Light Source Statement

Before I painted this series of paintings I was a studio photographer working mostly with artificial light. I created magic and illusion by manipulating light through my bellows on a large format camera. I was and had to be in total control of the elements of light and time. This I did for such people as: Revlon, Avon, Colgate Palmolive, Warner Communications and many more corporate accounts.

While studying holography in the early 80′s I encountered another kind of light; the laser. It’s pure light, no spectrum, just white light. It travels along a tunnel of its own making, negating time and space. It creates a three dimensional image of your subject that floats in front of the film plate like a ghost in a silent vacuum.

In the late 80′s I moved my studio away from the Manhattan photo district to Piermont, NY so I could be closer to my baby daughter’s smile. During this time I was a photographer for the Rockland Journal News (a Gannett Publication). Now there were no illusions, no black capes, no stop watches to measure the time on my exposures. I went from a world of total control to total chaos, the reward being your work is published within hours. But just as fast, your best shot is soon lining the bottom of a bird’s cage or tossed in the recycling bin.

In my still photos I try to define space and color and freeze time in another dimension. In my paintings I try to release light as does a mirror.

This series is about another kind of light – light I encounter in the faces and gestures of people in news photos and from my own collection that I could not toss in the recycling bin, photos that touch me so deeply that I wanted to bring them to another dimension so I could really study them; truly understand them. So I got some paint and some brushes (I was a photographer – I knew nothing about painting) and I painted them.(My first painting was of a car bomb in the Middle East in 1983.)

In painting these people I soon learned why I was compelled to put their images on canvas. Upon finishing each painting I knew them well and knew why they wouldn’t let me rest. Each and every one of them told me their story:
The story of Mr. Petrovic being rescued from his freezing nursing home in Bosnia. The story of the Ukrainians waiting on yet another endless line for everyday supplies in freezing temperatures, cuddling up to keep warm. The story of the rescuers desperately pulling innocent civilians out of another car bomb. These are their stories. These are our mirrors, reflecting the light; the light of the human spirit.

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