Means of Conveyance
Means of Conveyance
54" x 103.5"
The piece, Means of Conveyance is the namesake piece of a cluster of images that bear that title. I noticed a few years back that a fair number of images that I had been working with all involved the act of, or an object that you could use to go somewhere else: bridges, stairs and ships. Once that awareness had been reached, I began build on that in a more self-conscious way. Given that, I don’t begin with a destination in mind, rather, I trust that the gravitational pull that an image has on me is there for a reason. Most of the time, I become aware along the way of some kind of meaning that anchors the piece for me. For example, while I was working on Means of Conveyance, I bought a cd by Ry Cooder, called The Prodigal Son. One song that I was particularly drawn to was ‘The Harbour of Love: “…and the Great Ship will anchor, in the harbour of Love”. I don’t think of this drawing as an illustration of the lyric. I don’t think of my work as illustrations at all, even though they may seem to ‘bait’ that expectation in some ways; just because you can recognize things in the picture. But the ship implies movement and movement implies a destination, and that’s as good a destination as I can think of. I began the piece on a single piece of paper, trying to keep it modest in scale, but it seemed boxed-in and wanting to get big, or go somewhere, so I kept adding pieces to it while multiplying the number of masts and jacking-up the over-all proportions of the ship so that it ceased to be about a literal boat, but more at ssaaaiiiillliiinnnggg.
Cloud Cover is a current twist on the Means of Conveyance and was provoked by the upheavals of the racial tension of this past year. The idea of this constituting a national blight I thought resonated with the kind of cloud layer we are prone to getting into the LA basin’; ‘June gloom’ we call it. The source image for the figures has nothing to do with the recent civil unrest, however. I pulled it from an old Life magazine, some reporting about civil unrest in Santo Domingo back in the 50’s. Although I based the composition on this photo, several meaningful alterations were made along the way. I am a firm believer in death and resurrection as a working method.
Somewhere during the latter part of its development, I became aware that I was in a dialogue with The Burial of Count Organz by el Greco, with its sense of vertical lift.