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Oxygen Paintings

July 5, 2006 to July 29, 2006



I have been learning to focus on my breathing in the past 2 1/2 years. When I am caught in a state of tension or a moment of difficulty I pay careful attention to my inhaling and exhaling. I visualize my breathing to slow myself down, to endure the moment both physically and emotionally. It is an aspect of meditation, a way to soften feelings of anxiety.

I have developed a language of abstract curvilinear forms assigned soft gradations of color to describe this breathing. The forms intend to capture moments of pleasure, pain, tension, joy, rage, etc.

I have realized that it is impossible (and potentially detrimental) to recover these specific moments. I have decided to describe them in a theatrical way. An actor, for example, isn’t experiencing love or loss or rage while he is performing (except for maybe Martin Sheen in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now, or any time Klaus Kinski tries to drag a boat up a mountain), he is contriving with his skill something analogous to the original circumstance. I must theatricize with form and color- the skills of the artist- to capture those moments. My paintings have become flat and frontal like dramatic performances on a stage. I use a buildup of thin translucent coats of paint and exaggerated form and color to capture light within the surface, adding to that drama.