The work I primarily show tends to be reasonably large studio paintings dealing with a sort of North American purgatory. These Minor Works are more like the underwater part of the iceberg. A lot of drawing and painting from observation helps inform the less direct, more synthetic, studio paintings. Minor Works refers to the subsidiary role that these works play, they are a way for me to study light and form, explore, and experiment. While they do help inform what I consider to be my primary body of work, they are also done for their own sake, out of enjoyment in looking and painting.
The works I’ putting into this object are from about 2002-2007, I have a lot of figure work that I’ll post as a separate object(s).
I had a two person show in 2004 with Chris Ware which was the first time I showed these. When the show was over, I asked the gallery which things they wanted shipped up from the show, they wanted ’the studio paintings for sure, not so much the minor works", so I have to thank them for the title.
I think all of your paintings deserve good comment. I am particularly interested in these small paintings. As thumbnails they look very finished in a meticulous way, but on close inspection they are suprisingly loose. Still life occupied me for some time and I still think that there is quite some mileage in it. It all depends on how it is handled. There is a painter close to where I live here in England who makes much money from churning out the usual, you know? Bowls of strawberries so detailed they look like plastic and little silver jugs of cream, that sort of thing. You know what I mean? Horrible. They make me want to scream. I have long wanted to counter them with my own version showing strabwerries still in their transparent plastic box and a little plastic pot of cream complete with barcode. I will title it ‘Ths is how it is’, when I get round to it.
Sounds good, I’d like to see that. I do know what you mean, if something is already somehow precious, why would anyone bother to paint it, especially in the fawning sort of way you describe those.. I try for concision, like Quine said about constructing sentences- state it as simply as you can without changing its nature. Of course the ‘not changing its nature’ part can get tricky too. Fantasy of any kind is poison to me, or maybe more the tipping point between art and entertainment, or art and pornography.
Some small works from 2002-2007
Usually oil on gessoed paper, dimensions variable.