Saint Everyone, 2011
11 feet by 9 feet
Acrylic and Silkscreen Appliqué on Canvas
I installed my 11 foot by 9 foot acrylic painting, “Saint Everyone,” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art yesterday. It will be on view at the SFMOMA’s Artists Gallery Windows on Minna Street from June 2011 through January 2012. There are florescent lights which are timed to go on at dusk until 2 am.
My large scale painting, “Saint Everyone” is figurative, a postmodern pastiche of Pop, Op and Rock Art. Its theme is inspired from the very recent spontaneous popular movements which have swept the world since January 2011. My iconic figure holds a lotus, it’s unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty springs from the fertile mud of its origin and grows into a benign spiritual promise. The figure is a loose appropriation and is re-imagined by the artist from a rock poster created by The Big Five (Mouse, Wilson, Griffin, Kelley, and Moscoso) for the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Love in 1987. The Summer of Love in 1967 is the San Francisco analog of the change that is sweeping the world in 2011. This image was originally used on a poster I designed and printed for “American Artifact, The Rise of American Rock Art,” directed by Merle Becker. Appliqué disks employ elements of Op Art, inspired as they are from the work of Martin Sharpe, the British psychedelic artist. They are produced via silkscreen and applied – like a poster would on the street – in rhythmic patternization. The disks suggest decentralization or cell structure. I wanted to combine acrylic painting and silkscreen techniques in a seamless composition, and “Saint Everyone” is the result.
This painting was a year in planning and six weeks in execution. Renée de Cossio curated the project which involves me, Chris Shaw and Ron Donovan. Renee has been a constant source of support and inspiration and I thank her and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for making this show happen.
The six weeks spent working in this resulted in scores of paint layers, many in florescent acrylic, silkscreen and painting processes. There are certainly at least 30 layers of paint on this and the depth shows. The red blue chroma literally stopped traffic yesterday when Chris Shaw and I were hanging these – someone driving down Minna Street actually skidded to a stop to look at our paintings and ask our names.
I have several process videos of the painting in progress. The first is a short montage of photos I took throughout the process:
Below are some of the more photogenic processes in timelapse. First, removing a mask I cut with an exacto knife to paint the gold Op Art patterns that surround the figure:
Next, I’m printing the appliqué optical patterns on very nice Japanese rice paper that resonates with and continues the motif painted in gold:
Here’s a timelapse video of me applying the rice paper op patterns to the canvas with gel medium under and gloss medium over to fully embed the rice paper to the painting surface:
Finally here are some beautiful photographs taken by my friend Stephen Abramson of the final reactive blue color getting layed down. Click to see larger: