Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Non-Narrative Illustration

For the longest time, I felt it was important my work proselytize and preach a specific point of view. Trouble is, I'm not sure I know exactly what that point of view is, let alone how to articulate it. So as I began my most recent body of work, I set out to take a more positive tone, pursuing styles, subjects and processes that please and interest me.

I imagined the works as being the result of a Venn diagram describing some broad fields of interest; Design and Technology; Craft and making; People and human concerns. Similar to earlier sketches on this trajectory, each of these paintings is composed of figures in abstract backgrounds with  technical drawings overlaid.

I'm calling the abstract backgrounds, "Imagination Spaces", visually nebulous spaces of possibility.  Places where things can exist, interact and happen. And to be perfectly honest, they're just a lot of fun to paint. The physicality of attacking the surface with a loaded brush is sensually satisfying and enormously rewarding. If I don't like the result, I just paint over it, the ensuing interactions of these randomly applied strokes and washes exciting in their serendipity.

For these larger works, i chose to use myself, my family and friends as subjects, though I'm hoping they appear more as generic figures, like actors in an advertising campaign rather than portrait subjects. The images feel illustrative in nature, as though they might be attached to written narrative. But in composing the paintings and coupling the subjects, with limited exceptions, I sought to impose no fixed narrative of my own. The work invites the viewer to imagine their own narrative.

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