Here are a couple of new pieces for 2016. Longtime followers will know that they fit into Chicago Art, my ongoing solo show at Natural Elements Salon. A marketing genius who recently visited the space described the pieces as “Urban Icons” — and he is right! My goal is to explore Chicago-centric visual symbols, which take on a life and meaning independent of the people and objects that inspired them. That is more or less what icons do.
With the piece above, I bring back The Chicago Picasso statue, a symbol I have explored in numerous ways throughout this show. With this piece, I combine the same reference with another theme I have been exploring lately, portrait-as-symbol. I like the way Pablo Picasso and his statue seem to be examining one another. The stripes on Picasso’s shirt almost mirror the lines of the statue.
With the piece below, I am in full-on Pop Art mode, appropriating a symbol from advertising art. It was less than a year ago that I claimed I could never be a true Pop Artist, because I did not take inspiration from the outside world. As I inevitably do, I have contradicted my own statements and embraced that which I once rejected. Thus do I reconcile the dualities within me.