Dennis DeGraw

Contemporary Art

917-444-0680

 

SUPERCONSCIOUS

2018

100” X 77”

OIL ON CANVAS

What year is it? Better yet how many years have I expired? I will come clean, most of my adult life there was one thing that would bring me to tears. I’ll use Pete Seeger as an example. When ever I’d attend a concert of someone who dedicated thier life to thier craft I would end up being brought to tears. Not because of the incredible emotions within the performance. Rather, because I knew inside I wasn’t true to myself and my own path like Pete was. I was wobbling around filling my life with not truth’s, half assed situations. It’s the only regret I ever had in this life. I am grateful to have locked into my superconscious. No longer crying.

 
 
 
Contentment    Oil on Canvas    40” x 44”    2018      I want to take you there. Where crushing rocks with our hearts gives way to the love that we feel. Times get tough, nails get hammered in, we feel we cannot swim. In our little galaxy we sometimes forget about the long journey. I regularly forget to be kind to myself. I recently have been cutting off feelings. I think I’m letting go of the tough road I have traveled in this life. Foregoing convention and money to follow what to me is beauty, purpose & contentment. A dream I had this year (2018) I was walking with my dog along a stream, up on the embankment we walked a path through the Lillies, in the gentle stream below you could see the glimmer of sunshine. Coming toward us on the opposite side of the stream was an army marching in formation, in unison. Taking notice, we did not belong with them. I didn’t understand them. So we heading on ward to our White House with all the lights on and felt a tremendous amount of love. Such an infinite amount of beauty. Contentment is the story of that dream.

Contentment

Oil on Canvas

40” x 44”

2018


I want to take you there. Where crushing rocks with our hearts gives way to the love that we feel. Times get tough, nails get hammered in, we feel we cannot swim. In our little galaxy we sometimes forget about the long journey. I regularly forget to be kind to myself. I recently have been cutting off feelings. I think I’m letting go of the tough road I have traveled in this life. Foregoing convention and money to follow what to me is beauty, purpose & contentment. A dream I had this year (2018) I was walking with my dog along a stream, up on the embankment we walked a path through the Lillies, in the gentle stream below you could see the glimmer of sunshine. Coming toward us on the opposite side of the stream was an army marching in formation, in unison. Taking notice, we did not belong with them. I didn’t understand them. So we heading on ward to our White House with all the lights on and felt a tremendous amount of love. Such an infinite amount of beauty. Contentment is the story of that dream.

 
 
 

IMMERSED

2018

30” x 36”

OIL ON CANVAS

Water is life. So is immersion. This year I’ve gotten so deep into this thing called art. It really is a self centered attraction. Though I feel its not a negative thing. It’s a responsive channel of communication. Especially on the emotional level. We all want emotional connection, right? In high school I was 125 pounds and on the smaller side. Walking out on the football field against much larger players scared me. I’d never back down or show my fear , the easiest way to become a target is to show emotion or injury. That I learned early on in life. It hindered my performance to be on that edge. I was good, played terrible most of the time because i didnt allow myself to be me. To lock into my confidence. That confidence was there, just in the backseat. What I also didn’t realize is almost every other kid was scared to. These day’s when it comes to doing what i love I want to be scared. it means I’m doing something worth living for. Fear and believing are a great combo when you know whats going on. Immersion, get into it, get at it.

 
SMILING AT THE SOUND    2018    68” x 68”    OIL ON CANVAS    It’s the winter of 2018. I feel as if I just refound my younger self through my favorite bands of my youth. Albums I let go of years ago forgetting to cherish them. Not because they did not serve me any longer but because I have spent my life seeking. Pursuing something new to attach myself to. Just like I have with my career choices. Don’t underestimate, I love the new music (Pheobe Bridgers, Four Tet, Lost Under Fire, The War On Drugs) but the re discovery of my favorite bands Depeche Mode, 7 Seconds, The Cure, Minor Threat, The Jesus and Mary Chain, New Order has brought a sense of power. The power of youth and the power to make a difference with any inhibitions. The title of this comes from The Cures song Friday I’m in Love, “dressed up to the eyes, its awonderful surprise, to see your shoes and spirits rise, throwing out your frown and just smiling at the sound.” I am creating me, doing what I want, forgoing the pursuit of the normal 9-5 unappreciated dogma for authentic self. I guess that is why all of this is happening and why it matters .

SMILING AT THE SOUND

2018

68” x 68”

OIL ON CANVAS

It’s the winter of 2018. I feel as if I just refound my younger self through my favorite bands of my youth. Albums I let go of years ago forgetting to cherish them. Not because they did not serve me any longer but because I have spent my life seeking. Pursuing something new to attach myself to. Just like I have with my career choices. Don’t underestimate, I love the new music (Pheobe Bridgers, Four Tet, Lost Under Fire, The War On Drugs) but the re discovery of my favorite bands Depeche Mode, 7 Seconds, The Cure, Minor Threat, The Jesus and Mary Chain, New Order has brought a sense of power. The power of youth and the power to make a difference with any inhibitions. The title of this comes from The Cures song Friday I’m in Love, “dressed up to the eyes, its awonderful surprise, to see your shoes and spirits rise, throwing out your frown and just smiling at the sound.” I am creating me, doing what I want, forgoing the pursuit of the normal 9-5 unappreciated dogma for authentic self. I guess that is why all of this is happening and why it matters.

 
I’LL MEET YOU WHEREVER I GO    2019    28” x 35”    ACRYLIC ON CANVAS    I do not have any tattoos or timestamps to carry with me on this journey. I do have friends who, even in this big city of NYC, I randomly run into. I do have people who have moved on beyond this earth. I carry them wherever I go, I meet the others when the time happens to be right. Life is energy and it’s our responsibilty to continually monitor that energy. Positive and negative. Depending on that energy that is who will appear in your life over and over.

I’LL MEET YOU WHEREVER I GO

2019

28” x 35”

ACRYLIC ON CANVAS

I do not have any tattoos or timestamps to carry with me on this journey. I do have friends who, even in this big city of NYC, I randomly run into. I do have people who have moved on beyond this earth. I carry them wherever I go, I meet the others when the time happens to be right. Life is energy and it’s our responsibilty to continually monitor that energy. Positive and negative. Depending on that energy that is who will appear in your life over and over.

 

LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO FILL 1,000,000 OCEANS

2018

48” X 96”

OIL ON CANVAS

A spin off title from the Be Willing To Dare book which was mostly written at a coffee shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. East One Coffee on the corner of Carroll st. & Court st. cool spot, often very crowded. My studio is just across the canal in Gowanus. So every day in July and August I would work on this as much as I could (My process requires a brobdingnagian amount of drying time) and then ride my bike over to East One. Passing over the Gowanus Canal which has become so much cleaner and pleasant (the smell is almost non existent, even in 100 July weather) So I guess this resembles the Canal a bit. In my mind it is a deep color, thick, yet a slight translucent. I imagine the blood in my heart is similar to the Gowanus Canal. Tainted, thriving, heavy, vibrant, moving with the tides and more than ever filled. Filled with love for life, people and myself. Like the canal the tides going out into the estuary.

 
 
 
 
 
TONGLEN    2018    30” X 36”    OIL ON CANVAS      There is suffering and there is positive antidotes to thge suffering. Most of us have the feeling that we are here to accomplish something big in our lives, and if we haven't done something that fits the bill we may feel as if we are waiting. We may feel incomplete, or empty, as if our lives don't yet make sense to us, because they don't line up with our idea of major accomplishment. In some cases, this may be because we really are meant to do something that we haven't yet done. But in most cases, we can let ourselves off the hook with the realization that just being here, being ourselves, is enough.         As we live our lives in this world, we share our energy and our spirit with the people around us in numerous ways. Our influence touches their lives and, through them, touches the lives of many more people. When we strive to live our lives to the fullest and to become our true selves, we are doing something big on an inner level, and that is more than enough to make sense of our being here on this planet at this time. There is no need to hold ourselves to an old idea in the back of our minds that we need to make headlines or single-handedly save the world in order to validate our existence.         Co Creating with the power of breathing in others pain and creating an antidote for that suffering with positive energy. Then sending that energy out into the world. (That is what these pieces of art represent)

TONGLEN

2018

30” X 36”

OIL ON CANVAS

There is suffering and there is positive antidotes to thge suffering. Most of us have the feeling that we are here to accomplish something big in our lives, and if we haven't done something that fits the bill we may feel as if we are waiting. We may feel incomplete, or empty, as if our lives don't yet make sense to us, because they don't line up with our idea of major accomplishment. In some cases, this may be because we really are meant to do something that we haven't yet done. But in most cases, we can let ourselves off the hook with the realization that just being here, being ourselves, is enough.


As we live our lives in this world, we share our energy and our spirit with the people around us in numerous ways. Our influence touches their lives and, through them, touches the lives of many more people. When we strive to live our lives to the fullest and to become our true selves, we are doing something big on an inner level, and that is more than enough to make sense of our being here on this planet at this time. There is no need to hold ourselves to an old idea in the back of our minds that we need to make headlines or single-handedly save the world in order to validate our existence.


Co Creating with the power of breathing in others pain and creating an antidote for that suffering with positive energy. Then sending that energy out into the world. (That is what these pieces of art represent)

 

Break Free

For years i sought an singular word

to explain the purpose of the art

a word for feeling as if my heart

is about to detonate

life is a bicycle ride

of experience

of energy

of love

time is weary thing if used wrongly

burst into the universe

break free

break free

break free

thats all i ever sought in this world

not a descriptive noun for an explosion

rather

a commitment to myself

to break free

2018