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29 (2003)

I bought a 6'x6' canvas. Two of them actually. I'm about 5'8" (5'10" when I used to have a 'fro) just to give you an idea how big this canvas is. That's 36 square feet.

I had to take the canvas off of its frame when I moved into a new studio because I couldn't fit it down the stairs. I unrolled the canvas and threw it on the concrete floor. What am I going to do on something of this size?

I first drew a scene of this Chinese restaurant with an apartment above it. For those interested, it's the building across the street from the Hemlock Tavern on Polk St. in San Francisco. The apartment has full-wall glass windows, and one night at the bar, the apartment was having a party. I could see a few people inside, talking and drinking. This one woman was leaning against the window with a drink in her hand, checking out the action on the street. She was tall and her silhouette struck me: a small intimate gathering and she was more interested in what was going on outside.

So, I drew this scene out but didn't like the way it came out. Instead, I began throwing paint on the canvas, on top of the drawing. Over the past six months, I've stopped using paintbrushes and have been using cardboard boxes and wood panels to move the paint around. I throw the paint on the canvas, then put the panels down on top of the paint and slide them around, moving the paint on the larger canvas but also moving the paint around on the panels too.

Over the course of this painting, I used 29 panels (some 8"x10", some 9"x12"). These are the 29 panels. I love the fact that by creating one piece, I incidentally actually created 30. Each one is unique and contributed to the larger one, but they are all tied together, united by being part of a larger whole.

One day, I want to show all 29 panels surrounding the larger canvas. All the colors represented in these smaller paintings can be found in the larger one.

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