The doors are closed. There are no more screenings of this film.
Synopsis: From 1993 through 2016 I did primarily equine work, varying formal problems such as light, types and combinations of marks, and scale, even pushing the scale beyond life-sized. I also continued with intermittent on-site drawings of architectural structures and urban scenes I had been dabbling with since high school. But my interest in figurative imagery was at my heels and growing in my heart. For every work that made an imprint on me, that on some level became a part of me, was done by painters who could get to the core of the essence of their figurative subjects. Artists who thumbed their noses up at unnecessary detail so not to compromise the raw elements that made their works loud-artist’s like Ben Shahn, Munch, and Bacon, El Greco, Baselitz, and de Kooning. I loved them for their courage and for giving me an understanding of what I valued in effective work. However, that period in my life had also been overwhelmed by profoundly challenging experiences resembling episodes from a Hollywood thriller. The shocking realizations, and extended periods of life on the edge of death changed my views about the world, but also gave me a unique combination of insights and a rawness that transformed who I was (am).
By 2016 I was in my mid-fifties, and except for a four-year period from 2000 to 2004, I had painted throughout the transition. I had and raised three children and been married and divorced. I had shed most of who I was that had drawn me to use the horse in my work, and I could feel a void inside me every time I did an equine piece. I was still discovering who I had become, and what my work would need to be, but I was also aware of the advantage I had gained in the decades of practice of the equine works. I’d been making art in some form or another for over 50 years, and I knew my way around paint and materials better than most. I hadn’t bought into the philosophy being tossed around in art school that I heard one of my old professors put to a student so many years ago: “you’re better off working for a fast food joint and doing genuine art on your own time”. No, I had not bought into that then or since, I knew the value of practice and the learning curve, I understood it, and respected it.
By now, twenty-five years had passed since graduate school, and I understood how to answer that “concept question”, the one I could never answer for the horses. I could answer it, and it was loaded.
On a fundamental level I knew my work had to be about truth and deception.
Through a handful of commissioned animal portraits, and figurative sketches I had done between 2006 and 2016 I considered the idea of portraiture and my sensitivity with it as an artist. Not only did it lure me, but there was a vast difference in the strength of my human portraits compared to my other work. I was close to diving into figurative work, but I also knew I was not interested in the individual, just as I had not been interested in the individual identities of the horses.