It Was Always There — I Just Couldn't See It, 2023
Acrylic, plaster, enamel on canvas
40 x 30 in.

After a deep financial struggle I experienced in the early 2000s, I got a job as a creative director with my own corner office with large windows. I was extremely grateful.

One of the first things I did to decorate my new workspace was to hang a picture of the up and coming tennis wünderkind, Roger Federer. He was being lauded for his effortless, ballet style of tennis domination.

Tennis is my favorite activity. It's how I exercise, meditate and work out my challenges. And that same office picture of Roger, which I have redrawn here, was an oasis of freedom and a representation of me as an athlete in the game of life. The player is drawn in charcoal, waiting to be fully realized in color. In the act of 'becoming'.

The structure of the canvas is created to look like a birthday cake. Infinite sweetness. And on top of the structure, is the cosmos. It is symbol of all there is and all that is available to us.

However, the simulated frosting has closed off the Federer character. He is without color and limited movement, unable to see the expanse of the universe beyond the sweet barrier.

For many decades, I lived my life this way. Unable to see beyond the sugar walls.

Until I chose not to.

Tennis and the Cosmos: The Symbolic Movement of Roger Federer