In a dream, I saw the image of a city where children were holding up a giant puzzle piece. This piece was missing from the city-scape scene and the children were trying to put it back in place. I knew I had to paint giant puzzle pieces. I began with a games piece, where the puzzle piece was part of a game in itself. Then I realized that the puzzle piece could be a “piece of art,” so I used impressionist paintings as my puzzles from which I would choose a single piece to paint in large size. The idea was to show how one small piece of Impressionist art can convey the sense of whole. This acts as a bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Impressionism.
Once I began creating “pieces of art” as puzzle pieces, I obtained a patent for this unique type of art. It’s not a design patent, but a utility patent. This type of patent protects not a single design idea, but the entire concept of “a piece of art” where a work has a piece missing and it is displayed enlarged beside the work.
In my creative process, I also used the missing piece concept to make statements about contemporary life, science, technology, politics, and conservation. In one piece I returned again to the magic theme, this time Houdini escapes from the puzzle in a missing piece. That piece, publicized in several trade magazines, sold at an auction. I returned to a religious themed piece in my “Genesis” piece. It depicts the earth, moon, and sun at the time of creation, in photo-negative colors. When you stare at the piece for 30 seconds and then look at a white wall, you see it as the blackness of space with heavenly bodies correctly colored. This Genesis piece was purchased by a transportation company of the same name for their front office. I did several medical pieces using ultrasound, photographs, and X-Ray images, and sold one of these to a dentist. I created about 30 pieces over a 10 year period from 1979 to 1989.