Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Four Women and a Demon

Four Women and a Demon
2021, oil on linen, 14 3/4" x 21"

Demons have appeared numerous times in my work. They arrive unpremeditated in the initial drawing of a composition, quietly arising from my subconscious – as do most of my ideas.

The meaning of this and other demons is totally up to the viewer, and from comments I’ve received I know the interpretations vary greatly; they can be humorous or evil, sexual or chaste, the representation of an internal dysfunction or of an external influence. Whatever ones see is what it is. 

I’ve long thought it best to leave the viewer to bring their own creativity to deciphering the meaning of a painting. A verbal explanation on my part would be limiting.

One of the best examples in my experience of divergent interpretations happened at the opening of my 1995 exhibition at the Adelson Galleries and involved the painting Pharmacy.

1994, oil on linen, 9" x 9"

A man came up to me, pointed to this painting and told me: “You have a very malevolent view of humanity. You must be severely depressed.” He walked away without waiting for a response. 

Not that I had one. 

Fifteen minutes later, another man pointed to the same painting and said: “I love it. You have a wonderfully wry and profound view of the world and its absurdity.” 

A good antidote to the first comment.


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"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn