Most exhibitions are a year or two in the planning. One day in December 2004 I received an email, shortly after a phone call, then a visit. Six weeks later I was on my way to Shanghai for my first exhibition there.

This typifies my impression that anything is possible in Shanghai. My first impression was of some futuristic fantasy world. I never imagined modern architecture of daring creativity and variation in such profusion. It is a city that is burgeoning, blossoming, not merely expanding but exploding. At the same time Shanghai reveals itself slowly, like a modest woman who, with only temporary success, hides her beauty.

I don’t pretend to know or understand her. I am courting her, discovering her slowly through painting. Enticing and encouraging her to reveal her charms, her inner beauty. Paris is a flamboyant city built to be seductive. Rome has a proud beauty and London is demure. Budapest has a melancholy, bitter sweetness. Each major city has its own personality. Each has a distinctive energy which is imbedded in and expressed through it’s architecture and appearance, but also in it’s history, it’s culture and people; in it’s essence. That is what I see, feel, and paint. I am from New York. Though I’ve spent years painting landscape, virtually living outdoors, in the wilderness or in the finest gardens of France, I have an urban core. When I enter a city I begin to resonate with the place. It comes up through the ground, filters through the air. Shanghai vibrates frenetically.

Then there are the small discrete pockets of the old Shanghai. It is astonishing to see the old and new collide with such velocity. So after a few days in Shanghai and my first opening I thought, “I have to paint this”. I went out to buy materials, found a room with a view overlooking the river, and began. There, hour after hour the energy of the city, the boats and barges, buses, cars, carts, bicycles by the hundreds, thousands maybe, rush up at me, into paint and onto canvas.

I become like a window, or mirror, an old one which changes, modifies, distorts. That’s what I do. That’s when I’m happiest; with a large canvas in front of me and an exciting city stretching out as far as I can see.”