The Studio Retablos was a series that combined several issues into one series: art history (American, Italian, Mexican, and Spanish), biology, popular culture, postmodernism, and politics.
The series incorporated images that I had collected on my travels over the past 25 years. The images had inspired many of the paintings in different series over the years but were not directly connected to any specific one. I had also collected many paintings that been discarded by amateur artists or the artists’ families. I was intrigued by these paintings that had been left behind in garbage cans, thrift stores or estate sales. They seemed to have had a history that had been abandoned. I felt a strange connection to the work and to the unknown artists. These paintings found a home in a corner of my studio.
For several years, I had been thinking of ways to bring life and purpose back to the abandoned paintings and to the “travel” images. In 1998, I reworked began to rework each of the abandoned paintings. I felt connected to the unknown artists as I removed layers of their paintings. I imagined how they lived their lives and what had happened to their lives as artists. I introduced images from the “travel” collection that reflected those narrations. The process was invigorating and allowed me to open my mind to other series and directions. The paintings became more about fiction and poetry than reality.
Series consists of 18 paintings.