The Image of the Father
The José Cuevas Suite; visual meditations on generational identity, collective and individual
This suite of 17 charcoal drawings on rather small and humble art store paper were executed during a cycle of lectures offered by famed Mexican artist and draftsman José Luis Cuevas in Cuernavaca, Mexico in 2000. Though billed as a workshop, it was not a place to work, per se, but an opportunity to hear Master Cuevas discuss his career with a panel of his friends and and members of his professional retinue. I merely sat and drew for three days, using the talks as a backdrop, much like I did as a kid in church. In those sessions I developed a form of figurative imagery that has continued.
At one point Cuevas suggested that those drawing (and there were few) meditate on the figure of the father in Kafka. It seemed like a slightly flip diversion to me at the time, and I had not read much Kafka; certainly not for many years. However, since my own father had advanced Parkinson's disease in 2000 (and died in 2006), his image and that of other family members hovered over me as I drew.
Overall, the drawing suite is about generational identity, individual and multiple. The last several drawings in this suite, those of abstracted standing figures, prefigured a long and larger series that has continued. Drawings are in charcoal on13" x 19" archival paper.
These drawings are dedicated to Clair DeWitt from a grateful son, his namesake Ronald DeWitt.