Archive for May 5th, 2011

This small painting is titled Seat of Memory.  It’s a new piece on paper that measures about 6″ by 8″ and is due to be part of my upcoming show, Now and Then,  at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  The show opens June 10.

The title of this piece and  show  refers to memory, a subject that has often been portrayed in my work recently.  Memory and history are often interchangeable in my thinking as I view both as that thread, that continuum, that ties our present and past.  That which gives our now definition and perspective.  The list of ingredients, the recipe, for the concoction we call the present time.

You hear a lot of people say that one must live only in the present and I see the wisdom in that.  But I think there is value in holding on to and examining that thread of memory and history, if only to see those patterns in our behaviors that remain consistent over time so we can avoid making the same mistakes over and over, in the present and in the future.  There’s a great quote on this but I can’t remember the exact quote or even whose words they are.  It goes something like: He who disregards history lives every day as a child.  Every step is a new step.  Every discovery a new discovery.  Every stumble a new stumble.

I view my painting as a way of bringing the past into a perpetual now.  I want them to always feel as they portray the present but are firmly rooted in a visible history.  By that I mean that I want people to see the work with childish eyes of discovery, as though it feels completely new to them.  But at the same time I want them to feel a sense of familiarity in the work.  Maybe the familiarity of a shared history, common memory.

I don’t know if that’s something I can do with my work.  I don’t even know if that’s something I should be trying to accomplish.  But when I look at a simply put piece like the Seat of Memory it gives me hope that maybe I am on the right road.

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