Polyphony for Fishers Island
50 x 95 Inches
127 x 241 cm
This painting is made on 18 clear plexiglass boxes that are arranged in a grid, 3 high by 6 wide, on a white wall in a bedroom filled with sunlight. The boxes are translucent paintings on two levels of clear plexiglass, each box spaced apart enough to let in ambient light all around, so there's a bit of an inner glow. The imagery depicts different views around this house and around this small island, with some images splayed across more than one box, and one box showing two double-exposed images. Overlaid across all the boxes are semi-transparent traces of the nautical chart of the shore where this house stands, and the well-known islands visible out the window. This chart is just perceptible from the other side of the room, but as you approach the painting it becomes quite visible and its graphic elements counterpoint the realistic images that are all layered together.
The image splayed over four boxes is of the boxoffice window of the small old movie theatre known to most inhabitants as the venue of their first flirting, first dates, first heartache. Reflected in the large window are the white houses across the street, the old officers houses from when this was a fort. Another two boxes show the view out from this house to the dock with the trees that enshroud the lawn to right running down to the shoreline, with raw sienna armchair benches on the deck in the foreground. Another box shows the cedar-shingled cupola with a copper weathervane that is the shape of the island bathed in bright light with warm shadows. There’s a view above a wall of trees of one of the island’s many Osprey nests sitting on top of a telephone pole with two birds, their white heads standing out against the blue sky. There’s a view of the huge porch where most of us hung out as kids, cutting our teeth on social graces, or lack thereof. There are other signature images of the island in summer which might sound twee to describe in words, but which take on a different note when collaged with the graphics, and made in this technique, glowing in a way that is reminiscent of a light sculpture. There are bits that can keep you exploring for quite a while, especially if you know the island well. It stands as a narrative of summers past.
* For those of you who are visually impaired, or any lawyers who are hoping to make money off you.