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Portfolios: Neighborhood Series 2011-2013, April 2014 Curator Reviewed Art
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. While I certainly enjoy working with light and shadow, my intention with these paintings is definitely the latter. These are based on my historic neighborhood, the Houston Heights, which has undergone a great deal of change in the wake of "progress" with the destruction of many older 1920s era homes to make way for generic new construction. With it is a loss of the stories that the houses hold and really the soul of the community. I like that you see my houses as personified because I want them to feel that way, because they hold the stories of so many lives lived. I want my viewers to feel the sense of loss and cue them in to the unknown stories hidden behind the windows and doors.
I really like the solemn quality of these flat architectural paintings in your Neighborhood Series. I can’t quite ascertain if they are intended to be purely observational studies of light and shadow, or if they speak to hidden truths in our shuttered suburban enclaves. Quiet Desperation, by title and composition appears to delve into the later; a cleanly built structure devoid of individual alteration or personalization. The cool grey shadows enhance the attention to perspective and small sliver of sky that is pushed to the outer edge of the composition. But I’m struck by the stringent omission of foliage in these works despite mundane inclusions such as a meter box on the side corner of this house. I also perceive Neighbood Watch to be slightly sinister in the implication of windowed “eyes” peering over the fence, but the personification is humorous when taken so literally. The tiny blocks supporting the structure’s frame read as feet, while the adjacent characteristic peak is all but shielded from the fence barrier. Just Peachy stands in the alternate grouping, with a decidedly cheerful presence. This painting comes across as a formal and sincere observance of saturated local color, without paradoxical irony. However, for me the lack of human presence in all of these works underscores the sense of societal isolation, while I recognize that the structures ultimately assume personas of their own in the absence of the other.
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