Burial at Sea

Oil on Canvas 60 x 72 Inches

Oil on Canvas

60 x 72 Inches

Someone asserted “this is a narrative picture!”. Well O.K. every picture tells a story , problem is ,often not the one intended by the teller,it’s the one seen by the viewer. Such is the way of the unconscious mind. My own perceptions have slowly evolved past recognizing normal constraints of the subject in narrative art . I feel this way as member of the audience and as artist. What I enjoy most about novels and movies is seldom the intended subject. This holds true in my paintings of New York.  It is understandable that few artists are inclined to take on the city as subject, given the abundance of peripheral subject matter and the daunting amount of detail, viewer and artist easily succumb to chaos. A plethora of street paintings exist but the pedestrian’s perspective from ground up does not allow for an unfettered view of building tops. This is where the action is. Where Dionysian ego and American social aspiration meet.   To paint New York one has to be willing to re- invent the viewers line of sight, make architectural studies and paint every window. Yet without transcendent metaphor a painting New York would be only a grand exercise.     The impression of seeing it all, when one is encountering selective detail, providing the illusion of the whole, is a useful kind of math. I have come to believe much of what a painter does is to earn the interest of the audience and then conduct the attention … thus, a painters painter’s strategy. The composite interplay of technique and design add the energy of vision , magic of inspiration both are required when attempting a big picture of NY.    The girdered city fascinates and inspires awe, it engages the imagination ,it engages the dreaming and  didactic mind simultaneously.  Engineering , architecture, social order, physics and design…… a perfect opportunity to ambush the viewers precious interest with the unexpected. Dream elements are quite normal to me, they gain heightened impact by virtue of laborious quotidian detail.  Social art forms have jaded the audience with ever  special effects, hamper authentic surrealism. Films often forego the tedious nest making required by quality symbolist work. For me imagination and symbol are expressed most poignantly by an artist working alone, the primary domain of the painter and poet.     New York is the alluring dream I had throughout my childhood, from a distant place.  I continue to perceive it as I did then through the filter of imagination. I have and will continue to paint it exquisitely as possible, quite a few years hence.