My exhibition has a theme, it is fresh produce. Hence the show's title, Fresh Produce: Eight Still Lifes (See the invitation, below). I think it is useful, as an organizing principle, to have a theme. It gives a show added interest and more cohesion than it would otherwise have. Additionally, it is my understanding that classes at the Berlitz Language Center make use of any art exhibited there to practice conversational skills. (A notion that I find quite amusing!) And, I think a thematic art show might lend itself more easily to discussion.
My primary intention in focusing on perishable fruits and vegetables is to emphasize the temporal, though. No matter what state I capture the produce in, it is only a phase: A moment in time! I think the short life cycle of produce, in all its manifestations, makes it the best metaphor for life's ephemeral, transitional nature.
For the most part, I am a realist----I believe everything is contextually dependent. That is to say, everything is determined by its environment (context). And, I try to suggest my philosophical bent in my artwork. I do that, in part, through my matter of fact painting style, but mainly, I express it through my emphasis on the composition as a whole: No single object is allowed to dominate the paintings; instead the placement and spatial relationship between them is given precedence.
The still lifes in the exhibition have all been carefully staged; a certain amount of thought went into deciding which elements should be included in the compositions, and where they should be placed in relation to each other. Yet, I intentionally avoided making them look that way. Instead I tried to convey a certain arbitrary, non-idealistic quality. I also juxtaposed items that are not necessarily related as a comment on life's seemingly chaotic aspect (regardless of one's best efforts, the ability to fully control circumstances is always beyond reach!)
My show will be at Berlitz Language Center/Rockefeller Center, 40 West 51st Street, Sidewalk Level, NYC. Opening July 15, it runs through August 10. Viewing hours: Mon - Fri 9:00am - 7:00pm; Sat & Sun 9:00am - 2:30pm.