Thursday, November 16, 2006

Building Blocks at Home or Elsewhere

My work is fairly conservative compared to the majority of what one might find in New York or Chicago. I’m more interested in the process of building my own materials and telling a narrative than shocking or striking fear into the hearts of mothers around the world. That’s not to say I’m not interested in highly conceptual artworks, I presently just don’t feel the need to work in that vein, myself.

Recently, my art has shown an aptitude for utilizing abstracted geometric color-fields to create recognizable forms; prior to this style I spent a month or so implementing print-making processes across the face of my paintings. To put it more simply, I am able to easily fill my studio time with the ongoing process of exploration within the innumerable mediums of two-dimensional art.

All of this leads me to wonder if the same can be said for subject. I mentioned before that Andrew Wyeth has been quite content to spend his life in one or two locations without any fear of losing inspiration for subject matter. A photographer friend of mine, Bernard Mendoza, spent thirteen years documenting the lives of Orthodox Jewish Communities across America. After a number of years exhibiting the completed collection, he sold the entire series to the Dallas Museum of Art. He has a laundry list of anecdotes regarding his years of study within a singular subject. Is this type of immersion art similar to the travel immersion theories I apply to my own work? It does seem as if the same methods are utilized when approaching subject and the narrative presentation of the final product.

I’m sure there are scores of conceptual artists that spend years exploring a specific genre or subject. I’m just not sure I’m designed to work in that manner for more than brief period of time. Sure I have ideas for different individualized projects, but I’m enamored by the process of building stories from the lives of those I encounter and for me, the most addictive material is paint, paper and canvas. – DN

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