Portrait of Thunder in Contemplation


Portrait of Thunder in Contemplation

⊛ cut paper / wood
⊛ 10 x 8 in • 254 x 203 mm
⊛ private collection


Life in Tokyo is shambling in the general direction of normal. This is a good thing. Trying to carve a new routine out of this awkwardly balanced status quo is the challenge of the day. Thanks to all of my friends around the world who wrote, called, emailed, and smoke-signaled their love and support. If you haven't had the chance to Donate to the Japan NGO Earthquake Relief and Recovery Fund, please consider doing it now.

Thunder is not, I believe, a happy-go-lucky guy / elemental force.

When posing for his portrait, he had a tendency to slip into a sort of brooding contemplation. The Brontë sisters would've swooned.

The only thing to bring a smile to his face was his pet salamander.

Yes, somewhere in the deep, primitive network of canyons that make up my mind, there is an instinctual, metaphorical connection between lightning and amphibians.

This past year, I have been experimenting more and more with the play of bright colors against dark. Thunder, the left side of a diptych, pulled inspiration from the Dutch masters, particularly a certain Mr. van Rijn and his masterful use of chiaroscuro.