Artist’s Statement

Art has been my lifelong passion. Like Picasso, I’ve gone through “periods.”
In grade school, I went through a “Paper Doll” period. My sister Diane and I would sit for hours drawing busty, tiny waisted, bikini-clad women, then dressing them in hilarious ensembles complete with shoulder tabs.

Junior high was my “Still Life Period,” when depicting apples and pewter teapots came easy. High school was a “People Period.” We did a lot of murals with figures. I pretty much got A grades despite talking too much in class.
College was an eye-opener. The “Sketching & Painting Period.” My influences were Mr. Roberts who taught me to vary a line with conte crayon and Mr. Smith who talked about a flat picture plane and told me I painted “like a man.” Which in those days was a compliment. It meant my work was bold! I also took a class in commercial art and remember doing a layout with a guy on a motorcycle and the headline, “Buster Brums are best.” If nothing else, it was alliterative. (Much later, I applied these learnings to a career on Madison Avenue.
But I digress.)

After college came graduate school at UCBerkeley and a very brief “Splash & Drip Period.” My professors were schooled in abstraction so they trained us in the abstract. I felt like a phony. Non objective art just wasn’t my thing. I quickly flew into an “Aerial Period.”

This was inspired by my summer job as a blackjack dealer in Lake Tahoe, where the gamblers were watched through windows in the casino ceiling. On huge canvases, I imagined people at blackjack tables, craps tables, weddings and parades, all from above.
I graduated with an MA.

In the ensuing years since then I’ve been a private art teacher, a drawing instructor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and a Creative Director on Madison Avenue.
Exploring various subject matter, including a bit of abstraction in a recent “Collage Period,” I always return to the same conclusion: I’m a people person.

My latest series of paintings and drawings proves it. Entitled “Subway People,” it’s inspired by my surreptitious iPhone photos of riders in the Manhattan underground. It captures New Yorkers of every size and color, mostly absorbed in the private oblivion of their cell phones. A few are daydreamers, even fewer are readers. But all, like pack mules, carry everything they need for the day in bulging backpacks, pocketbooks, totes and man bags. Taken as a whole, the work speaks volumes about the human condition and becomes a whimsical commentary on our current culture.

In Spring, 2019, the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in Chelsea showcased three paintings from my “Subway People” series. The gallery continues to represent me and my work.