August 2017 Art Selection
I mounted “Urbanity,” an acrylic on panel board, in a recessed frame which sets off the dimensionality of the piece. It’s headed for shows in both October and November. More on those events later. Urbanity began as a journey into doodling. The beat felt, though spontaneous, had a rhythm that seemed to lack all cadence while I was doing it. It reminded me of Jake Saks, a character in Mercy in Masquerade, one of my novels. Jake stepped into a moment of squalor in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. The Norfolk Hotel to be exact. He spends a restless night after flying for what seemed like days.
Here’s the excerpt. “Jake fell in and out of sleep tracing the slow walk of a gecko across the ceiling and listening to the interruptions of street-side clamor. His first step the next morning cast him into a bustling crowd of black faces in the middle of a traffic jam. Instead of zebras, lions and elephants stretching as far as human eyes could see, he smelled diesel fuel and gasoline mixed with sewage. Jake was now part of an alien culture; the only thing that fit was his sweated brow. Boys repaired potholes on the roads with rocks and begged for payment from passing drivers. Girls sold newspapers, giant tomatoes, small bunches of bananas, and themselves at street lights. Street children and people maimed from disease, life circumstance, or horrific accidents begged at every corner. He caught an alleyway glimpse of displaced skeletal figures hunched over cooking fires lit inside large LIDO milk cans. Suddenly, a man who must have sensed his newness approached. “No, this is not good, bwana.””
Maybe this was my subconscious attempt to capture that feeling in just two dimensions and with paint. Impossible? Perhaps.