My main body of work as of this writing- comprises of representations of power lines.
The materials I use are acrylics and oils. Occasionally, a pastel piece may appear here and there. I’m very involved in the technicalities of painting, spending many hours each week studying other painters’ works and methods. My preferred painting procedure is alla prima, this is a wet on wet- at once style of painting.I do tend to prepare a surface carefully before I start work- however.
Why power lines? Aren’t they ugly? Well, this all began for me about fifteen years ago- I was walking around my then Mission Hill in Boston neighborhood- walking around slowly- possibly coming down off mescaline- looking at the silhouettes of buildings against the sky- and stopped right below a large post with all that strange electrical and communications hardware- thinking this was one of the most beautiful and odd things I’d ever seen. So I went about collecting pictures of power posts, mostly with the sun directly behind them. I thought the pictures were beautiful, but they were too serious- too obvious- as beautiful as they were.
Over the years I collected more pictures, different cities, different towns. And I always thought one day I would do something with those photos. A year ago, I took the plunge- and committed to creating a series of these paintings. And today I am still going, not yet done.
I think these beasts of humanity are special because we never intended them to be something to look at. They are all thrown together purely for function. I believe in my lifetime they may mostly be gone- as we alter to some other way of laying down communications and power. I think we will look back and think of these as one of those ‘good old day’ things that nobody appreciated enough. There are many such examples in our history- they were never obvious when they were plentiful.
I know that one day we will look back- when they are all gone- and see pictures of these strange things- and miss them- or wonder what would it have been like to stand beneath them? The pictures themselves will show you what it looked like. I hope my paintings will show you what they felt like. The power lines are the circulatory system of our societies. They carry the blood that nourishes the body of humanity.
April 2015, Leo Charre.