my take on Velazquez's "Las Meninas" -
recent interview - paintingperceptions.com/featured-interv?
My fascination with scale dislocation and monumentality developed during 8 years in Rome, where I taught and painted still life as visionary cities, and then placed giant figures in them. A Fulbright brought me there to study depictions of saints and apply their strange fusion of the neurotic and sublime to portraiture - a project that led to criptosanti and eventually headworks - self-portraits with the stuff of thought in architectural configurations piled on my head. The space in my paintings tends toward horror vacui - probably from growing up in a large family. I also like foreshortening’s cubist contradictions - forms projecting into space while shapes stack up on the picture-plane. Living in Atlantic City inspired much recent work - it's surprisingly poetic vistas recall Antonioni, and its small scale sculptural quality Rome. But unlike the gravity of The Eternal City, irony is ever-present in an R. Crumb way.