“Grand Cyclops, Grand Crackpot,”1999, is a linoleum cut done before I began painting in earnest. In fact it is my first linoleum cut. Around this time I primarily drew and made collages, the latter being a major influence on my approach to composing the linocuts from this period. Working with collages made me think not only of the juxtaposition of objects or images but their symbolic or iconographic meaning. It was with linocuts that I began creating the visual language, symbols, icons, and codes that I still employ. In this piece the focal element is the “cyclops” mixer with a cracked terra-cotta pot. All three of these elements represent the “artist”. Cyclops are said to be temperamental, stubborn craftsmen with no peripheral vision, focused on only what is directly in front of them. Artists often have these same traits and are often labeled as “crackpots”, ergo the cracked terra-cotta pot. Generally artists of any type create from a blend or mixing of their experiences, influences and way of seeing. Moving above the mixer is a representation of ” La Joconde,” c1503-1519, L. da Vinci. Generally accepted as a masterpiece. I use it symbolically in a two ways. One, representing all artists desire to create a long lasting opus. Two, to represent the patience that is required of the artist. “La Joconde” was at least 16 years in the making and only finished due to da Vinci’s death. It’s placement above the mixer is to symbolize the lofty aspirations of the artist. Moving to the left there is a window, outside leaves and a birdhouse. The open window implies opening, light, seeing, showing and perception. The leaves ,fertility, in this case fertility of ideas. The bird house represents isolation. All three ideas the mixer/artist must face, look towards, have an open exchange with, both giving and receiving.
Finally surrounding the mixer is sheet music representing just that, music. In my case I listen to music while I execute this shit.