I’d like to offer some historic perspective about Abstract Expressionism. The movement emerged during post–World War II New York City, and continued to be the dominant American art form through the 1950s. Referred to the “New York School”, it was the first exclusively American art movement to achieve international influence. New York City was placed at the center of the western art world. Set against the background of the politically constrained Cold War era, this extraordinarily creative process was fully embraced by artists who’d sought a mode of creative freedom that was essentially energetic and unencumbered.
Abstract expressionists integrated the lyricism and spontaneity of jazz. Painter Willem de Kooning once wrote: “Miles Davis bends the notes. He doesn’t play them, he bends them. I bend the paint.” This reference is deeply resonating, as I grew up during the 1950’s and 60s in a family where jazz was an integral part of its fabric. Jazz is an essential part of who I am. And so it is befitting that it plays a significant role in my creative process. It encourages the flow of free expression by quieting my busy mind, and energizing spiritual impulse. Sometimes the nuanced energy of the music has direct influence in creative output (as evidenced by paintings NOLA1, and NOLA2).
I am humbled by being able to contribute my spin on this work. Work that frees my spirit and reveals hidden parts of myself. All praises to the Most High. Amen.
The following article about my Abstracting Spirit show was featured in Independent Tribune: