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"Snug Harbor Paintings"
Five paintings created for "Eutopia," a group exhibition held at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, June 11 - September 11, 2016

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These works were created for a group show, "Eutopia," at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island. Snug Harbor was originally the philanthropic project, endowed in 1801, of retired sea captain Robert Richard Randall. An 1833 advertisement called it "a snug harbor for decrepit, aged, and worn-out seamen." In those words I found my subject.

It wasn't the merchant seamen that inspired me, but the notion of the snug harbor as a refuge for people who are, in the colorful and fearless original early-nineteenth century language, "decrepit ... and worn-out." I have been populating a redemptive world with such figures for the past 18 years, at least.

These five paintings attempt to answer the question: for whom should a snug harbor be built today? Since the exhibition was held on Staten Island I thought first of Eric Garner, and so the largest painting of the new group is "One More Breath - the Snug Harbor Painting." And to be as inclusive as possible I made a large painting with only words, "Snug Harbor Advert, circa 2016," that lists others for whom I imagined a snug harbor: "a snug harbor for those encrusted in their cocoon of woe," and "for those who need someone to take JOY in their exitence."

"One More Breath - the Snug Harbor Painting"
acrylic and collage on paper, 103" X 105", 2016

 

"Snug Harbor Advert, circa 2016"
acrylic and mixed media on paper, 96" X 74", 2016

 

"Heron"
acrylic and mixed media on paper, 96" X 74", 2016

 

"The Exuberant Sun"
acrylic and mixed media on paper, 93" X 74", 2016

 

"Artist"
acrylic and mixed media on paper, 60" X 44", 2016