Babies Join the Circus
This 2015 series entitled, “Babies Join the Circus”, is centered around the emotional content of paradox. The representational imagery is of vulnerable babies, who nevertheless seem to be in total control, placed within a timeless, disquieting form of quantum space. Each painting is a self-enclosed universe as mysterious as is the child’s future, of which, we are all a part.
This work was inspired when a long-awaited baby was born into our family, bringing such beauty that I could not help but translate Rilke’s words: “For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror…” into painted images.
And why the circus theme? I was told that I had frequently tried to run away during the ages of three to five, packing a little suitcase as best I could and making it out the door; but stopped by the corner because I was not allowed to cross the street. The reason? I was running away to join the circus.
The paintings are in oil on either junkyard tin or vellum. The process of removing the rust from old tin is labor-intensive: long soaking in vinegar or molasses baths, sanding and sand-blasting.
When it became too difficult to find enough tin I painted on hot pressed, cotton vellum to look like tin.
The focus of the new body of work is about the tension between representation and abstraction with the narrative coming from the viewer’s spiritual imagination. I have avoided painting the landscape until now simply because I could not understand how to visually organize the many layers of movement, how to articulate nature’s astonishing life-force, and how to paint in a way that allows the viewer to enter into the essence of what we call nature; which is mystery.