Friday, April 29, 2016

Redness

"Czerwoność"
14 x 11 inches
oil on linen

Another "false monochrome"  that was initially exhibited in the 2014 UNCP faculty exhibition.  Last post, I promised some explanation of the titles.  If you haven't guessed, the Blog post titles are the English translation of the original titles, which are in Polish.   Why Polish?   Aside from the artistic relationship I've had with the country in my travels there, I have been interested with how the language looks to most Americans, who typically read only English.  Russian's Cyrillic script is immediately recognizable as foreign but Polish has some accessibility in its Latin script. Yet, with its daunting use of successive consonants, it defies comprehension.   Even with practice, I confess, it defies pronunciation.   When I'm in Poland, I've thought at times it sounds like English is being spoken backwards--- and what's more Romantic than that?  (I speculate David Lynch might agree, if we were to track the connection progression from Twin Peaks to Inland Empire.)

Painting aspires at its best to be another unspeakable language.   Visually, I kept the contrast as low as possible to defy the image which is as apparent as its color.   It's a red face, of course, but can it be more?  The internet is overrun with easily digestible images; all here becomes cheap and loses meaning through abundance.   In real life, original objects are becoming all the precious and strange.   Many people are all the more uncomfortable in an art gallery or museum--they cling to the title cards to explain work. (I won't get started on museum headsets.)  For 99.9% of the audience who view this work, the titles obscure rather than reveal.    Of course, a quick Google translate would solve the mystery.  Czerwoność means redness.  (Or at least I think it does.)   Does understanding make any difference, or was there something indeed more profound in not knowing?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Obscurity


"Mroczność"
14 x 11 inches
oil on linen

The first of what has developed into a small series that I am tentatively calling "false monochromes." Like most of my working process, I have been making these concurrently with the small ones (and bigger work that I can't even begin to talk about.)    As you can see (or not see from the photo,)  I have been carefully controlling my color to make a low-contrast image.  Although the work is technically analogous, people have referred to these paintings as monochromes;  various pigments of violet and red-violet predominate.   This painting was exhibited initially in the 2014 UNCP faculty exhibition in the A.D. gallery and most recently exhibited at the 2015 Art Fields in Lake City, South Carolina.   I'll elaborate more on the title concept in my next post.