Painting is a practice; I listen, look, try to start from stillness, from silence. Even if I held an initial intention, the painting starts to talk back out of its own integrity and independence, not satisfied until it comes into its own balance. Even after its completed, it continues to uncover unexpected messages, allusions and pleasures like an antenna transmitting outside my hearing. These messages are independent of time and space, received viscerally as well as spiritually, and remain essentially mysterious.
This recent collection includes several pieces that were repainted and transformed as well as others which were newly painted. The grid pieces each started with a repeated iconic and symbolic image, evolving with mood and time, as weather transforms landscape. In this way, these paintings suggest the universal quality of a mountain, or a flower, in constant transition yet each holding its unique place.
My work is signed with my dharma name, “Koku,” which means “vast, empty sky”…the place where paintings come from.
These pieces (Transformed Life) are based on 16mm film shot over 45 years ago; some of them on black and white film hand developed and stained. Strips of film are scanned using a high resolution flat bed scanner to rescue individual frames which are then arranged in photoshop before printing. The images are stacked in vertical columns so that each piece can be read through time from upper left to lower right. Each image is a distinct separate photograph and since 16 mm film runs at 24 frames a second, each represents 1/24th second of life preserved and yet transformed. This transformation may also include the color modifications which creates the poignancy and mood of each piece.