Howard Sherman’s paintings are visceral abstractions with more than a nod to his early career as a cartoonist. His brushstrokes are exuberant, his large canvases an explosion of style and dynamic colour. Sherman paints by instinct, his work a contradiction of calculated thoughtfulness and unabashed excitement.
Here’s a great description of his work and process by the man himself:
Painting is changing. The idea of a particular “ism” or school is reminiscent of a flat soft drink. I take several of these historical ideologies and put them in a blender. I serve up an explosive, visual 190 proof margarita (everclear, not tequila) that is excessive and ambitious. It is a hedonistic, long pour that might splash everywhere. (You’re in trouble if you have a paper cut.) The goal is a reaction with every sip from the fishbowl-sized glass. One special ingredient in this recipe is the narrative cartoon. It is born out of the abstract gesture in a twisted, unstable way. When the blender stops, there will be bits and pieces strewn all over the place.
It is a battle of epic proportions with a multi-pronged attack and a slight tickle. This cocktail is extremely potent because many of its constituents contrast. They are so wrong together that they start to seem right, combining to create a hostile and humorous expression. It is like laughing while taking a cold shower. There are no baby-sips. You gulp it down and brace yourself for the brain-freeze. I came to this concoction scuffling through the liquor cabinets of intuition and art history. You must know how to pick both of these locks. Otherwise, it’s a trip to the lame-ass kitchen. A real walk of shame.
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