Fur, watercolor on paper on panel, 5" x 7", 2019
Oil, watercolor on paper on panel, 6" x 8", 2019
Stroke, watercolor on paper on panel, 5" x 7", 2019
Art Basel Miami / Nadawith Regards Gallery
A continuation of my interest in surfaces, specifically complicated and complex surfaces, both in their rendering and in their meaning. All paintings are done from photos that have been taken by me. A close up of fur taken of David Hammons' "Untitled" work, in which he has painted on the back of fur coats. "Hammons said not to think of the coats as coats, but as canvases." How possible is this, to think of this complicated material as just that... material? Fur connotes a kind of wildness, freedom and otherness, of where we came from - and on another hand, when the fur becomes separate from the animal it is abusive, full of terror, and calls into question what it means to be humane. The painting isn't about a kind of luxury, or commodification, it's more elemental - about trying to looking at the object as a material and formally as a surface. What is it? How does it work? These questions are at the beginning of every painting. And the painting is the journey to try and figuring it out.
"Oil" is a painting of crude THC oil being poured into a large vat. The quantity of this oil seems obscene, at least to a consumer, but not at all to a manufacturer, a maker. But again, that it is THC or from other natural source doesn't matter. It's more about touching on the alchemical process of transformation, of solid matter distilled down into a concentrated oil, that has motion and can take on shape, much like paint can. It's surface dark, reflecting the room / ceiling / person around it. It's reflective qualities make it anything other than itself, but rather showing us what is beyond the picture, or a distorted version of it. A further investigation of reflection and light.
"Stroke" is a painting of a close up brush stroke, taken from the wall of Anya Gallaccio's installation at Blum and Poe of the same name - a room entirely covered in chocolate. Again, playing with ideas (and expectations) of material - specifically in painting. The desire an image sets up for the viewer in it's viewing. The pleasure and sometimes pain of painting. It could be brunt umber, but it is a painting of chocolate (painted with burnt umber). On their own the viewer can make connections between the different materials in the paintings, and kinds of surfaces. Reflective, soft, the stroking of a brush across a surface, the stroking of a wild animal. The transformational qualities of the materials - an animal into a garment, a plant into a medicine, a dessert into a wall paint. Their origins aren't hinted at in their titles, they are rather something to be guessed at. Maybe you whisper them into someone's ear, a secret or insider's knowledge. All of the images are taken from someone else's work - it isn't about appropriation, but rather about what it is to be an artist looking at other art. And a painter trying to understand images and surfaces, color and light.