People keep asking, "What are the ideas that lay behind my Kohaku series?"
Kohahku is both a new series and a new phase of artistic exploration. I started the fits sketch as I sat with my friend Jack McCarthy , on Tuesday January 15th. (Jack would pass two days later). During that time Carol, Jacks wife, and I had talk about Buddhism and the simplicity inherent in both Japaneses and Chinese art.
Jack asked to see what I was working on and for me to explain my concept. He found the falling pine/fur boughs peaceful and comforting in there gentle descent.
I have always had an affinity for the Japanese Kohaku - the use of red/white (Ko = Red and Haku = White, when these two colors are used together). It seemed an appropriate time to create paintings that where truly as gentle as the man who I sat with was.
This new series - which utilizes aspects found in my last series “Disintegration of Identity” is my take on Japanese minimalism - the use of the red square is often found within their architecture (set back from the primary picture window).
In a very real way, the first steps of this series started two to three years ago with my 'Aspects of the Whole,' series in which I did tighter and tight close ups, giving only an aspect of the whole to evoke the mood and story taking place.
The 'Disintegration of Identity' was the antithesis of my Mannequin series. In that Series, Mannequins gained consciousness and through consciousness sentience. The series showed them forming a community and question for knowledge the eventually lead them into the desert.
With the 'Disintegration of Identity' I should how humanity idea of the self was lost and in-turn there beings began to dissolve, peel, fold, or shatter until they where nothing. Within this – nature began to return, first by the use of fur boughs falling and then nests and a hive as nature began regaining a foothold within territory abandons by humanity and humanity itself.
So the combination of natures rebirth within my work and the impending death of my friend – the time had come to explore the use of red/white element with my own twist where some aspect of nature of many would intersect the peacefulness of that color combination and create meditative pieces. It has been a long road from the complexity work most people know and expect from me to its base minimalism that is flowing now.
Next up? A signed white canvas?
I have ideas about three dimensional paintings that would most likely incorporate my current minimalistic bent