Blog

Icons Series

 "Stardust Marilyn" 46" x 56" mixed media on wood panel

"Stardust Marilyn" 46" x 56" mixed media on wood panel

I am often asked about the inspiration behind the techniques employed in my Icon Series.

Let me begin by stating emphatically that there is no formulaic technique followed.  Each piece charts its own course. The common elements are found simply in the materials used- often, but not necessarily always.  Again, each is a work of art, independent, and new.  The quantities will be low, and when I am fine with having explored the series to my satisfaction, I will move on.  

I want to give some insight as to the roots of the "technique".

 "Come Fly With Me" 46" x 56" mixed media on wood panel

"Come Fly With Me" 46" x 56" mixed media on wood panel

As a 62 year old, I recall the worn hand-painted signs that were everywhere in my city of Toronto in the sixties and early seventies.  Having spent much of my childhood in my grandfather's and father's grocery stores on Dundas, and Oakwood, and Yarmouth and finally Rogers road, I was surrounded by painted signs.  It wasn't long before I was actually making them for the family business.  They allowed me a break from the mundane work of filling empty shelves with cans of beans and packages of pasta.  

My earliest recollection is of one of my uncles using shorthand to make a sign for a special on "cantaloupes".  He was pretty good with a marker, and his sign for "Loupes", 2 for 1 on sale is forever etched in my memory.  

I lived on Christie Street and walking home from Essex Street Public School meant passing by the Gibson Broom Company, with its many painted, worn signs which showed evidence of having been re-painted at least five or six times.  The old colours seeped through, and at times, you could see evidence of the previous sign.  One happened to be an ad for Seven-Up in a previous incarnation.  So cool.  The passage of time.

So that's it.  That's where the visual reference comes from.  It's funny, but in recalling these memories, I only remember sunshine.

Enjoy the Icon Series while it lasts.

 "King's Wheels" 46" x 56" mixed media on wood panel

"King's Wheels" 46" x 56" mixed media on wood panel

Jonathan CentenoComment