Want me to tell you a little secret? That first series of oils that everyone loves so much - there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. I've already told you that it was all created within one summer, after my return from studying abroad in Paris.
I was in an awful withdrawal state and Andrey Tamarchenko, my teacher, saved me by giving me this magic space, in which I could create. It was a tiny room on the last floor of an abandoned factory building, overlooking the Garden State parkway. A series of gated doors, freight elevators, and somewhat frightening corridors brought me to this little paradise where I could just play.
But that wasn't all. Over that summer I reacquainted myself with my very first crush. Apparently, he came over from Russia every summer and lived in South Jersey with his father's new family. A crazy romance sparked up between us and he would visit me in this little studio and watch me paint. We would slip onto the roof of this abandoned factory, which was just a hop over my window sill, and make love on the roof, with the highway sprawling underneath.
I think you can feel this euthoria in the paintings from this series. There's a hint of danger, secrecy, yet a dare to enter this innocent paradise. To this day, every time I paint, I think back on those days with a certain nostalgia that my whole body can feel. I'm taken back to my daring self, a soul completely open to the world and its possibilities.
My painting practice gives me hope there're a lot more opportunities in this world. It allows me to re-enter my childhood, my adolescence, my college years, and connect them to me today.
This groundbreaking series that was featured in Ithaca's Johnson Museum is housed right here: Archive
Take a look. Perhaps something in it will bring back nostalgic memories for you as well, and would be a nice treat for yourself for the New Year!
If you're in Massachusetts, I'm happy to come over and test out a few things on your walls, tying in my expertise as a long time art consultant. We can see what would work best with the rest of your decor and other art you have in your home. Happy Holidays!!