The original may exist somewhere, or may have been destroyed. I have 3 other missing pieces that I loaned to people. But this one has now been resurrected. I used paint stick to make this when I was an undergrad at UCLA. I can’t remember if I did this in a break, or actually submitted it to a class. I probably did it on a break, because this sort of art was reviled (if it wasn’t conceptual it wasn’t art), so I don’t think any of my peers or teachers ever saw it. Yeah, I was not allowed to do this kind of work in art school. It was forbidden.
I’m sure I did it completely from my imagination, and started it out as a charcoal and eraser drawing. That was a standard technique for me back then. I’d just make smudges with charcoal on paper, look at them, and eventually find and realize images that were suggested to me. This way I never knew what I was going to make, and it never got boring. After finishing the charcoal drawing, I put it in color using paint sticks (which are literally just that, sticks of paint you draw with, and can use turpentine to thin…).
Check out the rich impasto texture I lathered up in the details [click on them for larger size).
I’m not sure what was really going on in my head when I made the first version over 20 years ago. There’s an obvious Francis Bacon influence, with a generous dose of sci-fi. I do know I was thinking about Ed Kienholz piece, “State Hospital” as I made this, and that there are a couple elements that pay homage to it which you may be able to see.
Aside from it just being a good thing to bring back a disappeared piece from the ether, this was also really good practice on my digital painting techniques (don’t ask how I do it), and also shows the potential for combining physical and digital works easily.
And if you like my art and art criticism, and would like to see me keep working, please consider making a very small donation. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per significant new work I produce, and cap it at a maximum of $1 a month. Ah, if only I could amass a few hundred dollars per month this way, I could focus entirely on my art. See how it works here.
Or go directly to my account.
Or you can make a small, one time donation to help me keep on making art and blogging (and restore my faith in humanity simultaneously).