My work challenges conventions of realism, through a reductionist method of deconstructing romantic, idyllic European painting. Approaching each citation with clinical idiosyncrasies, I dissect the chosen image, sometimes arbitrarily, sometimes ironically, into painted sections and sparsely primed areas, with pencil line or printed image. These various sections form a hybrid entity, both complete and incomplete; a collage of both living and dead matter. Seemingly familiar imagery, almost impossible to decipher its origins. These are applied to sharp, frameless Judd-esque boxes of various dimensions, defining structure and presence.
The painted areas have no pictorial depth or painterly marks. The brush strokes are wiped clean, leaving a surface value balanced between the romanticism of painting, and the impersonal, aura-less mechanical print. The singular color forms a sort of purism, altering the sense perception and disrupting the window effect. Drips intersect, eroding sentiment, defying visual depth and the romantic artistic creation. The image seemingly floats, suspended and weightless. The aesthetic is beautiful, but melancholic. In the Units and IMG_ series, the pieces own integrity is almost hypocritically under-minded in its own creation. In order to achieve the desired effect, the surface is painted in the chosen color, solvents are poured over this with no regard for the image that will be applied. Once this is dry the image is painstakingly painted around the drips, thus playing with the narrative of the piece itself. The line is a transition or movement; it is the creator and the destructor, simultaneously building a picture, but also regressing the image to a cold, economic representation. The line connects past with present, unifying them into a single, indistinguishable moment of discourse. The construction of these pieces is fundamental; manufactured, crisp and sterile, the pieces become units of art, taking on a sculptural presence, placing the work outside of a painterly reading and into a conceptual art object.
The five distinct series of works that I am currently producing all explore this general thought and follow specific rules, yet with different avenues of focus.
The Units series deconstructs the canons of European painting. Sections of well known classical paintings are blown up and dissected into various states of reproduction. The physical sum is broken down into its material parts, suggesting that once truly explored, the reality of the imagery is also not quite as romantic. Ironically the drips are painted first and the image is painstakingly applied around the drips, thus playing with the narrative of the piece itself.
The IMG_ series focuses on the unsettling of accepted norms. The images are all from paintings by William-Adolphe Bouguereau; they are quintessential in their idyllic imagery and comfortably absorbed into a mainstream acceptance of art and history. These moments are subverted from this dreamlike state: reduced to one color, seemingly corroded by drips and pasted arbitrarily onto MDF; a composite, false wood as opposed to a fine wood base or a traditional canvas. As with the Units series, the drips are also applied first and the image is built around them. The pieces are titled after their own documentation; the code given to the main image by the camera that photographed them.
The Creator, The Destructor series is a twisted progression of the Units series. An extreme disconnect of identity, reduced to a uniformed square panel; this system, intended for understanding, has now categorized nothing but the collective. These pieces touch on many periods of painting and, in-turn, categorized them too. These pieces are painted on the lowest grade of wood; particle board which is exposed on the sides, a stark difference to regal oak frames.
The impossibility of a personal act series focuses on material and line, without the clinical approach. The image is scanned from a book, printed onto transparency film, mapped out in the dark using a projector and applied to sheets of plywood. This is then mounted onto unfinished aluminum supports. The work is playful yet uncomforting in its directness.
With the Aura digital series a clear relationship can be seen with Walter Benjamins essay on mechanical reproduction, which closely inspires a lot of my work. In these pieces, the image itself holds no value. Printed with low-grade ink on cheap paper; crops, splices, color fades, edits, and arbitrary highlights remind us of how we, and our society, are able to manufacture both our concept and manifestation of reality.