June 9, 2015. I’m working with Photoshop to create templates for paintings. I’ll keep going until I get something I like and I can execute in acrylic with hard masking.
These come from 20 directions all at once. The main inspiration is a photograph I took on my iPhone looking out from the Frank Ghery designed AGO facade. This got me thinking about geometric abstraction. While working it out I’ve tried to be aware–and to understand–where these ideas comes from and what they all mean. So in no special order;
The square is a wonderful form, it makes me comfortable and I see it everywhere. I compose photographs in my head in square format, I crop them from 2:3 to 1:1 almost every time I process. I like the limitations and boundaries of the square.
Then there’s other artist work. Other photography, hard line painting and the geometric post painterly abstractionists from the second half of the 20th century in particular; Mondrian, Ellsworth Kelly, Bernd and Hilla Becher via Idras Khan, Tammi Campbell, Claude Tousignant, Joseph Albers, etc.
I’ve worked in photography all my life. These new experiments remind me of X-rays or black & white negatives piled on top of each other. In fact that’s a new idea that could be an extension or even the basis for this work. I can produce this work by creating different acetates in all different black fill percentages and fool around making pseudo sculptural pieces that I then photograph to get to the same place I’m heading with the paintings.
I’m interested in simplifying. My photography is also heavily influenced line and shape. I think of my photographs as found paintings. This process I’m working with retains that interest while further reducing and removing any reference to a narrative subject. I’m moving from taking pictures of places to creating places to take pictures of.
The monochromatic nature of this work is more about photography itself than reduction, but I can see these “constructions” working in colour as well as black and white.
There’s a neat math proof that I discovered a few years ago about something called the square of squares. This is always in my head and certainly comes through a bit in this work.
Stephen Andrews retrospective at the AGO also contained a series of “mirror” paintings that he created that have stuck in my head as well. Likewise seeing a Richard Storms exhibition at Robert Birch a few months ago has really resonated.
There are other directions and other thoughts that are contributing to the creation of this work but I think you can get the idea from the above. I’m less of an artist and more of a kitchen blender.