William A. Newman

Cracked 2000 includes five series.  The first, Cracked Glass, is fifteen small black and white oil paintings, some done on wood, some done on linen mounted on wood. Cracked Glass is a depiction of the continued passage of time in the familial context. The paintings are composed of combined images of myself and members of my family: Bill /Pop-French Bulldog; Bill /Grandfather-“Pop”; Pop/Pop; Bill with the Hat/Mom; High School Bill/Mom; Present-day Bill,/Wife-Anne Fraser; Profile Bill/Spy-African Gray Parrot; Collegiate Bill,/Grandchild-to-be (now Davis, grandson Number One); Son-in-law-Craig/Daughter-Jessica; Koi/Bill.

These combinations on the computer make up the three-minute animated video, “Cracked Glass”, the first installment in the Video series of Cracked 2000.

Having finished the first series of paintings, I realized that my father, my former protagonist, had been excluded. I decided that the next series of paintings, entitled “EIEIO,” would be about us.  Since he was a gentleman farmer, and I had been the gentleman farmer’s work hand, I used our farm animals to portray him in this series. In the EIEIO series, my father’s consciousness is represented by farm animals. As these animals were on my father’s farm it seemed as if he adopted their attributes, intuitively choosing metaphors for his own character.  The inherent characteristics of the animals I have chosen communicate specific variations in the behavior of my father. These larger paintings of my father were also made to be somewhat three-dimensional if one were to wear 3-D glasses.  

Again, a three-minute animated video, also entitled “EIEIO,” based on the paintings, completes the Video series. 

The larger four by six foot black and white paintings were made using the computer, returning to my anamorphic computer roots and using David Adamson’s high tech machinery. The theme has been maintained, but the image’s dimensions have been altered anamorphically. Each of the paintings in Cracked Glass and EIEIO is available in the four by six foot, black and white, anamorphic format, by request.

The ten cracked glass boxes encompass aspects from the four other series and contain one piece (“Bill-Ape”) from the Zoo series, which is still in the works.  These pieces started out as small boxes, much like Cornell boxes, with a touch of Duchamp and all the technology that has evolved since these two artists have passed.  

Cracked Glass, 1996

Video, 3 minutes 7 seconds

Music: Mona Lisa by Nat King Cole 

EIEIO, 1997

Video, 3 minutes 11 seconds

Music by Michael Brown