My latest paintings continue to chart a course toward an imagined intersection of past and present, where the school of hard-edged abstraction pioneered in the 1960s meets the patterns and polyrhythms of modern music, mathematics, and daily life in the 21st century. Recently, a new element has also been introduced by way of my friend and occasional mentor, the exceptionally talented painter Guy Diehl. During an in-studio demonstration, Guy generously provided me the key to his color blending technique, as well as a recipe for mixing acrylic paints so that they may behave more like oils, staying wet and loose. While our overall styles couldn’t be more different, the master’s influence has left a significant mark: the softer gradations of color of these new works directly reflect this new addition to my vocabulary as a painter.
I often think of my work as analogous to music and mathematics – like these ‘languages,’ my work takes the form of a nonverbal expression that is both inspired and supported by naturally occurring patterns and rhythmic phenomena. My paintings are not necessarily meant to be understood on a cerebral level; the emphasis is more on a visual sensation. Having chosen hard-edged abstraction as the path to express this language, every stroke and proportion needs to be considered for me to feel a painting is complete. In keeping with this approach, my practice comprises both a rigorous sense of visual discipline and simultaneously, a sense of fun and light-heartedness. Like Lee “Scratch” Perry blowing smoke into the master tapes while recording in an effort to achieve a certain inexplicable effect, I too want some of the freewheeling pleasure I take in making each work to come through in its final state. The liberty I take with titles reflects this enjoyment. For these works, I have borrowed phrases from Neil deGrasse Tyson as well as inspirations including song lyrics or titles and passages from books that are currently on my nightstand, connecting my studio practice to the universe of color and rhythm that surrounds us.