Monday, January 15, 2018

The Eight-legged Creature of My Dreams

 Octopode in Hudson Valley

Octopode at the Thomas Cole House 

Octopode at the Lighthouse

In the silent nighttime landscape of my paintings, surreal creatures grow to epic scale to invade our homes and, in turn, save the planet.

As the conflict between man and nature rages on, my current artwork continues to explore how nature fights back against the war humans have waged against the environment in the name of modernity and progress. Clearly, man-made climate change leads to erratic, long-term, and dangerous disruption to our weather patterns, causing man and beast to alter behavior patterns.  Perhaps the most adaptive creature is the octopus. Where man asserts his intelligence and aesthetic judgement with his ability to create inventive modes of transportation and shelter, it is the octopus who is a master of change.  From altering its color at will, to repairing damage to their 500,000,000 neurons, to escaping captivity, the octopus' intelligence is exceptional, perhaps even more impressive than man's. Since the octopus has a relatively brief lifespan, it develops to adulthood quickly, educates itself, with some having enough strength to muscle a grown man to the ground. Although it was a Japanese, nuclear-mutated reptile that emerged as Godzilla, a symbol of man's destructive influence on the environment, the octopus is more readily poised to become man's adversary. Even its ability to shoot ink makes at a rather artistic defense mechanism and the perfect subject of my dreams. 

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