2.02.2010

Artist Statement: The Abstractions: 1.30.10


In regards to painting's numerous limitations and belittled status in current discourse, I will dismiss myself from judgment and continue the conversation.

Figurative and representational modes cannot on their own encapsulate the whole complexity of contemporary life. I utilize abstract languages to extend the dialogue towards these other ever expanding realities. It's a methodology in art that has existed in its maturity for more than a century. It is obvious that abstraction has taken it's own historical foothold in art but it continues to remain fresh in my thinking process because of its fluid capacity to mold itself to change. That is to say that it seems capable of keeping in step with time.


I took the task upon myself to develop an artistic approach that could be flirtatious while not referencing the body. I wanted to build a painting that could be stern and comedic while not being didactic or funny. I wanted to evoke the new worlds of motion graphics in static form, to maintain that spirit of visual movement in silent stillness. My works seek to be familiar by making slight reference to the world while also being unique singular events held on a shallow stage off Broadway.

The paintings concern themselves with several overarching ideas. They are organized on a formal basis utilizing geometric forms. I use many reductive shapes, boxes, and post and lintel junctions with other simple elements to construct my images to echo the framed rectangularity of the image. I construct my paintings with the illusion of shallow space. By layering images I develope the awareness of the third dimension. Utilizing over painting and under painting, the works never abandon the material nature of paint or its inherent object qualities. I allow paint to behave in a natural fashion where layering and textures are able accumulate in the process of working.

The vocabularies of elements that have been used are thought of as parts like those found in erector sets, legos or machines. These parts are tinkered with into the various apparatus constructions you see. I have a tremendous interest in engineers and their ability to take parts, tools and knowledge to develop and create functional things of value. The film projector is an item I find to be as interesting as filmaking itself. The projector if it were to cease its harmonious operation would leave us without the film performance, we would still have a film but no way to see it in its intended form thus technology acts as the second half of the art. I think of machines, engines, stock material, distribution, warehousing, manufacturing, and production when I paint, not always in this order. The ideas they generate help in translating my experiences into a painting language.

My compositions often play with or emphasize bilateral symmetry like that of a building fa├žade. As in reference to most biological organisms, they are never quite perfect or exact; they give way to varying degrees of mutation. They mirror themselves and deviate all together. They are in the process of conversion or function. Often they can float un-tethered in space or can be anchored in delicate balance. My paintings find themselves at a tenuous moment, as information is spilling out or focused inward. They imply scientific origins but reveal no concrete datum. As cropped spaces from a larger scale world, my paintings imply the viewfinder or aperture. Unlike the traditional window view in historical art these attempt to ride a fine median between conventional space and modern flatness. These paintings use windows within windows to echo the computer interface. They attempt to be unplugged luminescent beacons of a new program immediately abandoned by software developers.

My palette often focuses on high key colors in an effort to compete with and compliment the every day experiences of advertising, objects, architecture, garments, etc. Gradients and broad sweeps of color can converge and diverge over super sweet day-glow hues in ways that fold space and insinuate dynamic range. Natural, soft, hard, and toxic colors spill out and over an empty terrain of storefront displays. I include graphic and pattern elements as a way of broadening the image reference pool to engulf cultural and popular motifs. These examples would include elements from street fashion and popular objects in our natural and synthetic environments, i.e. the ubiquitous faux animal pattern.

The Danimal exploits series refers my interest in the animal print, to utilize natural variety found in wildlife and the human exploitation of it. I find a pervasive reference to the animal kingdom on bed sheets, t-shirts, panties, purses, and overcoats. At once both meaningful and banal, the status of high and lowbrow consumer culture, the animal print has become a loaded symbol of luxury and the cheap exotic. The zebra, leopard, tiger, peacock, etc. all have come to symbolize desire and beauty. I imagine if tigers had lawyers would they collect royalties for the use of their stripes on pillows and coffee mugs? What if animal species could protest the copyright and trademark infringement over their respective brands? I continue the exploitation and abstracting of animal forms into a new value system. Authentic skins and furs continue to be held as valuable commodities in poaching markets, but the world at large has moved on towards the synthetic, towards the extrapolated marks of exotic beauty. I re-hunt these new abstracted animals across the broad American plains from Vegas showbiz glitz to the fashion glamor of 5th Avenue and fluorescent isles of Wal-Mart.