Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Dreaded Artist Statement

I don't know if many people read artists statements. I do know that it is one of the most dreaded things that an artist has to do to promote their work.  Painters in particular often think that the work should speak for itself.  It's true a lot of  these darn statements read like  a bunch of gobble-de-gook, mine included.  I have spent my life avoiding it.     I have written statements full of paint talk and probably makes most people's eye's roll back into their heads. However, writing this blog every week and sometimes twice a week has helped me observe what I am doing in the studio.   So here is my new statement.  I think it most reflects what is happening in my new work.  If you have a minute, please let me know what you think.  


My work starts with a collage of subjects that attract and repel me at the same time. Tom Robbins’s refers to the idea as life’s “yum and the yuck”. I find images that are compelling personally, yet are universal and relatable to everyone. The juxtaposition of these attractive and repellant images create a tension that alone would be enough, but together, enables them to become more powerful than they were individually.

My work also has a technical component that I find to be the most challenging and interesting part of being a painter. I seek to incorporate the rendered and realistic figurative painting with the ambiguous, lushness of abstraction. I constantly mix and seek contrasting visual combinations not only in subject, but also in technique and how I render each painting.

GRAPEVINE 36"x40" oil on canvas
I find the mixture of attraction, rudeness, realism, and abstraction to be a reflection of life’s relentless contrast of all things. There is no good without the bad.  There is no order without chance disguised as chaos.  Much like playing the Blues, even with the saddest subject or a distasteful one, played or painted with sincerity and care, it can seduce the senses and hopefully become something new.  

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