson plan for painting from nature was to get outside with only charcoal and paper, feel your flavor, and assimilate random marks.
After finishing the summer with a passing grade, it was according to Gandy, time for me to move to Brooklyn and “paint in a cold water loft” (the loftiest praise I could’ve received).
I took his advice to heart and moved to Brooklyn in 1974 and have somehow managed to stick around and keep making art all these years.
Certainly my hair is now a lot shorter, but I believe I’ve stayed true to my archetypal artistic inclinations. Stephen Maine wrote of my work in “Seeing Things”, his introductory essay for my catalog: “Rhapsodic, hallucinatory, it is emblematic of the painterly process of synthesizing motif and materials, visual stimulus and pictorial will”.
Art making has remained an authentic process for me, unaffected by fashion or market ambitions. Nature provides my artistic priorities, depicted both as representational plein air, and interpretative imagery.
My plaster sculpture practice serves as a mutable, volumetric medium that takes on a distinct muscularity.
Intertwining rusticated rope as an extension of the armature brings a skeletal corporality that could also be considered as drawing in 3D.
The assemblage process in my work is influenced by indigenous sources, and foments figurative associations rooted in a totemic anthropomorphism.