As a visual artist I have always been fascinated by the use of the human figure in the arts. My wife and collaborator, artist Carol Kinne, has always contended that though we are both abstract artists, underneath it all, I am a figure painter and she a landscape painter.
Over the years Carol and I have done many collaborative pieces. In the early 1980’s in hard economic times, Carol did a series of paintings on stones, and scraps of wood. She also made a set of 15 masks drawn and painted on paper plates. These masks were the primary subject matter for a short film we made called “Masks”. This beautiful little film was a “continuous performance” edited in camera. More recently we’ve done “4 Carol’s Plus”, a three-part installation and “Masks II”. These Works involved the human figure.
Clark states that during the Hellenistic period the Greeks made a number of sculptures of older people, or “senior citizens”. These Works were usually made to represent pathos and to evoke ridicule. Generally we seem to feel, as the Greeks did, that beauty is the exclusive domain of youth and older is pathetic, certainly with regard to appearance. What would come of challenging this commonly accepted attitude?
Carol and I are both “senior citizens”. This means we are over 65 years of age and this is true. I was born in 1935 and Carol in 1942. We have both experienced a variety of physical mishaps — cancer for Carol and a stroke for me. These events have not dampened out our “lust for life”. In fact, we are about as active as ever. So, in this spirit we challenge the stereotypes society inflicts on us. One might say, there is a political element to “The Red Classic Series” and a touch of defiance.
When Christianity was officially endorsed by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century a new era was born. Greek art and literature were suddenly pagan or decadent. With the Judeo-Christian preoccupation with the “word” and suspicion of the object “idolatry”, thousands of books were burned and many pieces of sculpture buried or destroyed. Fortunately this purge was not totally successful and so eventually the Renaissance—recovery and rediscovery—humanism! Literally and figuratively the fruits of Greece and Rome were reborn as were the human mind and spirit.
If I had to define myself in religious or philosophic terms, I would say I’m a pagan and a humanistic. The earth, nature and the universe are my “gods”.