The new year delivered a great thrill when Weinberger Fine Art opened "Building Blocks" on a very cold January night in Kansas City. Featuring work by Michael C. Driggs, Jeremy Rockwell and myself, the curated exhibition is meant to emphasize each artist's unique components in their individualist compositions. The January 8th reception brought an even warmer glow to WFA, Kansas City's most elegant and hospitable gallery, and gave me an opportunity to make remarks about my new and recent works to an affectionate audience. For those who missed it, I thought I would share my comments below:
"Each painting is the story of its creation and in the narrative of these works, color is protagonist and patterned blocking is structure. Having these stalwart guides allows my work to find me. In the studio, I choose intuition over agenda and aesthetics over ideology. Sometimes easily coaxed in arrival, other times deeply flawed and messy, my works are the pure expression of my experience.
When I make a painting, I feel as though I am walking a line between a romantic ideal and total disaster. When the state of a painting makes me restless, I begin again, using a wash of flat color over the entire surface. This superficially obliterates the work I’ve done, but it also leaves a history that I can reach back into if I desire. I challenge myself not to be precious, or, better stated, not to be precious too early on in the process.
The surface of a painting is the most personal element. Persistent layering of paint over time ultimately delivers one that is rhythmic and richly textured. How I leave the surface makes a painting identifiably mine. I use a free hand when painting. The resulting “soft geometry” means the only straight edge you will see is the canvas itself. The imprecision of my hand’s work is meant to engage you as a viewer, to interest you in finding the “flaws” - the bowed lines, colliding fields of color, drips of paint allowed to remain where they fell.
For 25 years painting has been my chosen medium. What inspires and motivates me to begin is the excitement of not knowing the ending. Each work’s resolution can be a nail biting thriller or a tedious drawn out soap opera. I am the first viewer of my work and my standard is high for a level of optical excitement that also has longevity. Until I am satisfied that that a painting will remain interesting to the eye in the long term, it is not finished.
Each new painting is a chance to start over, to use the new and the old, to combine art history and my experience. The goal of each work is finding a balance between the great sense of urgency to accomplish something beyond what I have before and a need to patiently explore its individual direction. Some paintings will boldly shout for attention from across a room, others will modestly whisper for notice.
The meaning is in their making."
"Building Blocks" is open through February 24, 2018 at Weinberger Fine Art in Kansas City.