Friday, April 20, 2007

Abstraction is Back! (life might be more fun if I could more easily jump onboard)

Abstract Expressionism and the artists behind it have always intrigued and inspired me. Steeped in the moment of the creative process, their paintings were layered with more than just paint – they boasted the passion of self-destructive lives as their undercoating.

Few will argue that the rise of early abstraction coincided with the birth of photography. As the number of non-artists purchasing Kodak Brownies rose, so did the emphasis on abstract subject and technique in the visual arts. The past couple decades saw a resurgence in the popularity of photo-realism and figurative painting; however, with the advent of digital photography it seems that Abstraction is becoming vogue, again. Is this return to non-representational themes a backlash to the now common use of Adobe PhotoShop by computer-savvy non-artists? Is this rebirth a reaction to the rise of the Internet and it’s purely representational, straightforward presentation?

While I respect the work of past and present pure abstractionists, I know in my own paintings that totally non-representational work is an unnatural act. When painting and writing, I rely heavily on the places I’ve been. The lives I have been allowed to share. The emotions that have been stirred and kindled in my own mind – I see these images at all times, and repressing them for the sake of fashion are beyond my control. Even my most abstract works are shrouded in the mystery of imagery. Mysteries that unfold themselves as my works evolve through the years, from series to series and moment to moment. Masking the questions of a lifetime with the unique, yet unifying, color and symbols of a place. – DN

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