Lyons Street Work ChairNew Orleans Painting #11
Acrylic on canvas - 16" x 20"
Diary entry: This might seem like a curious choice for a painting project consisting of my experiences in New Orleans, but since I spent the large majority of my time sitting in that chair as I worked it's actually right in line with the theme. Aside from that, I really like the design of it. It seems to have been manufactured in the 60's and has a really sturdy build and forces you to sit up straight. It served me well for 5 months and since I can attach sentimental value to anything, once I considered it as an option I couldn't get rid of the idea.
It's also somewhat of a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. He made a couple of paintings of chairs in his time in Arles. One was of his trusty straw thatched chair and the other was a more ominous chair which paid tribute to his friend and guest Paul Gaugin. He saw parallels in these inanimate objects with respect to the people that sat in them, and I guess after looking at my own trusty chair for 5 months I began to see something of myself in it. (Even though I wasn't made in the 60's and I'm anything but sturdy)
Since I did 11 paintings for my first art show, I've decided to stick to that number and call it a day here in New Orleans. I won't quite know how this trip affected me for a few months but I can say there were life affirming highs and dark lows in equal measure..and that's ok. I expected struggle and revelry.
The main thing I came to realize about my own art and perhaps all art in general is that the actual finished piece itself is only half the story. If an artist creates something the more interesting story probably lies in WHY they did it. What was the motivation?- the thought process?- the compulsion? It seemed I spent more time agonizing over what to paint than I did actually painting it. Because I saw these images as a visual diary of my trip it forced me to be extremely selective. I only had a limited time here and each piece can sometimes take me a week to do, not to mention I also had to work and earn money. (I tried to escape that reality of life but it was to no avail). Of course there's so much I didnt document, but I'm comfortable looking back at this collection and I see why I made the choices I made.
I'll be having an art show here in NOLA on July 7th at DBA, one of the city's best music clubs. I hope to be able to bring the collection back home and exhibit it there if I can.
Looking forward to coming back home to Brooklyn. I've missed all my friends and family.