5-31-19

Statement

"...a good poem leaves you feeling more human".      - overheard

“In Art emotions are the meaning”   -Henry James       

 

--- and so with a good painting, I feel.  Like you, I’ve put my life together from pieces, shreds really. What art happened withstanding diminishmet? — a few idea-driven, idea-layered paintings (w/ jokes and tears), in oil & mixed media, followed by sculpture in selected found materials,  presenting landscape-Inscape & architecture-inflected images and objects in a broad, graphic, textured palette, in a full range of colors and dimensions  --  reflecting a personal view of a  hopeful -though scarcely provable image-language sensitivity. Image-language sensitivity? This presumptive notion is what enables my rethinking of personal setbacks & cultural challenges;  Further, I'd call my core activity art-enabled-reassessments of chaos,  spontaneity, and the possibility of inward order.  

Large claim; though, in the end I have only my own views to offer, I say art exists to reveal something deeper: the WORLD-MAKING IMAGINATION by which we flourish, or without it surely perish.

What is of endless fascination for sculptors and painters is the mysterious reality that two and three dimensional shapes beget distinct, often intense emotional responses connected to a range of creaturely and/or transcendental ways of living in fear and/or sublimity. In my WorkLife painting is a connective, evocative enterprise offering a personal shape-language world, with advanced and primitive forces from various perception levels that meet in diplomacy & battle.

When is a composition a thought or message? Painting here is a conversation between thought and feeling, a means of self creation & reckoning --  personal, ruminative, & invitational. I seek greater awareness of my own shifting alertness which brings me world-reckoning intimacy and reflection moment to moment.   I stop-frame life as love and labor, feeling the music and tectonic conditions of longing while just making a sketch.   At once ME the painter — is the scene, the subject, the story, the shy reader, the innocent listener -hearing affinities with an eye, conjuring new 'evidence' of a possible vast though private, deeper Life: the consummate life erotic -reason and pleasure- standing conjoined together in courage , dry-eyed in the face of mortality.

How does a painting emerge? : it slyly unfolds, for the maker and viewer alike.  Mental and emotional dithering fades. Visual conversation gains credence. Logical (internal) debate aggregates hard nuggets concerning craft and ‘conveyance’, retinal arguments regarding pleasure v. intellectual ‘austerity’ are hammered out on the anvil of self honesty. Nuanced body-mind patterns and affinities are honored ...and then are decisively elected, that is… acted on in paint.  Previous thresholds of aesthetic insight & emotional courage are overturned. Thrumming alienation is temporarily quelled.   Finally, insights and ideas take the form of marks, shapes, colors and arrangements, made to seem inevitable.  Language, music and architecture, healing & self-unity -however inexplicably conjoined in me are the origins of my effort.  The endpoint of this work --where my accidental choices and mistakes have come see seem fateful to me, is to show others the world in meas a contribution to the shared world, OUR shared world, one that prompts us by its mystery, reason, pleasure and brevity -to live in it ever more seriously.

From an immersive (a sometimes 'research-oriented') studio practice,  keen to avoid predictable isolation, a personal iconography has evolved: call them thought figurations, in two and three dimensions, that convey a personal aesthetic of attention & intention. Pulling together compelling elements of a complex structural presence, the GEO-figuration that undergirds these compositions — concerns what?   I say open strength and endurance.  By way of ‘foxy’ color, decisive internal density,  scale & proportion, these images illuminate a wayward yet determined  ArtLife engagement.  Well beyond the unavoidable doubt & ambiguity that lends frisson to the graphic & spatial fields of each painting, this art is about a collaborative meaning-creation relationship with a committed viewer -- a non-churchy call & response relationship. At Best --  find here (when taken together) an urgent, personal domain of optimism and contribution: a personal ImageWorld -layered & conjoined — that invites extended looking -outward & inward-  in the same moment of discernment and fragile if exhilarating self understanding.

Cynicism is death. Call me extravagant, and serious about beauty.

 

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