Jack Kerouac was an icon for the Beat Generation of the 1950’s and early 1960’s. He became one of my son’s favorite authors and Kerouac’s novel, “On the Road” was considered the “definitive work” of the Beats. The painting was completed in near-monochromatic colors to evoke the strong appeal of the black and white photograph from which it was painted. The composition was created with brush and pallet knife to give the image texture and mask the well-known excerpt from “On the Road” scratched into the background. The image is based on an archival photograph of Kerouac reciting his works at the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. Kerouac’s well-known friends and fellow cultural spirits Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady are represented to the immediate left of Kerouac’s figure.
An emerging artist, Gus is an Illinois native from the heart of the American Midwest. He has traveled extensively during his twenty-eight years in the US Navy and studied under Charles Kello and Kenneth Bain in the seaport town of Norfolk, Virginia. Their intuitive use of negative space, color and light continue to influence Gus’s interpretation of his personal experiences across the United States and in Africa, Europe and Asia.
"I typically work from images that I’ve captured somewhere along the way and there is a story, a moment or an experience behind each piece. At times an archival photograph might inspire a work for a friend but I am most interested in creating compelling images of simple everyday things and the everyday human experience.
When it works, a painting will encourage us to engage and empathize. A good painting will involve us in its story and invite the participation of our imagination, memory and emotion. I hope these paintings can reveal the simple visual appeal found in the passing moments of daily life and convey the intrinsic value of empathizing with the everyday lives of our fellow humans."