"Snakes and Ladders" Ink on paper 15" X 22" 2014 I am weightless in a web of invisible threads. I pluck one and watch tender reverberations create thin reflections that spider deep into the darkness. From this vantage point, I can only see a part of the structure's infinite complexity. There is neither here nor there, only a spatial median that divides deeper into self-similar parts. Like the trapeze artist, I hold my breath and attempt to climb atop one of these threads. I stand straight, trying to become objective within this innumerable prismatic organism. One step forward, and the thread flexes beneath newfound gravity! My spine curves against the forces of instability and I see anamorphic shifts of light play off multiple contradicting planes. A colossal geode surrounds me: it is the image of relativism - a place where coordinates are lost in the game of snakes and ladders.
* * *
Also, I have some new ideas for how I am going to create my wood panel paintings. Hint: they are not going to be quadrilaterals. I am letting the interior angles speak to each other to create the individual shapes of the panels.
I am also working on a process essay regarding the surface-paint-space relations in my work:
"...My work explores the potential of surface by using paint to create the illusion of contradictory dimensions between sculptural and architectural spaces. Having borrowed the concepts of surface roughness and fractal dimension from Benoit Mandelbrot, I have come to challenge Clement Greenberg's notions of flatness and medium-specificity in painting. Essentially, my process embraces the reality that nothing in this world is flat, and as a result, my paintings are concerned with the wide range of space that can be exploited between surface and paint.
According to Benoit Mandelbrot, surface is inherently rough, but may appear smooth from distances where detail and dimension become invisible. The ability to see dimension depends on the relationship of scale between the viewer's bodily subjectivity and a surface's roughness. Both the material and illusionistic application of paint can alter surface roughness, increasing or decreasing dimensional visibility. For example, thick impasto can materially rough up a smooth surface, while optical tensions between layers and color contrasts can illusionistically smooth out a rough surface. Consequently, I define painting as the material or illusionistic adjustment of dimensional visibility on surface..."
Acrylic, resin and Masonite on wood panel
1' X 1'
Concerning the notion that a painting becomes an object once its sides are painted:
I paint the edges of my panels white in order to frame painting as a dialectical inquiry within space and surface. I acknowledge and accept the fact that my paintings are hybrids. They intentionally include performative, sculptural and architectural elements that enhance the overall illusion of form, movement and space presented within the painting's surface. By presenting the painting's surface face-up, I show how media can have canonical shifts depending upon their relation to the body. For example, a sculptural element can become a painting from a perspective in which its plane becomes flattened and illusionistic. Because of the relativistic nature of these spaces, the canonical shifts are both reversible and topological, existing in constant flux. In essence, the elements within the surface are never clearly defined, but are ultimately necessary to simultaneously contradict conventional dogma and push the limits of what we consider to be painting. This approach to painting is what I call "painting in the round" or "emergent painting", and can be observed in other contemporary artists' work that juxtaposes elements of installation, sculpture and architecture within the context of painting. I believe painting in the round provides the unique opportunity to exploit useful obstacles that can challenge assumptions and expand painting into new territory. It's both an emergent and dialectical process of discovering the possibilities of what something can be by creating relational contrasts. The strategic placement of seemingly non-painting elements allows for painting to emerge from in between canonical shifts.
The role of color: My general argument for the use of color in paintings is that we experience life in color, and in the spirit of authentically communicating our experience, we are permitted to use color as liberally as necessary. In my own work, I've found color to be helpful in describing space and coding individual compositional elements with archetypal associations. Temperature shifts and color contrasts can create more complex figure-ground relationships than simple value shifts. Furthermore, the sensations that occur from perceived temperatures and chromatic optical tensions have the power to dictate the tenor of the whole experience of the work.
Future topics: > Using conceptual Jiu-jitsu on modernist painting to create a space for feminist discourse in postmodern painting. > What it means to "wrap" illusion around sculptural forms. Illusion as connection, sculpture as disconnection. > Cyberculture in relation to the point of view depicted in my work. > The politics of creating aerial landscapes that cannot be viewed in their entirety.