Q: Why do you work in series?June 17, 2023
“Bolivianos” paintings in progress and on the walls and floor
A: I don’t really have any choice in the matter. It’s more or less the way I have always worked so it feels natural. Art-making comes from a deep place. In keeping with the aphorism ars longa, vita brevis, it’s a way of making one’s time on earth matter. Working in series mimics the more or less gradual way that our lives unfold, the way we slowly evolve and change over the years. Life-altering events happen, surely, but seldom do we wake up drastically different – in thinking, in behavior, etc. – from what we were the day before. Working in series feels authentic. It helps me eke out every lesson my paintings have to teach. With each completed piece, my ideas progress a step or two further.
I remember going to the Metropolitan Museum to see an exhibition called, “Matisse: In Search of True Painting.” It demonstrated how Matisse worked in series, examining a subject over time and producing multiple paintings of it. Matisse is my favorite artist of any period in history. I never tire of seeing his work and this particular exhibition was very enlightening. As I studied the masterpieces on the wall, I recognized a kindred spirit and thought, “Obviously, working in series was good enough for Matisse!”
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