"Built to last forever" is the boast of any proud engineer, architect or city planner. And yet, the massive forms slowly rot. Water and air work the chemical reaction that turns steel to rust. It is a process in extremely slow motion, but it is inevitable and inexorable. Nothing lasts forever.
My previous bridge series played down context and environment in order to force the viewer to focus on the form. This series adds the component of time to the mix. How to paint time? I use three techniques. In some paintings, backgrounds are deliberately blurred to give a sense of movement and indicate the contrast between fast and slow time. In other paintings, backgrounds are reintroduced to reflect seasonal change. And, finally, the objects themselves reveal the effects of time as their hard edges slowly degrade.
This subject matter works on several levels. From a political perspective, at a time when governments commonly press the notion of being "all powerful", it is important to remember that such absolutes are illusory. All power is transient. On a personal level, one observes the effects of the aging process. Are the physical changes one experiences only a loss or a change to a new reality? Choices are implicit. One can ignore the changes or try to resist them. Another option is to embrace the change. These paintings are about accepting the change. The basic form is still there, but the effects of time bathe them in beautiful light and colors, softening and transforming them.
"Symbolic Decay", Oil on Canvas, 40" x 53", 2004