Figments Of The Untamed
Since 1997 I have retreated to a life inside an imaginary inkwell- a black and white graphic world of duality sprinkled with social commentary and Dreamscape imagery. Recent events from the pandemic to economic and social upheaval caused the well to nearly overflow and had me swimming frantically within. While trying to absorb this sensory overload and then apply it to my art, a decision was made. It was time to take a step back (way back), dig a little deeper and draw more upon personal experiences especially from my childhood in Chicago and the time spent drawing animals both real and imaginary.
Animal Kingdom was a pet store a short walk from where I lived and provided a wealth of insight to an eight-year-old who enjoyed drawing animals. It was more than the typical pet store. Initially, it opened as a conventional pet shop selling puppies, kittens, and fish, but over time the shop expanded, and more non-traditional and exotic animals were added. Later, dogs, cats and goldfish were joined by monkeys, tigers, and exotic birds. I imagined them in the wild, uncaged, untamed and drew them as such. Yes, at the time, they were confined to cages and other restricted forms of captivity. However, this all ended later through governmental and institutional intervention along with outcry from an enlightened public.
Until recently, my ink drawings included mountains, waterways, and woodlands populated by bipedal beings engaged in unforeseen events. However, after a seventy-plus year hiatus, the animals of my youth returned. They, along with spiritual entities had taken over the landscape, replacing the bipedal beings with squirrels, foxes, and a whole host of other creatures. By tapping into my childhood memory, the content of my work expanded and yet remained consistent with the overall focus of my previous work which is creating art that embraces conflict, dreams, and humor. All taking place under a moonlit sky and out of the cages.
My career as an exhibiting artist extends back to the mid 1970’s and includes thirty solo or duo exhibitions, inclusion in numerous gallery, and museum exhibitions that include The Corcoran Art Gallery and The Anderson Gallery in Richmond, Va. along with three exhibitions at American University Museum at the Katzen Center: “Remember Marc and Komei”; “Washington Art Matters ll: 1940s – 1980s;” and “Communicating Vessels.” Awards include First Prize in The Fairfax Art Council awards, First Prize in The George Washington University Alumni Competition, and a Special Recognition award from The Virginia Commission of the Arts. Collectors include American University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, Marymount University, the Elisabeth French Collection, the Gudelsky Collection, Radio One and Prudential.
Currently, I am employed as an adjunct art professor at Laurel Ridge Community College and live and work in Washington, DC.