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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from a. addair)

Lately,  my paintings have been meditations on my fascination with what I have come to call my gobstopper (the square or rectangular shape filled with circles stretching over the first plane of the canvas). So called because I can roll it around in my palate for hours and it never seems to lose flavor.

rewilding

rewilding



I’m intrigued by my gobstopper because its simplicity yeilds a set of seeming contradictions and questions. It conceals but only partially. It is a sort of gate yet it is permeable. Is it a layer of screen or  a collection of color discs? There is a sense of order and categorization but it lacks rigidity or precision. It can be imagined organic (as a tree) or man-made (as a building complex). Do the discs dwell in the grid or has color infilled the discs?

rewilding (detail)

rewilding (detail)



Because of its visual interest (or perhaps this is the reason for it’s visual interest), my gobstopper has become a metaphor for perceptions of a basic reality of life or truth.

Though I have no pretenses about being a deity, it is true that when I paint, I am the creator; even if my dominion is a mere 24″ x 24″ of flat canvas. I beleive that one of the reasons I am drawn to painting is because it allows me to function in a role I know little about. As I create, I explore the function of a Creator; something akin to the way children play “house” in an effort to make sense of their environment and culture.


If paintings are viewed as created worlds, my gobstopper is a sort of veil between the spiritual and the material world. It allows for only glimpses into the whole picture. With this partialness comes the ability to have varied experiences interacting with the same basic reality. One may focus on a single disc, one on the texture of the screen, and yet another on the interconnectedness of the color spheres. Each of these observers will come to a true, if not complete, perception of the painting as a whole.

rewilding (detail)

rewilding (detail)



This painting in particular deals with the idea of rewilding the Americas, a plan for environmental restoration, and how this initiative is shaped by and could shape the intangible spirit of life.  You can learn more about rewilding at http://undergrowth.org/rewilding_by_kevin_arnold.

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