Oct 20, 2008
seek to uncover a mystery color
The prospect of moving forward with your work can often feel like trying to perform magic, like trying to turn a wall into a door or window. You know you've done it before, but was it a dream? The questions you had put aside coming running to your ankles like little gnomes. Some of them are nasty little buggers!
The work I showed in Greensboro this fall was my first body of work post-grad school. I wanted to continue down a path of these strange deliberate marks that build up an uncertain and fantastic space. It was also very essential that I effectively stop myself- that I test my intuition to recognize something that works before I move past it and take the painting in another direction. There were two paintings that went past that mark and ended up being interesting, but more like my previous work.
I strove to make it a show about color, to use combinations I had felt to be important or rich internally but had previously left to the will of the painting. In other words, I somewhat let color be the dictator this time. Color certainly is the biggest of those gnomes and it tends to bite. Why is that? Because it's hard to talk about. It's very infuriating. You can find bits of text here and there that start to hit upon the importance of color.... (the 'haptic space' of Francis Bacon paintings)....but you still have to put it all together for yourself.
Everyone loves and talks about synesthesia, including myself, but there are particular reasons why this is important to painting. Dur, people, it's about illusion. When your brain senses the illusion of space but knows it to be a flat surface, it makes this great contradiction that your mind responds to by trying to involve all of your other senses. I know this happens in music too, through a different means but through an aspect that is as basic to music as flatness v illusion is to painting/imagemaking, but what is it? What is chromatic music? I keep thinking I've found the answer to this but I just find examples of it working....