Nov. 6 - 19, 2017 at the XI Gallery, 11 Davies Ave. Toronto.
Opening Reception will be Thursday, Nov. 9, 7-9 pm.
This series of paintings came about after a difficult life experience.
One day I walked into my studio, grabbed a canvas and blurted out a painting to express my frustrations, etc. It felt good. It depicted a figure walking away from a messy pile of figurative images in which I buried specific literal thoughts. I thought that it was a one off event. I considered it ‘job done’. I had got something off my chest, and once more noted the therapeutic role that creating art can play. Therapy complete.
But then something interesting happened. This painting ended up hanging in a fairly busy office and almost everyone who came in commented on it, and reacted to it, related to it without knowing the specific story. I was curious about what these people were seeing in it, and it became clear that I had hit upon an experience that was more generic and that everyone has their own messy 'pile' to deal with.
Once again I surprised myself that I am not all that unique.
Playing with this idea, I created different scenarios of how we deal with this mysterious pile of figures and objects.
In a way, the paintings, painted themselves. There are two objects on the canvas, the pile of amorphous compilations and the figure dealing with it. The paintings seem to dictate how I was to paint them, creating their own rules such as: the figure and 'pile' had to painted on a plain but colourful ground or background with no context such as landscape to contextualize them.
The figure was one that resurfaced from earlier figurative work. I must insert here that it had been years since my ideas have taken me back to the canvas, as I had abandoned it for public art projects and photo based work.
To me the figure had to be young, somewhat child-like, or innocent, but ephemeral, not completely pulled together, always in the process of figuring out what is going on. The figure is young because I feel it also is a universal feeling that we still have that child that we were, still within us. I think our reactions to our 'pile' come from that place.
The actions of this figure, dealing with their cache of life experiences, varies from contemplation, avoidance, being thrown around, trying to hang on, grappling with it, abandoning it. The paintings are about perspective, assessing, and calculating some sort of order or understanding.
I hope that there is an element of humour or whimsy in these paintings, because, God forbid we take ourselves too seriously.