The collection of anatomical shape-and-color-feeling organic forms floating and stuffed around this square rectangular venue subtly relax into, and then disperse away from, one cohesive reading. The top half of the space could be read rightly as the long white neck of a person (male or female) rising above a set of wide, strong wing-like shoulders, spreading out and down to reveal a chest full of life-giving organs or a patchwork of lively, colorful swathes of clothing. On second reading the neck becomes a cartoon head in left profile, the imperfect striations in the surface of the panel leaving behind cooperatively placed marks standing in for an eye and smiling mouth. The oval-like black and white mass to our right of this cartoon face/neck then becomes a gregarious laughing face in stark right profile balancing the aforementioned smile and further animating and lightening the piece's reading. All this in concert with an impish, recalcitrant upward leaning red penis (supported by yet more massive indigo blue one in horizontal semi-relaxation) anchoring the center of the picture plane, hovers above a more threatening looking flat base with spikes protruding upward on the right.
The title is a personal pronouncement from me, the composer of this painted mass of forms, to the inchoate piece in progress, that I will not let it defeat me and will rather end with a satisfactory resolution. The addition of the "three candles" reference in the title is an allusion both to the resemblance of the spiky elements, mentioned above, rising from the flat birthday cake shape on the bottom right, as well as to the elation of feeling inherent in both a child's birthday party and the overcoming of a very difficult challenge as an adult.
The rustic, imperfect application of primer and wood filler on the surface and edges, as well as the slight warp of the panel, are intentional qualities meant to keep in concert with the informal tone inherent in art made on discarded "found wood," one that seemed appropriate for the casual, informal feel of this piece.
Influences, among others, include Max Beckmann, Edvard Munch, Bob Thompson, George McNeil, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Francesco Clemente, R.B. Kitaj and Willem de Kooning.
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Oil paint, gesso, charcoal and enamel on canvas