I am working on a series of work that has the common muse of manipulation . We are easily manipulated, and I am not quite convinced that manipulation, at it’s core is not the very motivation of life. We grow up with parents, family, and friends that for good or bad manipulate and mold us into what they believe to be the model child. We are so ingrained to manipulate as those around us have done all of our lives that it comes as second nature and we often have to fight the need to maneuver others. So the quest is to find out if pulling someone’s strings is good or bad. Perhaps we would stagnate and die if someone or something did not manipulate us to make us make a move in life. So is manipulation the same as motivation, or does it simply preordain motivation? With all of this in mind the underlying commonality in these pieces is that there are figures that have strings attached, but not distinctly visible, and often I try to hide the lines or strings that are pulling the figures into movement, much like in life, we often do not see the manipulators or their attachments. They pull and tug on our life , often they manipulate us in a subtle way that will fool us into believing that what we are doing is our own will, only to find there is an alternative reason for our actions.
If we manipulate others and they manipulate us all of our life, then perhaps manipulation even though it is negatively thought of in a “puppeteer like” fashion, could just be a good thing and perhaps integral for life.
Here is the latest of the manipulation series of works:
This painting is titled Envy, as envy is one of the biggest manipulators in life, we want what we see and often we want to become what we see. The figures in this piece are based on a concept I came up with after a wonderful trip to the zoo with my son Thomas. We both love the zoo and all of the animals. I find the exotics have the most mesmerizing and fascinating patterns . My dear artist friend, Tina Bradford, whom left this earth way too soon, loved zebras. I always think of her when I see one, or see the familiar black and white pattern on anything. This is a form of manipulation in itself, that has motivated me to work with this series of paintings. I am creating figures from my mind that are an amalgamation of animal and human and calling them “humanimals”. I am taking artistic license with this series. I hope you find it interesting and perhaps will be manipulated to think about all of this further. Take care