Day Ninety-Six/Image Ninety-Six

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

If you look at this image, you see a man carrying a woman out of flames. You may think the man started the fire with a fallen ash from his cigar. That is the subject matter of the collage. I am going to try to explain the reason it is a work of art.

Compositionally, this is how I do a painting, collage or drawing when I work with a square.

I cut out magazine images I like. I never use photoshop or take images from the internet. In this case, I was working with two figures, but the process is the same as if I were working with shapes. I usually linked them together by color. As I did here, making the composition a spiral going counter clockwise. Beginning in the center and following the orange around. I broke it up with the blue/gray sky and the figures in black and white. But then I return to the orange again in the center of the circle.

Most of these one hundred square collages are successful because they are circular in composition. I may have strayed from the spiral format a few times, but I usually try to stick to that design pattern.

I know this is a dry way of looking at the piece, but it is the art part. I also know that some of my subject matter is a little zany, but by sticking to a good composition and adhering to good color relationships, the image “works.”

And then I can afford to think about the man and his cigar ash. And of course that woman is looking like, “Get me out of here!”