I like sandwiches. Doesn't every american? Well, every American SHOULD! Although, to be fair, I don't like ice cream. One could easily exclaim that its crazy that I don't enjoy American's quintessential desert choice. Nonetheless, the point I was trying to make was that, yes, I do like sandwiches but I have no real obsession at all.
When I first arrived in NYC late 2005, I came to the city with only cloths and cot in my clutches. I honestly don't even think I had my first months of rent. Broke, jobless and empty handed isn't the way you'd like to introduce yourself to one of the world's toughest cities to reside. I had a window, so I took it. Everything else will sort it's self out (hopefully).
"I came to this city to paint", and goddamnit, thats what's going to happen. "But I have no paint!?!". This is where I'm thinking to myself that I need to do something to capture these first couple of weeks, artistically. My palms are itching to release this built up, foreign inspiration that NYC is bestowing upon me. I have to do something.
I'm underground waiting on the N train to show up, and I notice this abandoned sign from someone who apparently hit the bottom. Read it, and (at that time) could relate to it/them in some way. Now I'm thinking to myself that if this were my sign, I'd definitely jazz it up a bit. Lightbulb off! "Eureka moment" is what I call em. Took the sign home, and got on it the next day.
My roommate at the time (thank you Rachael Ragle), had a starter set up oils at the time with the most basic of brushes. She was kind enough to lend me a brush she wasn't using, and some gesso. I took it as an opportunity to get back to the basics. Originally, in my first painting class, we all used cardboard. It seemed perfect. The subject matter was as simple as this...."What do you give a hungry man to eat, in america.....??"
Now, as I'm leaving the city it only seemed fitting for me to exit the way that I entered. This time though, I was going to use canvas, gesso, paints, palette knifes and reference that I was able to purchase/prepare myself. The point here was to obtain a level of visual representation of my maturation process. A perceivable development of skill, while entertaining the same subject matter. The angle, and the handling of the paint to felt very honest, fluid, frank and instantaneous. Personally, the work wouldn't be successful if I weren't able to see an overt, and apparent 7 year disparity in craft. The exit, is my first attempt using the palette knife as a tool for application.
I'm satisfied with the paintings results.