A Difference of Perception

This is an enormous painting, 8'x4', called "Disembodied Man" that I created over a decade ago for the H. Poto gallery called "The Big Show".

Over a decade ago I painted this enormous piece (8'x4') for the H. Poto gallery in Sarasota Fl. Helena Poto (the owner of said gallery) put on a show called "The Big Show" all the artists were supposed to make big pieces. I picked up a sheet of plywood and got to work. The show had so many talented artists creating huge works and I was proud to be part of it, the painting didn't sell but I was still happy that piece was created out of the show. It has been in my house ever since.

A couple of years after the "Big Show"my first son, Grant, was born and 8 years later we had a chance conversation about this big, huge painting hanging in the living room. He asked where the "man in the painting" was. I pointed out to him the two legs, big belly, two arms and head that I cobbled together out of shapes and colors. He said I was wrong, he saw the same two legs, same belly, same hands but a completely different head.

This may not seem like a big deal but it pretty much blew my mind. We had been in and around the same piece of art for nearly a decade but was looking at two different paintings. It wasn't so much that he saw it a little differently than I did, it was that it literally never occurred to me that there could be any other way to interpret the painting. `

He sees the cell phone as the head. I remember adding that cell phone into the painting and thinking, someday this phone is going to look so retro. Previously I had been slipping in images from eras that I hadn't even lived through, parroting my favorite artists becasue I thought it looked cool, but then it occurred to me that they were painting contemporary everyday items in their own world. I was just stealing from their experiences and adding nothing of my own. From then on I made a conscious effort to add items and images that existed in my world, my everyday life, my era. Letting the paintings age until the themselves became little windows of time. The time displayed on that old Nokia is the exact time I was working on the painting.

Maybe that is why I never saw it as the head, I added that phone for an entirely different purpose than the one my son saw. Somehow that makes this piece a little more rich to me.


As always I try and post what I'm listening to in the studio. I don't know why.


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