Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Defective #9611

Defective #9611 (40"x50")
This painting portrays one of Canada's eugenics victims, Mary (Mamie) Negrey (1892-1971). We see her face as she was in her old age not long before she died destitute. Beside this, we see an image of her as a young woman in happier times, before she was incarcerated for most of her adult life. After that, she became #9611. She endured incredible suffering and remained without voice while countless acts of injustice were committed against her, primarily because of her deformity. She had Kyphosis and was called a "hunchback." The building looming over the figures is the Mitchner Centre where the eugenics program was administrated from 1928 to 1972.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New Painting: Refuge from the Street

My newest work is entitled Refuge from the Street. I will be showing this painting  (48"x52"), at the Filmapalooza & Artwalk, Thursday, April 5th 2018 at the Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre (10440 - 108 Street, Edmonton, Alberta) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I'm looking forward to it!

The street kid standing in the foreground is wearing a purple jacket which has been transformed from its former black colour. The transformation is due to an angelic stream of purple, the source of which is the female figure on the left side of the painting. The purple represents hope, amidst the consuming darkness of his current reality. The tinges of yellow which mingle with the purple is the colour the jacket will become once his transformation is complete; finally hope becomes his new reality and he finds refuge from the street.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New painting: "The Fence" 2016-2017

Finishing touches applied to "The Fence"
“We have a special fielder position for you!” This is the boy’s cue to go through the maintenance hole in the chain link fence, and stay there during the duration of the recess baseball game. The boy’s compliance is preferred to the alternative outcome if he dares to actually join in the game. If he chooses to confront the situation in any way, the humiliation would only be that much more intense.
The strands of the wire fence are purposely in a perspective where they are larger and thicker where the boy’s face is and smaller and thinner where his left hand is. Because where the strands intersect with the boy’s face, it is as if the strands become a mask, much like the mask of a world weary super hero who must contend with too much villainy. The flat monochromatic purple shirt of the boy totally blends in with the flat monochromatic asphalt of the residential street behind him. As if to emphasize the perception by his classmates, that he is a non-entity. In contrast to that there is some life by way of some colour within the boy’s face and hands as if there is still a remnant of a mind that is yearning to thrive.

As one with a cognitive disability, the boy like most with cognitive disabilities, is uncomfortably transparent in their social awkwardness, clumsiness and fallibility. Where the boys hands touch the fence, the strands of the fence begin to glow because the boy has an epiphany to the fact that his classmates, although less transparent in their fallibility are as much so as he is. Because of this realization, the fence unjustly separates all who are commonly flawed.

The tree in the background beside the residence, is highly stylized to add continuity, mimics the spherical shape of the boy’s head. The sun reflecting on the leaves and its illuminating effect, represents the belief that the boy’s discovery is not just from his own imagination.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Freedom painting

First of many layers to be painted

Completed work
 Entitled, School Brick Wall Morphs into Endless Prairie Landscape, (2016) this painting speaks of freedom. Every recess, this boy gravitates towards the school’s brick wall because to do otherwise, will result in him being a target of the bullies. His minds drifts to the freedom beyond the school walls and beyond the reach of those who want to do him harm.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Miracle Car 2015-2016 

(Reflections of My Childhood Series)

The toy car the boy holds in his left hand ignites his memory of a genuine supernatural intervention. Because he is a child it wasn't long before, that he was in the back seat with his two younger siblings in a 1952 Buick Fastback.

His father sat in the front passenger seat while his mother was learning to drive. The father who was quickly losing his patience with his wife screamed: “Turn here!” The mother turned abruptly onto a country gravel road, and because she did it as a reflex response, the car lunged towards an extremely deep irrigation ditch. With the car turning on two wheels, and half the car suspended in the air, it seemed most assuredly that the car would roll over on its side. Because this model was not equipped with seat belts, the car rolling over would most certainly result in all its occupants perishing. Knowing that trying to steer the car was futile, the young mother screamed, with her hair billowing in the wind. Her hands were raised in a gesture of panic. The milliseconds that all this transpired, gave her little time to do anything else. While the boy's brother and sister noticed their mother's reaction, and the gravity of the situation, the boy's attention was drawn to a brilliant light just outside his window. Then as suddenly as this perilous turn of events began, it ended. The car's engine was turned off without the turning of the key and the car itself was neatly parked on the side of the road. A startled farmer came to the window of the driver's door and exclaimed: “I can't believe what I just saw!”

The car is depicted in the painting as if the intervening light has interceded with such a force that the very physical integrity of the car has been altered. The golden light that envelopes the boy reminds him that contrary to his inclination to perceive himself as insignificant, the memory reassures him that God intervenes on behalf of the weak.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Good bye friend, for now

Leilani Muir O'Malley 1944-2016
I received news of Leilani's passing with great sorrow, this morning. I am confident that she is currently without pain that comes with the stigma of cruel misconceptions.
Because I am aging myself, it may not be too long before I will join her. But until then, in honour of the many wonderful memories Leilani and I have shared and in honour of the God we worship, I hope to be more productive in creating my works of art than I have ever been.
Read Leilani's story in her autobiography, A Whisper Past

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sneak peek.

A new work is in progress at Nick's studio. Here's a sneak peek. We'll post a photo of the finished painting and its description soon. Stay tuned!