Genius Loci: the spiritual embodiment of a speciﬁc place, or structure. A Genius Loci is not a ghost. They’re regarded as a likely source of assistance to authors, scientists and artists. In Roman times, every hearth had an animating spirit that ruled the home. These are the Genii Loci of Urban Planning and Architecture. There are other Genii Loci who are younger, wilder, found in the backs of buildings, parking lots, struggling town centers, abandoned orchards, waste places, under cliffs, in old foundations, in acequias and on the moon.
For instance, a place likely to have an interesting and overlooked Genius Loci: Imagine the yellow painted curb you walk past each morning. In three square feet of desert below the pavement a massive Sequoia tree might have once rooted near a low swamp. Later, in a different tree, a bird nest lined with coyote hair tips, spilling tiny sky blue egg shells near where the thick enamel paint is chipped a little on the concrete. Last week, someone might have stood exactly where you are, looking up at the mountain above Santa Fe; maybe they were wracked with grief, maybe they were celebrating a triumph or a birth. Everywhere all the time, stacks and piles of meaning accumulate to feed the Genius Loci. These paintings are of men in the process of becoming a place..
What art inﬂuences me: Indian and Persian miniatures for their gorgeous color, use of water media and ﬁgure ground relationships. I love second rate early renaissance paintings that incorporate awkward space and light, antique illustrated books, Diebenkorn for his perfectly imperfect brushwork and built space, Velasquez for his complicated likenesses, Bruno Schultz for his ability to evoke a moment, David Park for his living paint people, Joseph Cornell for superhuman juxtapositions, and weirdly, John Cage for the explicitness of his search for the divine in chance.
Some of the men: At the Toyota Dealer, an employee slows as he returns to the ofﬁce, glancing up at the brilliant sky. The street is now carrying his thoughts. He was thinking about coyotes. Vinnie, the union carpenter pauses to hold a tiny canyon towee on his ﬁnger. What he built will always contain a little of the delight he felt. Apple Blossom in a dress, pauses to hitch up his panty hose in front of a creeping tide of tract homes. The scrap land surrounding the subdivision now carries a little of piece of his brave refusal to conform. On a trip to Clayton, NM, Apple Blossom turns away from a rising moon overlooking the cemetery. His stare becomes the fence in the DQ parking lot; guarded from vigilante nastiness. A Santa Fe local carefully carries something across the street, but the street is really a weird path of energies and events, and he can feel it. The Arroyo appears after a long awaited rain. It appears and disappears as fast, destructively and temporarily as a child. After a night driving through the desert, Apple Blossom leans on a signpost in Gallup, NM, infusing the ground he shaded with his wry, oddball fatigue. The Moon; a most innocent neighbor, was visited by a party who composited a photographic record of their arrival. George, the former Christian clown, invisibly passes through Cerrillos as a dog, pausing to appreciate a shrine to the Virgin. Mickey the sun dancer drives away dark forces of chaos in Belen, NM, day after day.
As painter/storyteller/arranger I strive to be a good radio receiver; part handyman, part garbage collector, and part liar.