Extraordinary Feats is an ongoing series of multimedia paintings on unstretched canvas. The exhibition title, Extraordinary Feats may bring to mind skydiving, climbing Mount Kangchenjunga, or cliff diving in Norway, however, some of the most extraordinary feats are far less extreme and possibly more miraculous - for example, when two estranged brothers forgive one another, or when two people fall in love. Begun in July 2019, the “feats” as represented in this series (e.g., “Affection,” “We Sing,” “We Trespass,” “Swept Me Into His Tent,” “Self-portrait with Luna and a Hollyhock,” “Memoir and the Future,” et al.) explore intersections between loneliness, becoming, hope, queerness, homosocial imaginings, and futurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feats in these paintings also include “chance meetings” with characters from literature (e.g., Diggory Venn, Mr. Toad, Mr. Badger, et al.) which speak to the miraculous, that is, the possibility of miracles occurring during this time of fear, suffering, and uncertainty. Furthermore, the raw aesthetic of the materials chosen for this work (e.g., oil sticks and unstretched canvas) correspond with the artist’s raw emotional responses to the pandemic and the contemporary moment. Extraordinary Feats is a deeply personal series; yet hopefully one that goes beyond the personal to our common humanity.
I dreams I was a bassoon and was played by strong, powerful, brawny, hands.
I was winded by a courageous and sensitive musical-orating wind-storm mouth.
I was passionately swayed about in the air as if I were a screaming feedback air-gulped electric guitar flag-flapped in front of a thousand cheering arms-waving-wild-gesticulating fans.
But I wasn’t a subversive and blasphemous screaming electric guitar, I was a hrumphing and Treebeard-hrooming hollowed out vertical Maplewood wind-god piping out my bassy woody reedy consoling wind-hrumphing tones.
In dreams I was a bassoon and blew into me was a tuba steamship whistle horn air-blast puffed- up cheeks wind-lord.
Sensitive and articulate fingers held down my keys like malachite-heavy Black Sabbath riff paper weights.
I’m an aging crotchety Wind in the Willows Badger cantankerous William Blake bassoon with a gut and a bad back.
But I sound better now than I did 10 years ago.
Wood gets better with age.
Singular reedy panpipe warlock seeks tweedy debonair bowtie punting fellow to feed him lemon cakes and tea. Manly shows of affection welcome.