Why They Win
Can We Create Art That Matters?

Walmart at Sunrise

I have been thinking about doing a painting called Walmart at Sunrise. 

Sitting in my car, watching the sun rise while waiting for my shift to begin at a neighboring big box store, I keep seeing this painting unfold.  The sky turns from violets to pinks, the clouds drifting across the sky. The bare branches of the trees are counterpoint to the staggered verticals of the light posts.  In a glittering abstract of sunlight reflecting off metal, light dances across the parked cars of the night crew.  There is anticipation in the moment.  Like watching the sun rise across a distant lake, when everything is soft and quiet and mystical.  Like standing at Stonehenge watching the rising sun on the mid winter solstice. 

In an hour it will look like an urban parking lot, over burdened with cars and discarded plastic bags and lopsided shopping carts.

But for those few moments, it is beautiful.

In a world where our lives are interconnected with technology, where we think in 142 characters, cannot function without smart phones or GPS or using an App to discover what is around us - as humans, we will always have a hunger for something real. 

And if there is anything meaningful in painting, then I think the work has to be in response to some  human feeling or pathos or empathy.  For this, the artist has to make himself venerable.   He has to develop a point of view.  And even if that point of view is ignored by the majority, it is the thing that will make the work relevant to the few. 

Perhaps this is the only important question the artist needs to ask when examining his own work.