Truck Stop, Philipsburg, NJ


"Truck Stop, Philipsburg, NJ" - Watercolor on Arches 300-lb Watercolor Paper - 22" x 30" - 1977

Throughout his college years, Charles was obsessed with “photo realism.” At the time, such super realism was a radical departure from the course of art history. There had been a steady progression away from traditional representation since the 1940s, when “Pop Art” suddenly presented the banalities of culture for consideration as serious art objects. He really just wanted to learn how to do certain things with paint, and postponed learning other significant properties of art for later. As he looks back, it seems to him “that super realism was as much a social commentary as an art movement, but when I was 21 I didn't care. I wanted to make paintings that were so smooth one could not detect evidence of the human touch—no visible brush strokes.” He found that watercolor presented challenges, but also satisfying results because the medium is inherently flat; so, with care, one could hide brushstrokes. “I had a lot of fun making these paintings and they provided steady income when I was young, which became problematic when I needed to change my manner of painting and a list of clients still expected this kind of product.”