August 29, 2008

"The Balance of Nature" 1992 proposal for a Cleveland transit station

What could have been at the W. 25th St. GCRTA station...
This is my proposal for a public art work made of enamel on stainless steel panels bolted to a steel framework. Another artist won the competition. He installed photo silkscreen on metal pieces inside the station building. They apparently are badly damaged from leaking water.
The rendering (below) of my sculpture is done in oil on panel. The piece still could be built somewhere else. I have the budget and engineering plans including concrete footers and lighting. The planar sculpture consists of UV resistant porcelain enamel on stainless steel. It is weather and graffiti resistant. At the presentation meeting I demonstrated to the jury how durable the sample porcelain panel was by banging it with a hammer. I guess I should have banged a few heads also.

August 25, 2008

"Sally Ride"

The first woman astronaut went to outer space in our life time. Things certainly are moving right along. This mobile was made in 1984 for a show about domesticity. I had thoughts about mobility, changing sex roles, and the convergence of cultures.

"One World"

This was an installation at the Haber Gallery, NYC, the group show was titled "Domesticity" That is the Sally Ride mobile in the upper right corner.

"On Guard"

Aw Chaarmin', cunnin' have ya evah. The influence of 1950's cartoons is evident. The way half a cat disappears into another dimension behind a skinny table leg is a classic move. This piece was constructed of wood and plexiglass with screws. It was easy to dismantle and ship. My first gallery solo show was in Basel, Switzerland at the Mario Mainetti Gallery, 1988.

August 24, 2008

"Bird Food Chain Table"

This is a functional table. The cut outs are steel coated with porcelain enamel. That means the metal was coated with frit which is ground glass pigment. Each piece is heated in a kiln so that the the frit melts and is fused to the glass. Kent State University has a large scale enameling kiln. It is one of two in the world. The other is in France. The kiln has a huge conveyor belt which will accept pieces of metal up to about 48" square. This is a wonderful medium for polychrome outdoor sculpture or graffiti proof 2d painting.

August 20, 2008

Studio Wall, Spring St., NYC, 1980

I lived in a ground floor loft between Mott and Elizabeth Streets. It was like a cave. Only one window/door at the end of the space... a great artist studio. Louise Nevelson lived in building diagonally across the intersection. I would see her cruising around the neighborhood in a gigantic old station wagon, always with those eyelashes and gypsy babushka. I was acquainted with her assistant. He would have to coax the old woman into the studio when Pace Gallery called asking for a few more pieces. I was working on themes of "The Figure in Geometry": Circus, Baseball, Gymnastics. I liked the idea of planar cut outs and how a plane when rotated would disappear into a line.

August 19, 2008

"Gold Fish Table"

In 1981 the Spring St. loft had a resident stray cat. "Luther" would go in and out, up and down the fire escape when he pleased. I have a vivid teen age memory of a Mad Magazine issue that featured sculptures made to the exact specifications of children's drawings. The art of Al Held and Joseph Albers was also in my head and heart when I made this.

August 17, 2008

"Looking For Love"

I am fascinated by geometric projections. The ambiguity has a resonance to issues in life. The peacock must be the most beautiful creature in existence. In the Hindu religion it is also a symbol for the validity of all religions. Even atheism is accepted.

August 16, 2008

"Grecian Urn Table"

The notion to make perspective unusual and possibly change the way we look at things was exciting. I took two courses at Yale: Chinese Painting of the Sung, and Japanese Narative Scroll Painting. The Asians used paralell orthagonals to express a world that was expansive. This contrasted sharply with the Western use of converging orthagonals and one point perspective, where the viewer was the center. What would it mean to have the orthagonals diverge? An other worldly space is created. Byzantine icons frequently use this divergence.

August 15, 2008


This unusual shaped Greek vessel was used to hold wine. It is called a Psykter and means "cooler". It was placed in a larger container of cold water.

August 14, 2008

"Cork It"

My friend Pat once said to me, "Ya know how people can stop drinking too much? They should just put the cork in the bottle." I put colored water in the bottle to paint this. Even though wine is not purple, most people would say that it is wine.

"Warriors I"

Somehow this painting looks too good natured. Maybe some bloody dismembered bodies would tone down the frivolity.

August 11, 2008

"Warriors II"

Russia invades Georgia during the Summer Olympics opening ceremonies. With every war, somebody is making a lot of weapons and money.

August 7, 2008


A 20 miniute drive away from my house is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There are a few working farms there. These three buildings are part of a park sevices center.

"Three Apples"

Painted plein air, at Zsalays Farm, this landscape avoids the "too much green" problem.
It was a hot hazy day. The distant trees are blue green. Atmospheric perspective causes distant objects to be out of focus, low contrast, and blend in with the atmosphere: blue sky. The apples and wooden window niche were added in the studio.

August 3, 2008

"Why I Paint Flowers"

Because the symetry of flowers is a direct expression of the golden mean, 1.618 is a unit of division and multiplication throughout natural creation. Who said, "I don't paint nature, I am nature"? Some artists naturally create compositions close to the golden mean / section. One can easily do it precisely with a calculator and a metric ruler. Art can have a healing quality for the viewer.

"One Two Three"

It's summer so the posts are about summer things. All of these flowers were growing in my garden. The blue bells and those round violet ones didn't grow back year to year. There is too much shade, I think.


Lilies of the valley must have the most intoxicating scent. Red wine gives me a headache.

August 2, 2008

"Consider The Lillies"

Worried about the price of new clothes? Credit card debt? House appraised for more than it's worth? I consider the lillies of the valley that are growing along the front of the house and are spreading around to the back yard for free. This piece was shipped back and forth across the country to three different galleries untill it sold to the right collector on Cape Cod.


When I moved to Twin Lakes, my friend Julie invited me to a daylily farm where the proprietor allowed us to dig up as many plants as we wanted. They are planted along the fence. Call me "Mr. Monet". My approach is definitely botanically correct, sorry Claude. There is something winsome and sad about a blossom that lasts just one day.

August 1, 2008

"Delay Is The Antidote For Anger"

That's what the fortune cookie says. In NYC (1980's) I lived around the corner from a fortune cookie factory/sweat shop on Center St. Hot fans blew the sweet smoke out of the open doors. The machines clattered. Workers, probably indentured slaves, silently placed paper fortunes on disks of hot cookie dough before they were mechanically folded. I wonder how they dealt with that anger.