My paintings, etchings and lithographs are explorations of dream visions and dreamlike visions that I compose while being fully awake. I make large, medium and small scale paintings in different media that include oil on canvas and mix media on paper. I emphasise the surfaces of the work as cohesive fields of energy, abstract expressionist in style, and I strive to achieve unity between my subject matter and the layering of pigments and brushstrokes.

As a print-maker I work in the same spirit, creating visions with many marks in hard ground, soft ground and sugar lifting aquatint, on copper plates.

My work is continuous as a one integral body between the different media that I use both as a painter and as a print-maker.

My work can be viewed as ‘simple’ nature or landscape based compositions, aiming to be balanced and pleasant visual creations, with a lot of energy in the pigments and the tones. In the same time, upon a prolonged observation, my work aims to unveil and communicate something of a metaphysical nature, an essence or a power that exists at the base of life, as principles, dealing with the question of the nature of our existence.

The fish for example is a creature that appears in many of my compositions. I suppose that because of its antiquity in the species it contains much of the universal data of the prehistorical, the undocumented and the unknown. It is a representation of the unconsciousness, and in my visual compositions I use the fish in many ways.

Atmospheres in my paintings and etchings are very important and I work hard exploring the principles of traditional painting and printmaking to create works that are meaningful to me.

In creating visual compositions and executing them via the energetic work of my chosen medium I strive to create artworks of strong atmospheres that project the truth of their poetical content.

February 2019

‘Compassion, Meditation at Fishtree’, Solo Exhibition at Graphic Studio Gallery , Dublin, 9th April – 2nd May 2015

‘Compassion, Meditation at Fishtree’ is the title of my show, which is the combined titles of two multi-plate etchings and aquatints featuring in this exhibition. These two works contain some of the elements of my visual language that I developed as poetry that tries to touch the essence of the heart, and the core of moods and atmospheres. 

While each etching and aquatint in this body of work has its own unique content and story to tell, I chose the two works ‘Compassion’ and ‘Meditation at Fishtree’ as the title for the entire exhibition. 

The act of meditation, in this case the meditation at the extraordinary phenomenon of Fishtree, is a cerebral activity that aims to enlighten our intellectual mind and eventually lead us to wisdom.   Such wisdom brings us to the world of compassion, which is the ability to feel for and understand the other, be it a human being or an animal. 

The work of the artist, as I see it, is the work of meditation while constantly staring at vastly incomprehensible things, and continuously experiencing the inability to know what is it, what I am looking at.  The meditation is twofold, external and internal.  While trying to see clearly and understand what I am seeing, on the outside, I also meditate on the state of my ignorance, inside, my own inability to know.  The internal meditation initiates me into the world of Compassion and in this way while meditating at Fishtree, the world of Compassion is born . 

I feel that most human beings spend their lifetime meditating at Fishtree, witnessing mystical, psychological and physical phenomena they do not understand, while constantly searching for the world of the heart, that is the world of compassion. This is probably synonymous with the ‘Heart of Gold’ that Neil Young and other musicians and poets are looking for.

March 2015

‘History is a Nightmare from Which I am Trying to Awake’, multi-plates etching and aquatint, 24 x 34 cm, edition of 18, 2022

‘Ulysses Imagined’, curated by the Graphic Studio Dublin and the National Gallery of Ireland, an exhibition of fine art prints, inspired by Joyce’s book, at the gallery of the Graphic Studio, 2022, celebrating 100 years to the publication of the book. 

The chapters were matched to the chosen artists by a lottery system and I got to interpret visually as an etching chapter two. 

The following is my statement that was in the gallery during the exhibition: 

‘The title is a direct quote from Stephen Dedalus towards the end of the chapter when he responds in a none confrontational way to the appalling antisemitism of the schoolmaster who employed him, Garrett Deasy, the resemblance of the Homeric Nestor. 

The snails in the foreground are according to the imagery of the vulnerable boy Cyril Sargent who Stephen Dedalus is tutoring after the history class while the other boys are playing hokey (soldiering) outside. Sargent’s vulnerability reminds Dedalus of his own after Stephen had just lost his mother, and the boneless image of the snail appears after an ink stain on Sargent is observed by Dedalus. The snail bed on the boy places an imaginary snail full of water or ink in the strata of the writing and it connects by the inner logic of the writer’s imagination to the amniotic water of the boy’s mother who loves Cyril while no one else does.  It is the ink-water connection to the mother, and to the vast ocean of course, the water-ink that holds the true data of the story telling, the aspect of language that sets the artist free to a world of his own, and this world is deeply connected to the unconditional love of the mother. 

Garrett Deasy who is Nestor resembles everything that is wrong with culture, he is a shell collector (an empty shell) misogynistic and a pig ignorant antisemite who expresses something of the ‘classical antisemitism’ responsible for the infliction of untold harm and murder on millions of Jews during the course of history. Deasy is the dry empty shell, the opposite to the snail who is full of the juice of life, the property of the story teller, the writer. 

It is an effeminate nature that makes a writer and an artist, and indeed the ink filled snails are the narrators. Perhaps in this context if the bull is the artist in Picasso’s paintings here the snail is the writer for Joyce, so I inserted the snails in the foreground, and if you examine the etching you can see a trail of writing behind each one of these boneless creatures.

The ocean above is done with turquoise to resemble the Joycean snot green sea because of the greenish hue of that blue colour, and the figures on the sea are the walking on water Jews, the people Deasy is so proud that Ireland never let them in. I wanted to show what happened to many Jews in central Europe and some of them Ireland never allowed in. I drew the figures in hard ground from observation of many photos from Yad Va’Shem that I studied online, I obliterated their identities in the manner of drawing and biting the lines in order to respect the victims but still in a way that demonstrates the essence of their misery to the viewer. 

The nightmare of history almost twenty years after the publication of Ulysses intensified in a way unimagined by Joyce and by Dedalus his hero, and where we stand today as the nightmare of history refuses to go away now the obvious fear is of an atomic disaster. With insane states possessing atomic power the nightmare can even get worse, against all wishful thinking. Therefore I inserted that atomic mushroom with the dark red purple sky that only after having completed the etching I realised the similarity of these colours, done in four layers of the aquatint plates and the key plate, to the hopeless dark abstract expressionist colours of Rothko’s post Holocaust paintings.

The luminous bright yellow writing in the sky, and some of this writing dips in the distant horizon of the ocean, resembles the play between the actual and the potential of history written or unwritten, (the Aristotelian core philosophy from the Metaphysics is mentioned by Dedalus as the potential and the actual in his history class), as it all can go one way or another, whichever the end, the writing of it will remain on a wall, in a book or inside a sky. 

Like Dedalus I am trying to awake from the nightmare of history, I am really doing my best to transcend it, but in actuality this is really a very difficult thing to do’.   

June 2022