Private Residence, Upper East Side, Manhattan

“Forest Canopy, Millbrook” Feb. 2017

This commission in a private residence on the Upper East side of Manhattan, NY is a mixed media artwork made from a source photograph shot on the upstate New York property of the owners. Artwork is “Forest Canopy, Millbrook”, Mixed media with gold foil on canvas.

Natural Abstractions Series  

 “Natural Abstractions” is Claps’ homage to traditional Chinese painting and to the 18thcentury Japanese master printmakers whose graphic style greatly influenced the European Impressionists.  In this series he creates contemporary interpretations of nature motifs used and repeated by many generations of artists.  "Chinese and Japanese landscape painting has been an inspiration for me for some time now, and I wanted to pay tribute to those artists” - says the artist – “Each work is executed in a positive and negative version, in order to articulate the duality that is the basis of much of oriental culture."

In these recent works you can see Claps’ fascination with the natural world, captured up close and translated into autonomous compositional elements, which at times recall geometric abstraction, oriental calligraphy, and cellular processes.  His creative process begins with photographs taken in varied forests and mountains around the world: Cuba, China, Japan, the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, and the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains of the U.S.  The images are processed digitally and printed in black and white.  Claps then applies a layer of gold foil and paints into the images. 

Gold is the symbol of immortality, eternity and perfection, and the divine. Reflective, spiritual, metaphysical, with a warmth that evolves as the day’s light changes. In recreating these art historical motifs, Claps attempts to create dynamic images that live in balance between figuration and abstraction.This project, commissioned by the developer of the Osten Condominium buildings at 60 South 8thStreet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn includes three artworks from the “Natural Abstractions” series.