Coming to terms with my growing need to explore what I did not know about my late father, Albert Corkery, Jr., I embarked on Symbolic Portraiture and what became the Conrail Quality series. My goal was to unite memories of interests, passions and vocation (in my father's case, trains, tools and junk collecting) via vignettes or windows that are designed to lead the viewer in and out of my memories. I strive to create visually pleasing imagery, even attempting to redefine perceptions of beauty through painting "ugly things". I have drawn inspiration from artists such as Hopper and Sheeler to create a painting style that evokes both dreaminess and precision. Using multiple glazes I provide depth and luminosity.
Though my Symbolic Portraiture is highly personal and specific, it was time to develop other visual relationships. Currently, I look to the places I've spent time in, collecting imagery that charms or fascinates me. Continuing with my desire to redefine the perception of beauty, I began working on my new series Location/Relation.
Through this series, I continue to create multi-image artwork to compare items of unassumed interest, juxtaposed with more well-known or purposeful subjects, such as public art. While visiting Montreal I found a rusty clamshell excavator at a dig site just as captivating as the iconic public sculpture Illuminated Crowd. These images became Illuminated Montreal. Adopting a monochromatic palette heightens the sense of dreaminess and gives the subject matter an imposing, larger-than-life feeling.
In addition to representational painting, creating abstract paintings has proved to be the much needed flexor to balance out the energy expended executing the precision needed for my typical body of work. The process is incredibly freeing, incorporating much of my glaze work with a rich, vibrant color palette.
Presently, through a very happy accident, I came upon my Imaginary Topographies. While opening a neglected bottle of linseed medium, I opened up a new world that took shape on several wood panels. The viscous molds that came out lent themselves to the birthing of new lands and imaginary terrains that draw the viewer into an “aerial view” of places that do not exist. Complete with rivers, oceans, plateaus and volcanoes, Imaginary Topographies intentionally allows the viewer to subjectively draw one’s own conclusions regarding what defines the landscape.