Sunday, May 20, 2007

vive chrome

Pendleton: long stretches of emptiness filled with blue and gold. The linear quality of no mountains (and no skyscrapers) on the horizon is just so overwhelming. I saw many variations across it, light like I rarely see - because there is no place to put it, no sky here (or New York) to hold the light.

But there, nothing stands in its way. The sky is like a blanket wrapped around you, like the ones they make in that town, only beyond measure. There can be no coincidence about the blanket and pattern making going on there – it comes from above.

My squares and rectangles are the boxes of color known as the sky.

Color for me is an unavoidable fact of life, but some are not convinced. This hit home in a recent discussion at Art and Perception. Steve Durbin wanted to know if there was such a thing as Chromophobia. I felt it more than knew it, in how the term ‘colorist’ was thrown my way in New York when I first arrived.... and it didn’t sound very good.

But I really didn’t think the work was ‘about’ color per se. Sure, I used chartreuse with orange and purple, but I just thought of it as paint! Dumb, huh?

The thread eventually got into ‘whiteness,’ and as I noted, I have a friend who is not automatically giving over to the supposedly assured heaviness of it. As an example, she is way over Robert Ryman. She thinks he’s got a great scam going and she is, BTW, a fan of minimalism. I was almost kind of shocked, because the man is like a god.

Some days the world in my studio is red. Some days it is blue. But a day is a hell of a lot easier on me than when I made Beam and all those 48 inch squares. My world was yellow for two months with Beam (see above). That was a not easy, especially as it was winter. I tried to make the sun in a basement.


Anonymous said...

stunning work...buttery, juuuuust buttery.

i'm wondering when you painted 'beam.' especially considering the lack of sun in your parts.

do your paintings sometimes serve (either subconsciously or not) as a 'sun lamp' in the dreary months? and i'm thinking both process and product here..

-baby smith

Anonymous said...

Interesting question. Maybe the paintings are just in general a sun lamp, regardless of place or time. It does make me wonder though if they would change if I moved to a very bright place.


Anonymous said...

well, i remember you saying you were in a sea of non-colorists while living in new york.....i'm wondering if your work ever stretched BECAUSE of those standards (subconscious or not)

i can say for myself, that my work fluctuates between chaotic/minimal.....monochrome/saturated color at any given moment. i can't seem to hem myself in to any given style or concept. and as a result, i feel conflicted. there are so many influences. pressures, and impulses that inspire me, and i feel my art is a manifestation of that. like rauschenberg, i can't stop exploring even though i've established myself as an artist (albeit not to HiS claim of fame....YET!)

i'm just curious if you see the next step BEYOND your current work.....if you've envisioned more of the same, with a 'twist,' or if you're completely open to new directions, whatever they may be.

i ask this, because i'm on the cusp of knowing what i've done and knowing where i SHOULD be. it's a very good.....and yet, unstable place.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I've seen the future (as regards paint). But I don't know how to do it yet, so it's hard to call it that. Maybe it's just a whim, but if you keep thinking about it...