The Art of Conversation [above] is, in a sense, a direct offshoot of Life in the 60's. It was my mother's fondness for that painting, after all, that inspired her to bring me a grainy Holiday Inn postcard [below] one day and ask cheerfully that I "do something with it".
Of course, not wishing to simply copy a commercial postcard (however charming), I placed it on one of my shelves and observed it for a month before making any plans for a painting. The scene with the women gathered around the table was probably meant to mimic the feel of a neighborhood grill-out or afternoon tea, as if the hotel were just like home. . . yet the car-centric sprawl of America hardly seems homey anymore, certainly not in 2011-- merely cluttered and disconnected.
In re-positioning the women in the composition, I wanted to capture a hint of the crowded, busy feel of a Berlin street scene of the Brücke style, all the while retaining a sense of retro-Americana and the overall appeal of well-dressed women enjoying a day or evening out. The contrast and comparison may seem slightly contradictory at first, but it does have all of the Old World/New World connotations that I tend to continually revisit in art. I also liked the idea of portraying the two women at the front as if they had just finished discussing something and were perhaps quietly expressing agreement, as if they were in cahoots. I left the woman at the back in solitary contemplation of the still life upon her table, as if she were lovingly gazing at a work of art, deeply engaged in her own inner dialogues.