This series of paintings represent the "Re-Starting" of my painting practice.
When engaging in painting again after pausing my studio practice for 20 years to grow my family, I decided to work on creating a related body of work that I call a series.
Working in a series provides a structured format that allows exploration of a specific theme and arch of ideas within painting.
In my "Series 1" paintings, I wanted to create faces that were looking back at the observer.
Like a happy face emoji, these paintings would be constructed of three elements comprised of two eyes and one mouth. The round shape of the head became defined by the edge of the rectangular canvas
The three elements would be comprised of discovered life or digital images that moved me.
My objective was to relate the three elements pictorially. Creating a combined and interwoven pictorial image inspired by the selected elements. Creating a more complex cognitive visual, experience for the observer. Resulting in a bespoke interpretation of the painting by them and for them.
Believing in the relevancy of post-modernist tendencies in our Instagram era.
My influence of this approach to image-making is indebted to the postmodern movement of the 1980s. That for me includes the paintings of Julian Schnabel and David Salle. As well as Philip Johnson’s 550 Madison Avenue office building in NYC.
Series Image Construction
The Series 1 paintings explore the relationship of the image created of the three elements to the defined constraints.
The series is painted on a striped background to acknowledge and flatten the surface. This was done as my ode to “Modernism” and the continued expression of two-dimensional “truth” in painting.
In some paintings, the three elements of the face become an actual face. Either as a character or as an art historical re-interpretation; e.g., as “Mademoiselle Matisse” references Matisse's “Woman with a Hat, 1905.” The inspiration for the naming of the “Fauvism” movement in art.
In one painting of this series, the image becomes absorbed by the background. Pushing the background forward as the main theme and actor of the composition.
The elements of the painting are vying for pictorial relevancy. With the background as an actor playing an active role in the composition.
This tension between image foreground & background, representation and caricature, line & plane, our current time & art history, digital & analog, artist & observer represent my exploration of this series in my practice.
This is my attempt to stress relevancy in being present in our time while acknowledging the context from which I owe my art historical indebtedness.
In summary, it is my belief that my art practice in this series is constructed as:
An homage to my art historical heroes and relevant philosophies.
Acknowledging my relationship to the past. Serving as historical context and a springboard for the present and into the future.
Acknowledgment of the impact of digital image platforms and tools that are major influences to us in our era. Considering their power to change our pictorial conversation of image and culture.
Inclusive of our modern relationship to time, how we observe, absorb and experience art.
My submission and candidacy of what I believe is relevant art at the time these images were created.