Men at Work

This small series is actually a subset of my Research and Development Series. All works are in acrylic paint on 30″ x 22″ paper from 1995. Though I did not write a statement specifically for this series, they are included under the Research and Development statement below.

Artist’s Statement

Research and Development:
Painting has been widely rejected as being too loaded with historical baggage, and unsatisfactory for communication in our technological world. Be that as it may be, it is precisely this historical baggage that makes it well suited to the exploration of the societal and cultural predilections that form the basis of my work.

In this series I have deliberately varied my painting approach, evoking various 19th and 20th century styles and cultural movements. This denial of a personal style creates the intentionally misleading initial impression that the work, when viewed as a whole, consists of multiple artistic perspectives on a related theme.

Four subject matter elements appear throughout, thematically unifying the work. They are a pre-Colombian vase – evocative of ancient indigenous cultures and implied attitudes of cultural supremacy, a classical sculpture – an icon of western civilization, a silicon chip motif – reminiscent of other ancient and contemporary sources, and vintage pinups -typically viewed as disposable pop culture. These archetypal origins are obscured however, as the four elements are repeatedly contextually reassigned and stylistically reinterpreted.

Scientific and historical observation, analysis, and preservation of the past intrigue me. I am interested in exploring the process of art making in an environment in which artists are often at least once removed from the origins of their inspiration. This work represents the development of themes that have been of ongoing importance to me throughout my career.

The 48 works – mainly acrylic paintings but including the 13 “Men at Work” pieces – are best comprehended when viewed as an installation.