My latest series opening at the George Billis Gallery, “Birth of the Cool,” celebrates the midcentury “cool” lifestyle of Manhattan. In a time when the architecture was forward-thinking, guests dressed their best for airline travel, and the jet age influenced even automobile design, the impact of optimism was felt daily. From a 1959 Ford Galaxie to the organic curves of an Eames chair, society was changing, embracing avant-garde design, and incorporating strong, streamlined forms in all aspects of the built environment. This series of paintings focuses on these segments of design – the architecture, furniture, automobiles, and even fashion – that communicated a creative exuberance through bold aesthetics. Seeing the graceful contour of the iconic TWA Flight Center paired with the swooping lines of a 1959 Oldsmobile, one is able to connect the stylistic parallels between these facets of the Modern metropolis. Paintings featuring touchstones of midcentury furniture not only showcase their own intrinsic beauty, but when viewed with the rest of the body of work, reinforce the element of “cool” that ran deep in the design of the time. While this series communicates the innovative power of these vestiges of the past, it should also act as a reminder that they, in fact, still exist and are more relevant than ever.