In the Abstract (No. 8)

"In the Abstract (No. 8)," mixed media on panel, 8x8in.

The longer in a place, the more the surroundings sink in and the more you overlook and ignore. I once said in an interview that, as an artist, I try to see things with the eyes of a foreigner, because it's foreign eyes that pick up on details, subtleties, and quirks natives have forgotten to notice. But it takes work.

"If you're a good writer, these days, you pay attention to the way that people don't pay attention," says the writer Charles Baxter. I think the same applies for visual art.

I've been in California long enough that what looked like Mars when I first arrived has begun to feel normal. And so it took a trip to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, where I encountered the artwork of Ramiro Gomez, to refocus my vision.

Gomez paints gardeners and maids into scenes that glamour magazines, ads, and artists like David Hockney make sure to exclude. Check out some of the work. The titles alone indicate the intelligence of the work.
My little leaf blower is modeled after one of the many that descend, once a week, on the grounds of the condo complex in which I live, roaring their infernal machines but not loud enough, largely, that anyone who hasn't done that work notices.

For this painting and others like it, check out