March 20 – April 20, 1998
The March 1998 Southside Gallery show was a breakthrough for me. I had spent the previous two years rehabbing a rental property and moving to the other end of Tremont. I was just experimenting with a calmer, more focused theme in my work when Jean invited me to exhibit.
After working on interior walls, patching and plastering, it was just a small hop for me to incorporate what I had learned into my artwork. I was working on conceptual pieces with an emphasis on texture, line and depth. The more I worked, the more I needed to incorporate the balance or lack thereof in the natural world.
Animals are always falling in my dreams. My readings were almost always were of disappearing environments and species. I had done a frog series years before, and in one of the pieces I had drawn a Golden Toad from South America. I research the animals that I draw, and spend time rendering them, trying to give them a real presence in my work. The Golden Toad went extinct a few years later, and ever since I’ve found it hard to ignore the sadness of a dying planet. It seems to overwhelm me when I’m working.
The great thing about the show was that I was mature enough as an artist to combine the elements of art and find my voice. Animal imagery is a very tricky thing. There is nothing that annoys me more as an artist than triteness or saccharin, and the mere mention of animals brings on those visions to most people. It takes a person of vision to see beyond this particular prejudice and present a successful show. Jean was the one
ho saw my potential and launched a new direction in my career.
The other great part of the exhibit was Dan Tranberg’s review. You never know if people will understand your visual language. Dan totally got it. This not only helped others understand my art, but gave me descriptions of my work that I still borrow. The show was about putting out a new vision, and the positive response to it fueled future work.