Living in Wisconsin, hundreds of miles separate me from a viable art market, and thereby much of contemporary painting itself. I can access innumerable reproductions of paintings, yet these images can only be viewed behind the veil of a screen, where their surface quality is lost. This isolation mirrors the cultural divide that exists between the Midwest and coastal capitals in general. In the Midwest, culture is often a one-way transmission from New York or Los Angeles via the screen. Painting is an antidote to the ubiquity of the screen, as it identifies its otherwise immaterial surface.
The chunky surface of a painting is antithetical to the featureless pristinity of the screen. Designed to negate its own physical presence, its slick surface preserves the allure of the image, coaxing a passive engagement from its beholder. By contrast, gestural brush strokes and layers of paint keep passivity at bay by drawing attention to how the image was cobbled together from a series of discursive moves.
More recently I have developed an interest in creating works that present paintings as video recordings rather than objects to be viewed first-hand. It is impossible to escape the fact that paintings are increasingly experienced primarily in a digital space. Rather than simply lament what is lost in this “secondary” format, it seems cogent to insert an artistic gesture into the experience of viewing paintings as images on a screen. This condition of contemporary painting also presents an opportunity to consider different modes of exhibition and distribution of painting. In continuing this body of work, I hope to explore alternatives to the art market, as well as gallery and museum exhibitions.
Moving forward, I hope to pursue a practice that consists of producing paintings and video works that deal with the notion of surface as it relates to the way images manifest themselves in the world. The issue of surface is an idea that is almost ontological to contemporary painting without being exclusive to it. I aim to position my practice around that idea, and not necessarily around painting itself.