Marshall Roemen © 2023

This is a new series of small, limited palette works that explore the phrase, “I Didn’t Get A Chance.” The first piece, "VONS", was exhibited at O'Flaherty's in New York, NY, as part of "THE PATRIOT" in 2022, and represents the first of many personal objects and effects stemming from one man.

"I Didn't Get A Chance" is a phrase repeatedly uttered by our 70-year-old landlord, with whom my wife and I share the property along with our young son and daughter. Having never moved from his childhood home, his life's accumulation of everyday objects--often found items he intends to repair someday--belies a self-admitted fear of losing grip on his youth while further complicating his relationship with the property. The existential burden these unfinished objects carry is compounded by the absence of any remaining family and the recent death of most of his friends.

A recent painting from this series, “VONS”, depicts a found receipt from his favorite local grocery store. Painted at life-size (7x10cm) inside a dilapidated shed-turned-partial-studio on his property, it is meant to examine the fleeting, ephemeral nature of not only his life but my own, grappling with the ever-present notion of what results when "I Didn't Get a Chance" becomes a self-entombing mantra among ever-growing lists of ambitions, to-dos, and projects.

These paintings allow a stark contrast of between the time it takes to produce an artwork and the act of walking past something set down on a table, chair, or other surface--which has plagued my landlord's home and environs layer after layer in the last few years. The depicted depth of most works is limited to something like a display case--a distance of 10" or less from the viewer. In limiting the pictorial depths of these abandoned items and moments, I hope to engage the shallow horizons that regret itself represents. The property and its characters become, hopefully, an occasion to contemplate what we mean and what we do in the name of accomplishment.