44"x66", Oil on Canvas
In the fall of 2010 I lost everything I ever worked for and believed in. I was fired from my job, moved out of New York, my partner had been drugged and raped, and my mother had begun her fight with breast cancer."Remains" is the most important painting I have ever created, encompassing the most psychologically trying act in my life's story. It not only represents what's left of my inventory, but the restructuring my life, a keen sense of self-awareness, and a display of resilience of the human spirit. To galvanize these unfortunate events and my artwork while rebuilding a life, I began mulling pigments and creating my own oil paint. I wanted to use the Old Masters' techniques of canvas preparation and hand made materials while embracing the immediacy of new technology to create fine art. This union of distant mediums was symbolic of my necessity to obtain unrelated skills for survival between jobs, being a support system for my mother, and redefining my role as a companion.
"Remains" incorporates themes in my work such man verses nature, figurative forms and their relationship with abstraction, and coming-of-age. This self-portrait includes my dog Chip Bigglesworth and an abstract painting entitled "Jesus Wept". Chip was a stray Pit Bull Terrier I adopted in 2010. Unfortunately, he is judged as a stereotypical Pit Bull then as a dog second, just as I am a rendered black first and a man second. Chip has taught me a degree of selflessness and to see perspective outside of human interests. The featured painting "Jesus Wept" was created before things turned dark in the summer of 2010 and was subsequently the last painting completed that year. Its name came from the story of Lazarus; from the Gospel of John, Chapter 11 in the Bible. Lazarus; Jesus' brother, had fallen sick and died. Jesus resurrected Lazarus, but began his own downfall. I incorporated "Jesus Wept" in this self-portrait for it speaks of a new beginning for the man I am to become and the end-life of the old.
What I found most interesting about "Remains" was the documentation of a life I once sought merged with the life I found. I am creating one of the most influential works of my life in the same room I began drawing as a child. "Remains" is a portrait of a life led by success through the heart of a young boy, now refined through experience and the acceptance of uncertainty, awareness, and of a hybrid sense of humility.
Oil on Canvas, 2010
Oil on Canvas, 2010