After the financial crisis Men in Suits inhabited my paintings. They meet, trade, plot, swindle, and swarm, and get away with doing whatever they want.
They are the perpetrators, culpable for many of the world’s problems, but sometimes they become the victims of even bigger forces, imprisoned, trapped in their suits, headless and not knowing which head/mask to wear.
The subject continues to interest me because men in suits, at the nexus of corporate, financial, and military power, help to explain what we are doing as a country. They reveal our shared sense of entitlement and belief in the American Dream and the national myth of U.S. exceptionalism. They represent our intoxication by those values that put profit ahead of morality. We grant them immunity from prosecution and let them steal our jobs, our savings, our homes, and make endless war.
Blue-suited Waterfalls was painted plein air at the waterfalls in the Sheepscot River, near my home. I imagine the falls are wilderness and freedom that are inhabited by controlling men in suits. It looks like they are not succeeding at damming the river, no matter how many are impeding it, but they are probably polluting it.
The Curiosity Cabinet in my friend’s house on Isleboro, with its collection of curios and treasures, and stuffed, carved, and painted wildlife, is the natural world domesticated. I suppose this is a nature morte.