I was born in Patterson, New Jersey not long after the end of World
WII. My parents were naturalized Americans, refugees from Silesia (a
country that no longer exists) and holocaust survivors. When I was 4,
my parents moved to England, where I was educated and lived for the next
38 yrs. I attended three art schools in England over seven years during
which time I became very interested in learning the skills of drawing
and painting that I had observed in many classical paintings.
Over the next 20 years I worked freelance in various different art related
fields. I worked as an illustrator for magazines such as Woman’s
World and Look Now, a graphic designer for companies like BP and Pineapple,
as a photographer for a London newspaper and as a designer for various
fashion companies like Muscle Sport, Pamplemouse, Katherine Hamnett as
well as designing T shirt ranges for Walt Disney, Burton and French Connection.
In the 90’s I became an interior designer and designed restaurants
in London for the Zen chain and others. My work was featured in Royal
Institute of British Architects magazine, Vogue and the London Evening
During those years, I focused as much time as was available to drawing
and painting the figure and exhibited whenever I was offered the opportunity
to. I returned to fulltime study of classical painting techniques and in
1992 moved to New York where I received my Masters degree Cum Laude at
the New York Academy of Art. In 1996 I moved to New Mexico, where I continue
to work and live.
My childhood exposure to the arts has always been a foundation for
the life long intensity of response I feel toward painting and drawing.
The work of other painters, from cave paintings to European masterworks,
offered both fascination and real comfort from a kind of loneliness and
isolation I felt as a young boy. I received so much meaning and direction
from the work of other artists that as a result I have continuously tried
to be as devoted and generous by giving back through my own work and
As I get older, I find that I am suspicious of too much ‘talking
about’ art and not enough ‘doing’. Painting is about
looking not speaking. Our current society has been overrun with ‘experts’ who
want to explain art without ever having experienced its creation. It
is particularly apparent in the reams of ‘art speak’ that
are necessary today to justify and explain the majority of contemporary
I believe that mark making is a lot older than verbal language. We
were poking around with sticks in the sand before we were writing on
walls. This primal longevity is still a major part of being human,
a sacred distinction of the soul that will always separate us and elevate
us from being merely mechanical. The striving and longing to establish
and re-establish ourselves in this way is reflected in the technical
accomplishments of artistic mastery during the many centuries that
we have been making paintings.
As I watch my own work evolve, two general themes appear evident in
the work of the last ten years. The first, an intention and struggle
to find and maintain a link between classical painting pre 1900 and modern
painting since 1900 and a desire to solve the problem of preventing the
one from denying the other. I feel very much the pressure of 600 years
of art and yet wish to make paintings that are in every sense, if possible,
contemporary to my time.
The second is a dialogue and attempt to find a meaningful pictorial
response to the Holocaust , mainly a result of my being the offspring
of concentration camp survivors and feeling very much connected emotionally
for me to the tragic history of my family. The fact that the events of
the Holocaust are only 60 yrs away from the present gives a measure of
urgency to the need to understand the horrors that were and continue
to be perpetrated by man against man.
In some of my latest work, I am continuing to explore the relationship
between the contemporary figure and specific classical paintings. I
use the classical paintings as a starting point and combine different
parts of different paintings to create a composition that works for me.
I do not consider myself a naturalistic realist nor do I currently have
any interest in creating an entertaining magic trick of illusionist experience
for the viewer. The easy descent into nostalgia for past art forms which
much ‘realism’ today provides does not satisfy my needs from
contemporary painting. I am more concerned with the difficulty of creating
emotional responses through the work and with the painting process, of
moving and experiencing paint in different ways with a brush and of engaging
the viewer in an emotional narrative. All figure painting is by its very
nature artificial and an abstraction from the experience of observed
life - I have yet to see a figure in a painting step out into real life!
I do not believe photographic reality conveys the depth of human
observational experience, it conveys mechanical reproduction of light
particles bouncing off surfaces, nothing more.
I desire to make my communication easily recognizable and thus rely
on a ‘realistic’ language but I primarily focus on its subliminal
emotional effect at the same time.