Still Life with Lamentation
oil on linen
22" x 28"
Living in Rome 8 years, I painted still life as visionary cities, then placed giant figures inspired by the monuments. Scale dislocations and foreshortening allow cubist contradictions - forms projecting into space as shapes stack up on the picture-plane.
My Fulbright project to study depictions of saints, and apply their strange fusion of the neurotic and sublime to portraiture, led to Arcimboldo-inspired 'criptosanti' and eventually 'headworks,' architectural headresses implicating the stuff of thought.
Atlantic City, where I lived 4 years, has inspired later work. It's surprisingly poetic vistas recall Antonioni, and its small scale sculptural quality reminded me of Rome - though unlike the gravity of The Eternal City, irony is ever-present in an R. Crumb way.
I also enjoy more straightforward perceptual painting, mostly portraits and still lifes - recent ones like the one above reference master paintings.