Abstract. For some reason, these always get called abstract. I suppose I can see it. Pieces like these rely on the abstract concepts that drive art and not a focal subject. I still prefer “non’subjective,” myself, because I think of an abstraction as a breaking down of form apart from its concrete representation. Picasso did abstract work, in my mind.
One of the things I set out to do here was help explain the artistic process as it happens for me. To help people who aren’t trained or steeped in the art world understand how to approach art, especially the more difficult pieces like abstracts and non-subjectives. It’s somewhat easy to look at a piece that has figures in it, and go, “ah, yes! That! That is about _____”
This is a bit harder to explain:
"It Wasn't Just The Laptop That Was Broken," In-Progress, Oil on MacBook Keyboard
And that’s where the problem comes in. So, to help out some, I’ll try and talk about these three pieces more as I finish them (and especially about how I decide they’re finished.) Because, I’ve been doing a piss-poor job of actually saying something useful on here, and well, that’s gotta stop.
First off, as I said, these are abstract pieces. Or non-subjective. There’s no apparent subject, and they’re mostly explorations of color, surface, and texture. So, part of what I want the viewer to experience is the way the surface was built. The way thinner washes exist underneath a lot of the paint, leaving ripples and stains on the priming paint underneath. The way thicker chunks of paint rise up, and how you can see where brushes caught and skipped over them, leaving little negative shadows where paint wasn’t applied. The way wet colors were layered, picking up discolorations from the colors underneath them, which slowly lets the surface build with an odd sense of unity I wouldn’t get if I let the paint dry fully between applications.
These three pieces are also selfish. It’s important you know that. I’ve got a lot of things going on in my head right now about Feminism, enlightened sexism, reconciling those ideas with sexual liberation, sexual fetishism and domination, gender roles and the rise of the beta male, the ethics of the marketing world, etc… And, I don’t have enough of a bead on any of it to make a piece that I feel actually says something useful. I just have all these vague ideas swirling around. So, I’m just painting aimlessly and instinctually. It’s a way I let off steam, and a similar process lead to my guilty little favorite piece, Post-Structural Blancmange.
Meanwhile, I’ve also been nostalgia-trippin’ again. I dug up Itch, and with it a bunch of memories from that time. So, I’m dealing with the idea of aging. With my ongoing love of ephemerality and shifting perspective. And how the two conflict with each other. So, those are weighing on me too as I paint. And as such, these three pieces are a mix of instinctual paint layering and technique, blended with barely formed emotions touching on elapsing time (the really heavily caked up ochre board), on mistakes and love and the swirl of a life I’ve moved past (the whitish keyboard), and on those hard-to-explain thoughts on the three S’s of modern sex: sexism, sexuality, and sexualism.
More to come.