Saturday, March 26, 2011

Business Noir

The "Businessman Series" was an idea that came to me while sitting in traffic on Ga400, I looked over at the cars around me and everyone was urgently talking on their cell phones, dressed for work, just yacking away, (I kinda felt left out of the world they were involved in). Got back to the studio and started sketching out what I had seen on 10x9" gessoed paper, cartoony images that I would fill in with paint, it was cathartic fun. For the next 5 months (Jan-May 2001) I would start the day drawing up a few "cards" and work on them during breaks from paintings.

Moving from cars to the office, I began to feel that these were morphing into a homage to the work place of my Dad's generation ("Mad Men" without the ladies and fashion sense,,, a darker, lonelier version). As a kid, visiting my dad at work was always a surreal experience, I would stand outside his door and look in, he would be behind the desk on the phone, cigarette smoke billowing around a desk lamp, like some Wizard from Oz. Who was that dude waving m
e in?

Before I ran out of steam I was lifting images from the Wall St. Journal, and the characters were beginning to have a contemporary feel. What has happened in the world since then, I could never have imagined. Now, spiritually, I don't think I could get into this kind of exercise, the humor in "power" just isn't there for me.

I first showed these as a group (108 pieces) at the Arts Company in Nashville, October 2001. They have been boxed up in the studio here for a few years and now I am sending them back to Nashville. I thought this would be a good time to finally photograph the remaining 90 pieces and give them some internet exposure.You can see the rest of them, here on flickr.