Discover Domestic Threats Collection
“All of the pastel paintings use my West Village apartment or a 72-year-old Sears house in Virginia as a backdrop. These are places where I live so the realities of my everyday surroundings are an essential part of the work. Director-style, I select and arrange a group of folk art figures in a room in my apartment. I light the scene using two or more tungsten studio lights to create dramatic, mysterious and unexplainable shadows. The setup is typically left in place for several weeks. During that time, I work out placement, lighting, design, and, most importantly, a narrative about the interaction that is occurring between the “actors.” (The narrative is often hinted at in the painting’s title).
When everything is ready, I shoot two color negatives with a 4″×5″ view camera. Using a 24” x 20” photograph for reference, I create a pastel painting of 58″×38″ in size (normally a three to four month process). I also make smaller works (which also involve several months), but prefer the greater challenge of working in large format. Blending with my fingers, I painstakingly apply dozens of layers of soft pastel onto the acid-free sandpaper. My self-invented technique achieves rich textures and vibrant colors. I believe I am pushing pastel to its limits, using it in ways that no one else has done.”