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As a serious art student in the early 1960's, Abstract Expressionism was a powerful source to be reckoned with. It was a terrific, exhilarating period of exploration where us "young Turks" were all trying to be as heroic and intuitive as Gorky, de Kooning, or whoever had a spread in last month's art magazine. Fairly soon out of school, most of us came to a dead end with Modernist notions.

Conceptualists and Minimalists offered alternatives, but the most compelling paintings for me were the Pop artists who had crudely revived the "object" and blatantly used photographs in their imagery. At this time, the decision to embrace a full blown illusionism based on a photograph was an anti-Modernist impulse: the borrowing from other mediums (photography) and the denial of the flatness of the picture plane was unthinkable.

Traditional Realism's concerns were idiosyncratic, romantic translations of three-dimensional objects to the flat picture plane. My concerns with this new photo-derived realism were characterized by a cool, radical objectivity in regard to what was being portrayed, and actually a very abstract intensity in the act of painting. The subject matter of these pictures tended to be anti-heroic, humble everyday images, and yet the scale was larger than life, which offered a surprise or contradiction to the viewer.

Over the years experiments with a more expressive, painterly imagery surfaces occasionally. I wouldn't be surprised to see the ooze and drip of paint return full circle in my paintings in the near future.

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