Robert Graves Gallery, Wenatchee Valley College
(Wenatchee, WA) 2016
In the studio, having an image to hold onto helps combat some of the doubt and frustration that is a side effect of the meandering nature of painting. For me, abstraction is a process of getting lost and finding solutions to self-imposed problems. An image or a directive can act as a kind of lifeline during this process, as was the function of images in this group of work. The images, culled from old cellphone photographs, hold personal significance. They are snapshots, not overly composed and not of exotic subject matter. Most pet owners will find a wealth of them on
their devices. These photos represent little microcosms of our lives, taken without too much consideration. The cats are important. Images like these flood the internet, but when personalized as by the material aspect of paint and canvas, are hard to consider as anything
other than sincere.
In this body of work, the same five images and a group of abstract motifs are repeated,obscured, and altered from piece to piece. What appears as a depiction of a particularly cute moment in one painting becomes about absence in another. A formal device or material occurrence becomes suggestive of multiple metaphors as it jumps from painting to painting. The significance of the images and abstractions is fluid and changeable.
The instability of meaning has never been more evident than in our media saturated lives. Images rush past us daily and change before our eyes. What was an anonymous photograph yesterday is a widely distributed meme today. Having years of our own images at our fingertips and in our pockets can instantly displace or evoke memory and emotion. This is a condition I embrace in the studio. The resultant work is reflective of a constantly shifting experience of sensory input- my own painterly version of tabbed browsing.