Cinder Block: an autobiography
I paint portraits of cinder blocks in acrylic on silk. Cement blocks exude strength, character, and personality. Like human beings, every cinder block is unique. Each has subtle differences and imperfections yet shares traits with others of its kind. As a metaphor for the human condition, each trompe l’oeil painting strives to convey a story, a commentary, or a state of mind.
The challenge to paint convincing cinder blocks took me six months of experimenting to solve. Silk charmeuse is my substrate. Because its surface is smooth, the illusion of cement is not compromised by the texture of canvas. I incorporate brushes, rubbing, and spray paint to transform the luxurious fabric into concrete. No computer, printing, silk screen, or photographic techniques are used.
The process begins with two questions: “What do I wish to say?” followed by “How can cinder blocks narrate the story?” My cinder blocks endeavor to elicit a reaction, initiate a conversation, and establish empathy with the viewer. My concrete alter ego is less self-conscious, so honesty comes more easily. A life story told in the language of cement.