MARIUPOL, the third paper collage in my “Commentary on Ukraine ” series was completed before the Russians finally destroyed the city and overran the outnumbered and outgunned defenders. It is intended as a tribute to the courage and tenacity of those defenders and perhaps as a suggestion that there may be modern day Alamos that need to be remembered. (2022) ($125)
Siloviki is the name given to the inner circle of advisers to Vladimir Putin all of whom have military or security service backgrounds and long-term relationships with Putin. My SILOVIKI is a paper collage of faceless men and FSP (financial security papers) torsos. While each one is different there is an overwhelming homogeneity to the group. SILOVKI, along with INVASION, MARIUPOL, and BUCHA is part of my “Commentary on Ukraine” series of collages. (2022) ( $125).
YOU TELL ME
When I create a paper collage, about 33% of the time I have a very distinct idea of what I want to say and how I am going to say it, as for example INVASION or DECEMBER MORNING FOG#3. Another 33% of the time, I know roughly what I want to say, i.e., I have a concept and materials, but the actual presentation evolves as I work on it, for example PORZECZKA. And for another 33%, the piece names itself when I finish it, for example AN ORANGE CLOCKWORK. The math majors among you will note that still leaves 1%, and that is the category into which YOU TELL ME falls. I have shown it to several different people and gotten wildly different interpretations and impressions of it. I see something new in it every time I look at it, but so far it has refused to speak to me. (2022) ($125)
While I generally comment on how and why I created a piece and the inspiration for it, I believe that INVASION doesn’t need any elaboration from me other than to note that it is a paper collage using recycled advertising and packaging materials. It is matted and framed to 11” x 14” (2022)
AN ORANGE CLOCKWORK
This year is the 60th anniversary of the publication of “A Clockwork Orange”, Anthony Burgess’ novel of a dystopian future society with violent subcultures. While it is considered a classic, as is the 1971 movie based on it and with the same name, I must admit that neither ever really resonated with me. However, when I was doing the preliminary layout for the “Negative to Positive” paper collage that became AN ORANGE CLOCKWORK, I was struck by the jaggedness of the orange pieces and by the shape of the blue pieces which reminded me of clock hands and “A Clockwork Orange “came to mind. We think of “clockwork” as something that is orderly, precise, and smoothly running. AN ORANGE CLOCKWORK is sharp edged and dysfunctional. Perhaps I am starting to understand Anthony Burgess, or perhaps just our current society. (2022) ($125)
ARMED TEACHERS – REVISITED
In October of 2018 I posted ARMED TEACHERS – WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG? as a response to the Parkland shootings and Donald Trump’s and the NRA’s suggested solution being to arm the teachers and “harden” the schools. Well, in May of 2022, after 19 4th grade students and 2 teachers were shot and killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, I watched Texas public officials Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton and Dan Patrick offer their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families and once again propose arming the teachers and “hardening” the schools as the solution to mass shootings therein. Obviously, things haven’t changed in 3 ½ years, so rather than trying to express my frustration and rage in a new way, I just decided to re-post ARMED TEACHERS-WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
PORZECZKA is part of my “Negative to Positive” Series of paper collages, and no, the title is not the result of my computer’s spell check having run amok but the Polish word for currants and the name of my wife’s favorite breakfast tea. Like PAIN MANAGEMENT, SNOW MOON, ANACHRONISM, and the other pieces in the “Negative to Positive” Series PORZECZKA is made from a single source of packaging or advertising material, in this case tea boxes. The design, with the small circles, is intended to invoke “currants” and with the flowing pattern to do a play on the word “currents. (2022)
One of the pieces of advice most frequently given to young aspiring writers (or painters, or sculptors) is: “Write what you know about”. Well, I’m old, and what I know about is pain, everything from arthritis through carpal tunnel and collapsed arches to sciatica and how to manage it. PAIN MANAGEMENT is a paper collage made from several tubes of the same brand of topical pain cream and part of my “Negative to Positive” series of collages. And, yes, I buy in bulk.
MOONFLOWER is a paper collage constructed out of seven pieces cut from a single 5” x 7” advertising postcard. It pretty much named itself, but I decided that it might be a good idea to find out if there was such a thing as a Moonflower. When I did a Google Search for “Moonflower”, it turned out that not only is there a Moonflower but that there were multiple entries about it, one of which titled: “Time of the Moonflower” by Shushann Movsessian and Gemma Summers refers to the Moonflower as a Symbol of Blossoming in Dark Times stating that: “The beautiful and enchanting Moonflower is a nightflower that needs the dark to grow and blossom. Like other nightflowers, it uses the creatures of the night, such as moths and bats, to help with pollination. It is such a wonderful symbol for the growth potential of our souland personality when we are faced with challenging and difficult periods in our lives.” Well, challenging and difficult does seem to aptly describe our times.
WITH AGE COMES PERSPECTIVE
WITH AGE COMES PERSPECTIVE, part of my “From Negative To Positive” Series is an exercise piece, an effort to make myself get back to being creative with limited materials and tools. The ground rules for the exercise were that I had to create an image using only the material contained in a single advertising circular or brochure, a pair of scissors and some white glue. The first pieces I cut out of the brochure reminded me of a skyline and birds in flight, which led to a reflection on perspective, both artistic and otherwise, which in turn led to the title. (587) (11” x 14”) (2021)