Sketch Series (#1)
What if Salvador Dali was born in 1983 instead of 1904?
Imagine his childhood filled with images of urban America instead of the beautiful countrysides of Spain. What would his work look like if he painted out of a studio in Brooklyn, a product of this generation, influenced by our fashion, music, and style?
Envision a Salvador painting about the issues facing modern society, inspired by things like the internet, social media, corporate america, politics, religion, and more. Witness Dali’s masterpieces reworked through an updated lens as art history collides with modern culture. I intend to pick up where he left off, with more than fifty years of perspective to guide me along they way. It is a humble tribute to my greatest inspiration.
Sketch Series (#1)
24 X 48″ Acrylic on Canvas, 2013
On one particular visit to Florida a few years ago, my mother took me to the Dali Museum. From the moment I stepped in the front doors everyone else disappeared. I carefully walked down the hallways, meeting each painting face to face for the first time, finally able to look at every minute detail as it was in real life. This visit set off an array of emotions and feelings, and will forever be a defining moment in my life. Before I left, I bought the 25th anniversary 2 Volume Set of Dali’s work by Taschen. I didn’t have the money for it, but It’s free to dream, and every believer has a bible.
As soon as you open those books, the inside cover has these beautifully bold sketches of woman in various poses with heads of flowers.. As you can imagine, this double volume set has proven invaluable during the creation of this exhibition. It is like a Dali instruction manual, I don’t know how many times I opened them over the last 24 months, but I know that with each turn of the hardcover, I would see this vivid yellow paper with the bold black ink, and it would remind me of my mother, that visit, and home .
I would think three things; Dali, Flowers, Florida. Dali symbolized me, my art, this journey, and the sacrifices made to get me here. The flowered woman were easily associated with my mom, as she loves flowers and paints gardens in real life with color, thought and composition. It is easy to see where my talent comes from. I was blessed to have incredibly supportive parents who believed and provided every opportunity for me to succeed. Every time I hear an artist, poet, musician, or any “creative” type recount stories of disapproving parents, I send out a thank you to mine. Often that single element is crucial to whether or not we make it, give up, or lose hope.
My parents divorced after I graduated college. Our last outing together was my commencement ceremony at Hofstra. It was like the finish line. I knew they stayed together so that I could have a stable home during my years at school. Families schism and sometimes the cracks can’t be fixed. But they didn’t let it crumble. They let it fall softly so that I could make noise. My mom moved to Florida shortly thereafter. My brother and father drifted apart. I packed up all of them
and carry them with me in my art.
Each time I open these books, the first page reminds me of this. The sketch series is a nod to the history that preceded the concept; containing five paintings for five years. This was the period when I was drawing out my future trying to reconcile the past.
My brushes are heavy. I used to despise the weight of expectation. Now i welcome the anchor it provides when my hands are shaky. Most angles, brights, and filberts are made of wood, bristle and topped with paint. My brushes are made of my family, my city, and the determination to make it worth it in the end. I’ve definitely blown out a few white dandelions; wishing things were different as the seeds flew away.