This series of work began when two dear friends of mine became mired in a malady of the spirit and were seeking release. One of them, Kim, has now made much progress as she sought to look inside herself. The other, Terry, has regressed into anger and fear, as he sought to rearrange his external situation to suit his desires. While they were in the throes of pain, the first two paintings emerged from me and I began this journey. Although my friends inspired me, in a way, my Free People are all self-portraiture.
Some Free People are separated from their surroundings-- isolated and alone. Others have lost the ability to see themselves as individual organisms and have merged into one with their surroundings. It became impossible to portray them as different from their environment, and I could not determine where “they” ended and their “place” began.
Some live in the past and fear the future; others live in the now and have no fear of yesterday, today, or the hereafter.
Most have only one eye in the conventional sense of the word, though they have closed up spaces where vision might have been, and may some day reawaken. The spiritual eye is “one” and empowers the person to see beyond the sense experience. But the closed mind is “one” as well, rendering the human unable to see inside where the truth lies unrevealed.
The paintings speak to me about what the people are doing in them, why they’re there, who they are, where they came from, where they’re going, what they want, what they dream about. Do they feel a sense of camaraderie about their life circumstances? Is that feeling genuine, or is it self-delusion?
I hope you see something among them that makes you feel the mysterious chimera of time coming at you, and slipping behind you, while you feel yourself living in the ever present moment. Like the “snakes” you buy at the fireworks stand, the little black cylinder is pure potential, and the curling, growing, long dark gray ash is expended energy, while you stand in the red-hot burn zone, trying to make sense of it.