Statement on paintings for the exhibit at Gallery 25.
It has been over 25 years since my paintings were shown at the old Gallery 25 space. Consequently, when invited to show here again, I chose to show mainly large paintings on paper from about that time until fairly recently. The work has changed a huge amount in certain ways, very little in others. The same themes still rivet me: how people, individual and in families, transmute over the course of a lifetime and through generations, and the nature of memory, mortality, and loss.
The oldest images are a group from the mid to late 1980s of five self portraits as an infant, the series collectively called Dwarf in A Tall Man’s Closet. They were among the first large oil paintings on paper I’d ever attempted. Since about 1990, the paintings became more realistic and tightly rendered. I have chosen to show a number of finished paintings with drawing studies of the same of similar subjects, as in the portrait paintings of Tim Yates. As with most of my work, I hope the studies clarify the process behind the very finished paintings.
I remain committed to imagery of human beings at all stages of life, working from life when I can, or often from old photographs from family albums. Many of these paintings are of my family or of the family of close friends in British Columbia, where we had a second home for many years.
Showing at Gallery 25 has special significance as well because Fresno has played such an important role for me in terms of both showing my work here at Gallery 25 and also with 5 shows at the Fresno Art Museum. My attachments and friendships made in Fresno comprise a rich and important part of my life, which I hope will continue over the course of my life.