-JOURNEY AND GENERATION-
The purpose of life is to do something that makes you happy, something that gives you direction and tells you where you're going. But in order to know where you're going, you have to know where you have been.
I can't say that all of this happened on purpose. In fact it almost felt as if I was being led to this. I took my bike out for the first time early in October 2011. Went to the east river with my camera and sketchpad, and noticed how beautiful the sunset was. So I chased it from 23rd street all the way down to the southern most tip of the city in Battery Park. As I got there the sun had hit the horizon dipping just below Ellis Island, and that is how the series began.
As I explored this spot from various locations, different times of day, and weather it evolved and kept on growing in my mind. After all it's all about your perception on things that make them grand and mysterious. My focus turned to JMW Turner and Claude Monet. Seeing how they would capture atmosphere, light and air inspired me to find my own way in doing such things, well at least the beginning of my own way. I felt I had embarked on a Journey, an exploration of the city and myself for the first time. Using my work as an outlet, all of the feelings and emotions that went into these bike rides I took, all that I felt as I stood before Ellis Island and all of its surroundings I put onto the on the canvas. Leaving raw brush strokes for the first time to express more then just what I was painting. Working from little reference other then my memory as the main source because I felt that it was stronger and wouldn't keep me tied down to get every last detail. If someone was standing right next to me each time that I was down there and compared it with my own experiences you would get a totally different response, because emotion is coming into play, and not just another precise recording. Each piece for me is trying to express and dig into what I felt inside, from the rise to fall.
My family came here in the early 1900's from Sicily, and Ellis Island was the place that started my family's life and as well mine, even though I still had a long time to wait. I have always felt a strong connection with my roots in Sicily and the family that came before me, regardless if I met them or not. They are as much a part of me as I am of them. So these paintings went from not only exploring myself and what it is that moves me to work but also finding out what brought me to where I am now and gave me the chance to work. If not for my ancestors I would not be here now, doing the things I do and making the things I make. I often wonder what a slim chance it is that I am here today. How many things in history that had to happen in just the right way that led to me being who I am in today's world.
So this is a series of self-exploration and discovery. Understanding who I am and where I come from will give me a better idea of where it is that I'm going, and possibly as to why. The titles of the paintings as well intertwine with my personal growth and what it was that I was feeling in the process. The series kept evolving and changing with everyday and with every new painting, as if I were being told what to do next.