Adapting to the sudden and rapid changes that characterize 21st century living is similar in feeling to an earth-shattering experience from my childhood. I was 6 years old when an earthquake occurred at 3 A.M in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and people began escaping from their ruined homes grabbing whatever they could, like Japanese fish scattering prior to a tsunami. The memory of that flat night when everything was in arm’s reach has challenged me to recapture the simplicity, imagination, spontaneity, and perspective of the young child.

Creating this series of paintings has given me a new freedom of expression and heightened energy as an artist. In depicting scenes that reflect a child’s poetic vision of the world, my brush strokes are bolder and more expansive, the figurative material emerges as purposefully primitive, and color is intended to transmit an atmosphere of joy. In order to make the images flat, I violate the law of proportions and use a central color line to represent perspective from a child’s viewpoint.

In the special territory inhabited by children, there are no borders of any kind, and everyone is on equal footing. Working on the edge of primitivism and expressionism, I hope to come closer to the simplistic harmonious thinking of a child, where the horizon line is within arm’s reach.

Adopted Animal #1
acrylic and oil on canvas
60 x 84 inches
2009