Archive for October 7th, 2008

       During every show I inevitably get a number of questions about the meaning of the Red Chair especially when it’s suspended in a tree.  For anyone interested, I will pass along how the chair came to be aloft.

Growing up, we lived in the country in a large isolated house with an old barn across the road.  One summer when I was 8 or 9,  I came across a dead woodchuck laying next to the barn.  As the summer progressed and he dried out, a vine passed through his body and by summer’s end was suspended a few feet in the air.  To the eyes of a 8 year old this was something magical.  I was struck by the power of the earth to reclaim its creatures.  Everything seemed very ephemeral after that…

The idea of a tree growing through an object such as a chair, which is very representative of human existence, is a continuation of that early fascination.  It wasn’t until I had painted several pieces with the hanging chair that I began to also see the symbolism of the empty chair, which in some cultures represents the recently deceased.  That is what I see now– the family members who have passed on.  Again, this is my interpretation of this work.  I enjoy hearing what other people see in the work because many times it’s completely different from what I see but just as valid.  I often look at some pieces in a whole new light after hearing a new view.

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