In Hoboken painter Craig Cartwright's series entitled "Trees," the plantlife is made from demons illustrating themes of love, deception, temptation and anger.
For three weeks at Maxwell's Bar and Restaurant on 1039 Washington St., starting Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., Cartwright will display six to eight images from "Trees." He has been working on the series for the past few years, and he is anxious to see what people's reactions will be.
"I like to show emotions and provoke thought through my pieces," Cartwright said during an interview last week at his apartment on Washington Street. "I expect the show to go very well."
This will be the second time Cartwright shows his works at Maxwells. The first time he was there, he sold several pieces and gained some notoriety.
Cartwright grew up in Virginia, where he studied art. In 1991 he made his big move to Hoboken for the opportunity to flourish as an artist. When he arrived in Hoboken, he landed a job at Macy's in Manhattan, where he worked for six years designing floor displays. Then, he landed a job doing commercial art for Danbury Mint, a Connecticut-based company that produces art artifacts for entertainment manufacturers.
"I thought the job at Macy's limited me creatively," he said. "This new position allows me to explore my imagination."
Throughout the years he has been able to establish himself as an up-and-coming artist in the Mile Square City and in New York City. .
Prior to "Trees," Cartwright experienced some acclaim in 1998 with his "Organica" series. He collaborated with musician and composer Billy Atwell, the drummer for Shirley Temple of Doom, to create a soundtrack to the series that featured eight works about nature. The album is a musical journey combining different genres to create a voice for Cartwright's paintings.
"I was able to apply music to his images," Atwell said. "It's a surreal album categorized as sound art."
Atwell added that he would be open to collaborating again with the artist on future projects.
All of Cartwright's paintings are done using oil paints on canvas. One of his trademarks is the size of his paintings, which range from three to six feet in height.
"Most of them are large pieces," he said.
Cartwright has a studio on Newark Street, but he also does a great deal of work at his apartment.
At Maxwell's, Cartwright said he hopes to gain a larger audience and receive more exposure as an artist.
In addition to the Maxwell's show, Cartwright will exhibit other works at the Alphabet Lounge on 104 Avenue C in New York City on Nov. 8.
"I want my work to keep developing," he said.
For more information on the show, contact Maxwell's at 798-0406. For information on Cartwright, go to www.manifest-stations.com and www.foreheadprod.com.