Painting smoke

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I started painting smoke last summer, and approached the concept a few times more this summer.  This piece, The Rebecca Ward Goes Down, symbolically describes wooden ships that were frozen in place, and ultimately crushed by the ice, as early explorers (such as Robert Peary and crew) attempted to reach the top of the world.

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Latex paint and ink on medium density fiberboard, framed in oak, maple and walnut.

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These photographs are from a temporary outdoor exhibit I posted on the exterior wall of an abandoned concrete facility at the end of July.  Plenty of neighborhood people passed by and enjoyed the art…  – JM

Robert Peary, and Robert Peary’s Toes

These are unfoldable odes to the explorer Robert Peary and they turned out great.  Robert Peary is credited (controversially) with being the first human to reach the top of the world.  For his entire life Peary was crazy intent on being the first person there.  Unlike me, he was apparently immune to freezing temperatures.  Once, after enduring weeks of sled travel in sub-zero temperatures, he reached the northernmost outpost.  Inside, his partner Matthew Henson pulled off his sock, and the men heard what sounded like twigs snapping – only it was Peary’s toes snapping off and staying clung to the sock!  Unbelievably, Peary quickly learned to walk without toes, and he spent the rest of his life returning to the frozen north until he finally declared that he was first to the top of the world.  These 3 unfoldables will be left about Detroit to be found by participants in the city’s Free Art Friday program.  I’m excited about giving them away.  – JM