I’ve been thinking about a series of paintings I made quite a number of years ago called Underground, so I thought I’d share one of these images tonight. Underground is actually a title I’ve applied to other paintings as well, and I suspect at some point in the future there may be more Underground paintings. This particular series is distinguished from the all the other paintings I’ve made because it is on a strange material that was described to me as aluminum foam.
A friend of mine was involved with the company that made this weird material, and he provided some pieces for me to try out as a painting ground. The first thing I did was to break the sheets into irregularly shaped chunks, with each chunk destined to become a painting. I think there were 8 in all. The one pictured is #4 – but keep in mind the numbers were just added in order to distinguish one from the other for practical purposes.
I found the material to be very challenging to work on, and the irregular shapes added to the difficulty. The resulting paintings were highly organic and highly textured, somewhat awkward and anything but pretty. The material and the shapes created the sense that these paintings were like core samples from my imagination.
I exhibited some of the paintings from this series at the old Loop Gallery on Queen St. West here in Toronto. A couple of them sold along the way. I gave one to a friend as a gift and I still have a few of these unusual paintings here at 27th Street.