This panoramic painting is on a curved surface. I paint from reference photographs, and I shot this picture on a beautiful Sunday a couple of summers ago. The background happened as a result of shooting the reference shot when it was on my computer screen with my camera phone and a strange resonance effect occurred. It was a result of looking for something else and some experimentation in the reference that I got this effect, a kind of happy accident but one I was looking for. Translating it to paint turned out to be harder than I thought. But the way light effects a subject wether natural or manufactured is something I am interested in.
Here I am playing with perspective in a painting of my friends Jake Culkowski and Steve Nawara
at their home on Trumbull, in Detroits historic Woodbridge neighborhood. The doorway and the woodpaneled wall are close to you visually but recede away from you physically when standing in front of this piece. Its a bit disconcerting, let alone my friends who seem to be impatiently waiting for you through the doorway.
This is a painting of a friend, Billy West. This is actually the moment when I met him, I asked him to pose for me. A mutual friend who has known each of us for maybe 20 years or so, probably a little less, was blown away that we had never met. Billy has a cool bike.
This is a portrait (actually a triple portrait, but I wasn't too interested in making it about that. I just wanted to concentrate on the main figure) of my friend Andy in front of his now (sadly) out of business resale shop The Hoard House. The store front also used to be the gallery/design store Design 99. The form this is painted on is what I've been calling my open book form, designed so you can really stick your face in there and look around. The left and right edges of the painting extend from the wall about 8", while the middle where the painting splits is only about 1" from the wall. The photos tend to flatten out the image, which is why I'm trying to explain what's happening so much.
This painting is built like an open book, the sides form a right angle and the figures are projected out on a wire from the painting surface. The van makes lots of cool distortions depending on where you look at it, unless you are standing in the "sweet spot" where everything lines up visually.
This is a portrait of my friend Jake Culkowski. He is a musician and has played with some great bands around town. I believe he's currently playing bass with the Detroit Cobras, they cycle through members quite a bit, so I could be wrong. The portrait is painted on half a square basically, and projects out from the wall. This triggers a few visual tricks. When walking around the piece Jake seems to turn his torso away from you but his head toward you and the stair landing appears that if you get close enough you will be able to see it, and see where he is standing. I enjoy trying to activate some of my work in this manner, I think it gives it an added dimension (duh!) while giving the owner of the piece something that is almost alive in a way.