Saturday, July 16, 2016

A new painting... 16 x 16 inches. Acrylic on birch ply.
A product of process and intervention.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Commission complete.

   Blue Tower I, II & III (triptych), 2016.  Acrylic on birch ply, 30 x 35 inches each.

Earlier this year I finished a commission of paintings for the boardrooms of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in Charlotte, NC. This firm has many artists' work in their offices around the USA.  

The law firm was moving to new premises in the Bank of America Plaza skyscraper - an impressively shiny tower.  The location is ultra modern, and their offices are on the 22nd and 23rd floors with full height glass walls on the outside. Awesome views.... standing that high above the city with only glass between me and the drop blew me away. 

Tower (reflection), 2016. Acrylic on birch ply,  40 x 70 inches.

The building with its shiny glass as boundary between office and city intrigued me.  My work plays with flatness and space - i.e. shadows are flat silhouettes representing spatial situations, and mirrors are seemingly impenetrable surfaces but reflect infinite depths. Previous paintings and photographs have focused on curtains and views through windows (of homes, trains or cars). 

Tower (night), 2016. Acrylic on birch ply, 30 x 60 inches.

The geometric structure gives form to the monumental power of commerce, but the way it is treated can take it in a number of directions.  It would be easy to show the brutal, fascist side of skyscrapers (like Hugh Ferriss), or zero in on their faceless anonymity, but my reaction is different.

The seemingly impervious and faceless buildings also house people who make choices each day.  The huge windows must make the outside environment more visible than many other offices do, and the occupants could be encouraged to notice clouds, and the different qualities of light during their daily round. Perhaps by capturing some of the fleeting and intangible beauty of this miraculous world, I could remind them how precious it is.

Construction (vertical columns), 2016. Acrylic on birch ply, 38 x 60 inches.

I created the initial proposal for all the paintings in Photoshop, translating my early sketches and ideas into images that conveyed the concepts, and which looked finished enough to make meaningful decisions about.  

Construction (layers), 2016. Acrylic on birch ply, 39 x 50 inches.

To mix things up a bit, these vertical pieces are riffs on using value and color to construct the illusion of flatness and depth.  Each boardroom was named after a city where the firm has other offices. This last painting in brilliant blues, purples and yellows, was inspired by the Tampa boardroom.