Altro mondo means another world in Italian. I have been going back and forth to Italy for about 20 years and have become engrossed with the ancientness, the vast areas of preserved parks and the crops grown in each region...the mountains and the waterways...the Adriatic, Mediterranean and Ligurian seas...so much has happened in this amazing country and many times I find myself imagining how it was before mans indelible imprint not just on this land but in all of the western world.
Consciousness of cultures and artistic visions of the world around us seem to merge on the walls of our cities. What are people trying to communicate? Graffitti has long been used as a means of expression, a way to speak when sometimes nobody will listen, a place to paint on a large scale, freedom to paint, express.
My love of gardens of flowers has been lifelong. Watching vast flower farms in my small town come into bloom in the spring, rounding a corner in Italy to a vast field of sunflowers or red poppies. Each holiday I find myself seeking out fresh flowers of the season to grace a table. I love giving flowers as gifts and find each part of a flower a work of art in itself, magnificent colors and various shapes not to mention the fragrance each one is identified by...rose, lavender, lily, carnation, gardenia etc. We have much to rejoice in...flowers are certainly celebrated.
"Other Life" in Italian... we all started someplace...from the sea I suppose is the best idea...but what was before that? They mention the big bang, or God's handiwork...some don't believe in evolution at all...I prefer to explore the possiblity of an incredible explosion, nuclear fission...separating, expanding, colliding and with that a resting...every activity has its opposite...innactivity...and in that long miraculous time...life began its journey out of night and into the vastness of light.
20 years of bringing small groups to Italy...adventure, education and immersion in a culture that resonates with an art filled life. It has been a visual feast reveling in artwork done by the many masters that span the millennium. So many layers of time, so many influences from so many cultures. Italy is a small country by size, but massive when it comes to all the beauty it has bestowed upon mankind. It will take years to reflect back, to retrace my footsteps in the Maritime Alps high above the Ligurian Sea, to attempt to paint with a palette of blues and greens of the many mythical seas surrounding this land shaped like a boot.
"Pictures of the Floating World" Asian art was one of my favorite studies within the Art History curriculum. My Japanese Art Professor would sit cross legged up on his desk with Japanese Temple music in the back ground as he turned down the lights while presenting his lecture of the imagery lit up on the screen in the front of our class. My Printmaking Professor was enthralled by the Japanese woodblock prints of the Shogun ruled Edo period (1603-1868)...These works were collaborative, usually 4 individuals with varying talents worked on the print. My vision of this Ukiyo-e will be to use collage and the idea of combining textures, materials and symbolism.
Albert Camus said, Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower. I was born in the Autumn, the trees yielded colors of warmth and then shed the dry leaves to blow in the wind or swept up in mounds to the glee of children ready and willing to stomp on the gold, red and brown leaves of every shape. I love Autumn best of all...and in many ways relate to its symbolic song. I went to the town of my youth to gather leaves, I let them dry and each one seemed to have left the tree with its own individual sculptural identity, so now they rest within the wax...a season forever saved and remembered.
noun. 1. the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena. 2. the belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe. National Geographic magazines were always out on the coffee table, as were old artifacts from my Father's cattle buying trips, American-indian beaded moccasins, beaded belts, handworked leather items, a carved wooden cane. Arts of acculturation, pieces romanticizing the cultures of the wild west picked up at the old trading posts along the interstate. My Mom would roam through antique stores and fancied old Chinese opium pipes and cloisonne bowls, figurines and ancestral paintings from the past. Her best girlfriend had a museum of a house, largely decorated with Roman vases and French antiques...paintings, objets d'arts, rugs, and all the finery imaginable. These were bits and pieces of my visual stimulation that has always stayed with me. Bits and pieces of cultural information have become visual components in each artwork.