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Previously started as WORLD TRAVEL, I've decided to name this project
ELEMENTS; this is my tribute to the beauty of differences and similarities of cultures by focusing on elements such as the arts and cuisine that, in my mind, are shared, traded and adapted openly and without strife.

The galleries below started as a visual diary detailing the progress of the first six panels of this project from its conception till its first exhibition at
ArtExpo NY, 2012, March 22-25.


PHOTO GALLERIES:

PHOTO GALLERY- Africa
PHOTO GALLERY- Brazil
PHOTO GALLERY- Egypt
PHOTO GALLERY- France
PHOTO GALLERY- Germany
PHOTO GALLERY- India
PHOTO GALLERY- Italy
PHOTO GALLERY- Japan


NEWEST WORKS
Three of which were on exhibit at
AMSTERDAM WHITNEY GALLERY
May 4- June 5, 2012

Colombia, Poland and Turkey


About ELEMENTS

This project had been swimming in my mind since the end of about 2010. The idea came about after coming across six damaged travel posters from the late 1980s at a gallery where I worked for quite some time. I convinced the owner of the gallery to think of a decent price that I could buy them for and since he knew that the time and cost for repairing the posters would far exceed their worth, he let me have them at a bargain.

Although I didn't have a clue at that moment as to what I would do, they were in such bad shape, my first thought was to make a collage series of MY PAPER BAGs with what was usable. I got the forms for the bags sarted, but the collage work didn't happen; in fact, nothing related to this project happened at all. A year passed, and I was shifting pieces of travel posters from one area of my studio to another. The seeds were beginning to sprout by the middle of the following year but still, there wasn't a firm direction to get me started; I just collected bits of information and inspiration as it came but did not seek anything out.

And then I realized that I needed to create large panels for any of this to have any impact, and then I could scale down. I didn't want to recreate advertisements for the cultures; my aim was to use the essence of all the ideas that I had collected to create works that would stand alone as portraits and one would recognize them based on the information I presented combined with preconceptions of each viewer.

Preparation for ArtExpo NY, 2012 alone took about three weeks.

My goal, at minimum, was to create six panels for six very different cultures no later than the end of February: AFRICA, BRAZIL, EGYPT, FRANCE, GERMANY and JAPAN.

My vision far outsized my presentation space; I wound up having to exclude one of the six panels.

When you're able to move outside of your confines and visit other cultures first hand, much more respect and admiration is established if one chooses to do so. I want to focus on our common interests that I feel are simply interpreted differently and how one views the world and all its machinations are based on choice. Through continuous projects like Elements that cultivate unity in spite of our differences, even the act of weaving these strips together to make a panel correlate our connections to one another that are intertwined daily. My aim is to project the respect and wonder that each subject impresses on me.

There is so much to learn; the time and effort are well worth it to me. I've realized that whatever project I venture into, I develop a real love for it; I can't imagine putting so much time and effort into anything without feeling love.

As a side note: In addition to learning through my interactions with people around me, I watch a lot of films- many documentaries in particular, especially with a project such as this one. One documentary that I recommend for the extensive information that it provides as well as for its entertainment value is Time Life's Lost Civilizations - Gardner, Robert, and Sam Waterston. 2002. Time Life's Lost civilizations. Alexandria, Va: Time-Life Video and Television (distributor). . There are 10 programs in all well worth the watch.



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