Tokyo Diptych


Artist in Residence at 3331 Arts Chiyoda

Iwamotochō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 
April-May 2019

“I lived in Tokyo for a period of fifteen months ending the summer of 2018. I painted outdoors and contemplated the city, which had a great impact on my painting. For this residence I will look to readdress the work I made during that time, now about one year ago, by making a single imposing painting. Using this framework of revisiting I hope to better understand the responses I have to Tokyo and why they may be useful for my painting.” (edit from proposal)

アーティスト・イン・レジデンス:AIR 3331

四月ー五月 2019


(see Postcards and Nakameguro to view previous projects refered to in the above statement)



The current title is a quote:

“Self-reorganizing ‘Aliveness’ … without any of those models and images (which never work anyway) of the world as it is or should be.”

Aliveness -aka the gestalt- is a summation of the city. Every utopia has a model or an image, and by definition none of them are ever achieved. This utopia is simpler.

One year prior to the residency while living in Tokyo I thrived on a solipsistic practice and more simplistic criteria for my painting to suit what was for me an overwhelmingly visual experience. An experience of cultural silence: beauty through ignorance and a free flowing analysis. I tried to lean into those impressions.


Streetside photography came about spontaneously as I was thinking I should find more light and space. I’m not sure what photography meant for this project, what a potential public installation could do for it, or what the nature of site-specificity for this painting may be as a result, but these things are now open to me in more ways than before.


In the detail below the soft and smooth acrylic ground meets with the surrounding parts of the painting which retain a rougher canvas texture. Visual crowding in the final painting tends to follow those blocked-out areas that have extra smooth acrylic material layered on. In that way some islands of detail were laid out before any paint was used or colors added. 


“...self reorganizing ‘Aliveness’ … without any of those models and images (which never work anyway) of the world as it is or should be.”
  oil on canvas
(84 x 54) x 2

[street view 1, 2] “...self reorganizing ‘Aliveness’ … “
perpendicular to Kanda river

[detail 1, 2] “...self reorganizing ‘Aliveness’ … “
oil on canvas
84 x 54

[center right detail] “...self reorganizing ‘Aliveness’ … “
oil on canvas
84 x 54

exhibtions: ︎