The second totally abstract painting that I ever did was in response to the horrific events of September 11, 2001. It was started a few hours after the buildings fell and took about two days of intense work to complete. I painted furiously to capture my emotions – which were very intense.

At the time, I was primarily a photorealist painter – but only days before I had just finished my first abstract work of art. I realized there was real power in expressing emotion. I was feeling the horror very intensely of the terrorist attack – I wanted to show that disgust, shock, and horror that I felt.

One of the ideas behind this work is that I wanted to have juxtaposed beauty with ugliness. The beautiful, dynamic, and colorful background – which represents the happiness of all those people who were killed in the attack – has a final red layer – which is a singular and ugly contrast. On top, the red paint runs; it pools it reaches every part of the painting – it symbolizes the loss of life.

Those people were taken from their friends and families in an obscene act of violence. The painting’s subject is an incredibly challenging one. I hope I have done justice to the victims. And I also hope I have conveyed a sense of my anger at the senseless loss of life.

Painting information

Materials: Acrylic on MDF board
Dimensions: 62 x 91 cm
Painted: 2001


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