September 30, 2008

"Knucklebones I" & "Knucklebones II"

Knucklebones was an ancient game played with animal bones. This very detailed painting was lost in a collectors house fire. I was commissioned to replicate the original. Thinking about painting the same image twice reminds me of a great show of Al Held's at Emerich gallery circa 1978: Al painted two identical geometric abstracts. One was a mirror image. The paintings were hung on oposite walls and the effect was magic.

There are a few differences between Knucklebones I and II. Remember "Highlights for Children" ?

September 29, 2008

"Eagles" and "Lions"

These are paintings of doors in the Society Bank building, designed by John Root of the Chicago firm, Burnham and Root. The 1889 design shows influences of Gothic, Romanesque, and Renaissance styles. I have since used this pointed Gothic arch shape and proportion in many of my paintings. The turn of the century produces a plethora of synthesized eclectic styles in all the arts. Look at our current art scene: any thing goes. Art and Architecture critics are mostly confused. There is one, Barbara Rose, who got it right. In a lecture at Yale, circa 1977, she predicted what I see and embrace as an expression of the convergence of cultures, styles, & historical references: Postmodernism. Long live Robert Stern and John Currin.

September 28, 2008

"Soldiers And Sailors Monument"

The monument honoring the four branches of the Union Army as seen through a Gothic arch window of the old Society Bank building. The Civil War memorial on Cleveland's public square was built in 1894. How different Maya Lin's memorial to the Vietnam Veterans is. They both contain long lists of dead warriors. Where are the lists of the dead civilians?

September 15, 2008

"Old Stone Church"

Society Bank commissioned this and 4 other paintings in 1992 for their new building. How sad that the new Society/Key Bank skyscraper now dwarfs our beloved Terminal Tower. A fantasy: Terminal Tower could have been our Eiffel Tower, with all the other newer and taller buildings located west of the city, in Lakewood. This is a view out of the original Society Bank board room window showing the Old Stone Church, which contains some exquisite Tiffany window.

"Terminal Tower"

When the Society for Savings building was built in 1890 it was the tallest "skyscraper" in Ohio. It had 10 stories. This is a view out of the board room in 1992. The Gothic arch window is an exact representation of the existing leaded window.

"Music Festival"

This lithograph is colored with the pochoir method. "Pochoir" is French for guess what? Stencil!
Duh. Everything sounds better in French, like "Giclee", which means spurt. A mylar stencil is cut for each color with a hot burner tool, and high quality watercolors are brushed on.

September 6, 2008

1996, Cleveland Transit Station Bench, "Native American Settlements"

The first of six benches showed scenes of fishing and canoe building on the Cuyahoga River during the Whittlesey Period, 1000 to 1600 AD. This theme was not in my original design. It was suggested to me by Hunter Morrison, then the director of Cleveland City Planning. Thanks!

"Are We There Yet?",Public Art Commission, 1996, Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Only a printmaker would think of sandblasting deep lines in 1/2" thick glass, and wiping black enamel into them. When dry the surface was scraped clean with a razor blade. There are six bench-wind screens on the East bank of the Cuyahoga River. They are like huge intaglio plates that I inked and never printed. I have worked on printing a set of smaller etchings based on these images. 

"The First Log Cabins On The Cuyahoga River"

The second bench shows the first European settlers from Connecticut. They traveled on corduroy roads. It must have been a bumpy ride. That's a drawing of Moses Cleaveland wearing a Yale cap, on the lower left. He settled and surveyed the town of Cleaveland, July 22, 1796. Parts of our beautiful Western Reserve look just like Connecticut because that's where the settlers came from.

September 5, 2008

"Space Cadet"

This painting was photographed from the side, at an oblique angle. (that's electric conduit on the wall). The blue checked strip on the right is painted on the side. I loved playing with the rotation of a circle/elipse. As the viewer walks by, the elipse rotates and becomes foreshortened.

"Elephant Lady"

This eliptical painting interested Holly and Horace Solomon when they visited my studio in 1980. I thought I had it made, Holly and Horace embraced and she said we'll send the truck over." and, "The trunk is pointing down: That's bad luck." They were divorced not long after.  Below is a Warhol photo of Holly in her younger years looking very glamourous.