The paintings I have at the Bridge the Ballot exhibit had a different origin than the ones I normally paint. I have lately been trying to paint more from ideas or dreams and less from real life, and to do this I have needed more focus. I thought it would be a waste to work directly on canvas if I was simply experimenting with subjects, so I grabbed my Ipad Pro and started sketching. Pretty soon I got carried away and discovered it was a great therapy to draw color editorials. Several of these digital pieces went to a show at the Richmond Art Center in 2019, where they appeared as a slide show. I didn’t intend to turn them into paintings, but when curator Jenny Balisle asked for the images, she gave me the option of turning in larger works. This was already in March of 2020 and the pandemic was going on, so I decided they would become my pandemic projects. My studio building was closed temporarily so I brought my paints home and set up show in a corner of our tiny dining room.
The Favorite of Emperor Putin is based on a painting by John William Waterhouse, The Favorites of Emperor Honorius. The center of attention is an emperor clearly unfit for the role, surrounded by sycophants. Heads in the sand, is loosely based on Goya’s Cyclops painting, except for the fact that after the pandemic hit, the cyclops was replaced by something that to me feels more sinister, a nameless microorganism. Island Vampires goes back to a Puerto Rican legend, El Vampiro de Moca. But this time the villains shrink and multiply, attacking the citizens and depriving them of their will to live.