After being decleared a hopeless case by the powers that be, for not fitting into the dominant paradigm of adversarial dialectics and linear thought, I spent most of my life in the field of "poverty life style" research before discovering the one true religion: introspective art. If only I had been tought about lateral thought whin I was a child.
Some of my paintings seem to be unsellable because people are upset by my use of macabre icons such as rats ('Rats' is an anagram for 'Art's Star'), to illustrate my inability to develop a good healthy denial system. I may need to cater to the lowest common denominator (like t.v. does). But for now I am trying to develope an irreverent surreal medieval 'Alice in wonderland' style, with a subconscious apocalyptic feel,
(That I am trying to supress), and elements of Kabuki theater.
It seems to me as though most people deny their mortality so fanatically that they even develop deep religious belief systems around it.
So I try to use sardonic irony to tell my stories about the ego and the id (the id being the reservoir of the libido), how does that relate to anil retention? It's better than watching T.V.!
In my dictionary Subliminal Realism is opposite of Surrealism. I don't think that what I'm doing is above and beyond realism, but more about what is just below the surface of our subjective reality. Try answering with something other than 'Fine' next time someone asks "How are you doing" and see what happens.
When did you start making art?
I remember drawing pictures of cars when I was young. Then I drew a picture of my grandfather that actually looked like him, but I didn't start painting for another 30 years.
I made dulcimers and drums for a lot of years, but never did like the strain of 'getting it right'.
What is your favorite medium?
Oil paints that I make myself from alkyd resin and linseed stand oil with a bit of bees wax melted in with dryers, mixed into the pigments. The oil gives me enough time to put the colors where I want them, yet will dry within a couple of days. I tried using acrylics but could not slow it down enough.
I like my paint thick and chunky with pigment.
How does your work progress?
When I sit down to draw a sketch I feel like my subconcious is trying to communicate with me, I do use a bit of imagery from the real world...but only as a tool to express my unconcious, not that it comes from my dreams ( thay are too anxiety-riddin ). I used to try drawing from life but never found anything worth sketching, that's what cameras are for.
I staple the canvas on plywood, transfer the drawing enlarged by a large copy machine, then draw out the picture in detail with conte' pencels (thay are the only ones with abrasive, just right for canvas) then start dabbing paint on with cheap nylon brushes.
I keep a sketch book so as not to lose those visual messages that come threw.
What Influences your art?
The paintings of Bruegel and Bosch and Joseph Noel Paton's faery paintings.
French Apache' Dance from the 1930's, Klingon Opera, Kabuki theater, Phillip Glass's opera AKHENATEN, Leo Delibes' "Lakme" (The flower duet),"The Wizard of Oz" movie, P.D.Q.Bach's operas, movies by Falinni, and an over powering urge to comunicate my preverbal anxiety.
How would you describe your style?
That's a hard question, I don't consider my self a real outsider artist because I am influenced by so many established art methods. In fact I'd rather be painting some sort of abstrct expresionism, but I can't tell readable storys with out figurative symbols. (I may revert to the raw Art Brut style that I started with and concentrate on body language.) So I call it Naive Neurotic Surrealism.(or Subliminal Realism)
'Naive' because of the naivete' of the painting style, 'Neurotic' because of the sardonic irony, and 'Surreal' for the process.(or just the 'unrealism')
Actualy I am more of an absurdist that an surrealist.
(Paranoiac Critical Method).
I am enthusiastic about using comics sequence panels to help illustrate different aspect of meanings.
Iíve not seen many surreal commix (see Max Ernst's Une Semaine de Bonte' 1934, Dover publications), mostly due to the fact that comic books have been trapped in a one dimensional world most of their lives (power fantasies).
Comix (being cartoons with motive panels, using the readers imagination to move the story between the panels) can expand a surreal concept (cryptic preverbal idea) into a multi dimensional understanding.
I also see that with the ease of animation on the Internet, that the comic page layout may be in danger of disappearing. So I think it would be a good element to add to paintings, another static visual form.
What does the symbolism mean in your paintings?
I don't think I can answer that one, I like to tell people it's because of the male hormone destroying the part of the brain that helps the two halves comunicate. But it's also because it's a very complex story. And people like to see their own meanings in my pictures. I may try some surreal writings about them some time.
I do like to tell visual storys of anxiety, I suffer from excessive fear because I havent been able to develop a good healthy denial system.
I see art as a right-brain experience that takes time for the logical left brain to decypher.
However, when art is too easily understood it does not expand one's right brain experience. That can effect how soon one gets bored with the picture.(depending on the person).
The right brain understands the whole picture at once, but can't explain in linear terms.
Can you explain the picture called 'Ontological Somnambulism'?
It is about being asleep to the true nature of being; with a wrong paradigm of the mechanics of reality..."sleep walking" while manipulating the world will result in loss of control!
Do you like parting with your works?
If I had the wall space I would just keep them around and study them, but living in an old school bus I keep them hidden in a dark corner under my bed, with the rest of the monsters, and wish I could get them out into the world to be seen, that's why I spend so much time building my web site even if I do have to ride my bicycle 10 miles round trip, for every 1 hour of computer time at the library.
What do you have planned for the future? any exhibits?
I need to produce a short story picture book, but thats going to take a lot more money than I know how to get. So I may have to find some investors.
- 1967?: Escaped from commercial art training.
- 1970-1986: Construction of sculptural dulcimers and guitars.
( No room for errors, learned to notice detail )
- 1982-1989: Student of ceramic arts (Port Townsend Wa.).
- 1984-1996: Development of drum construction tools and techniques.
- 1996-1998: Development of sculptural vessels.
- 1998: Contemplation of perfection by attention to detail and the absurdity of the
dominate paradigm of fine woodworking. Contemplation of how the natural entropy of the
wood is like manipulating the natural world to fit our subjective ideals.
My work, by moving slower and slower, illustrates how dysfunctional our super-functional
world has become: moving faster and faster with perpetually less satisfaction.
- painting on canvas.
- 2005 etc: story book art.
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