Untitled (Atlanta, GA) - 2002
30 x 38 inches (76.2 x 96.52 cm)
Fred Scruton These photographs explore underlying interpretations of vernacular works of art and commerce, and celebrate the often hand-made individual expression of anonymous designers, store owners, sign painters, home owners and “outsider” artists. Seen as artifacts adrift in cultural time, our era-specific understandings appear to reveal new messages in the displays themselves. The subjects then, simultaneously serve to comment reflexively on our shifting perceptions.
Starting as conventional “straight” photographs (imprint of lens on film) the original transparencies are scanned and digitally re-worked by the photographer. Perhaps looking a little too “good” to be “real” in the final prints, our understanding of photography’s documentary aspect is in play as well.
Has this depiction of ‘reality’ been digitally enhanced - or have some of the rendering limitations of film simply been overcome? Unable to clarify such distinctions, the viewers understanding of photographic representation is metaphorically linked to the ‘work-in-progress’ nature of their cultural interpretations. Fred Scruton, 2003
Geraniums - 2003
acrylic on canvas
30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
Backyards have influenced my paintings for many years. Trees, houses and shadows trigger emotions in me. As subject matter, these scenes have unique leverage, like mountain streams or distant vistas. The mix of architecture and greenery provides fodder for illusory drama, graphic structure and expressive color.
Based on parts of various small town environments, the new paintings present made-up spaces, using fragments of real places to construct illusory volumes. During the painting process, the volumes are given more weight than the content, though sense of place is maintained. The picture plane is articulated along the way, creating a kind of dialectic with the angular volumes. Content is chosen for shape, pattern, value and color, with particular attention to temperature in color. The image is reconfigured many times, buildings redrawn, shapes and content moved about, surface patterns rearticulated. In the unconscious manipulation of the variables–the play in the creative process– color is expanded and elevated in its presence, ultimately present as color felt. Although various strategies are used to build the painting architecture, the character of the image evolves through experimentation, in a process that continues to be more about faith than logic.
Daniel Chard, 2003
The Esquire - 2001
32 x 14 x 13 inches (81.28 x 35.5 x 33.02 cm)
Tim Prythero I begin work by forming a generalized theme or idea. I get my ideas from photos and sketches which I have culled from many sources. I start by fabricating a model and the work evolves during the actual construction process.
I travel extensively along old Highway 66, which runs through Albuquerque. This road provides me with an endless source of material. Whether it is a diner, gas station, motel, or tourist trap, I am intrigued by all and am inspired to begin my work.
Small towns around New Mexico provide great sources of vernacular architecture. Movie theaters, trailer courts and dilapidated yards are my favorite subject matter. Even my neighbor’s plumbing van is an artistic subject worthy of exploration.
I begin by building the structure as if it were fresh and new, and then I begin what I call the ‘aging process’. From the effects of weather and time, the accumulation of clutter and the details left by everyday living, the inanimate object begins to take on a life of its own.
No matter which piece of sculpture I am working on, I like to imagine myself either living or working in the environment I am recreating.
Tim Prythero, 2003
Anybodies Coast - 2002
watercolor on paper
10 x 13 inches (25.4 x 33.02 cm)
James Van Patten
"Though taken from nature, the imagery in my paintings might, at first glance, be unnoticed in the
natural world. At best, a throwaway memory. Yet it is the mystery of reflection, shadow and light, and
unexpected color that makes me want to paint these throwaway scenes. When I have found the image that I will paint, I use the intermediate eye of the camera to see nuances that I have missed. The anomalies of the camera lens also provide additional information that exist only in the photograph of the image. By incorporating these qualities such as a softening and color-rimming of the edges, my paintings provide surprises to me and, I hope, to the viewer. From the beginning of the painting process I know what the image is, but l am never sure what the picture will be when brought to paint.
James Van Patten, 2003
These brown ink on paper paintings are inspired by vintage imagery celebrating “The Good Life in America” fantasy: a merry world of romance, charm, and whimsy. The desire for wishes fulfilled, life being a pretty as old time posed pictures is timeless.
My 1909 dictionary defines “leisure” as “freedom from occupation; vacant time”. The paintings are made quickly and without correction, as freely as the subjects display their symbols of abundance, good luck, and wholesome joy. The pictures are simultaneously amusing and mysterious, as is the triumph of miracle over misery.
Robyn Wohl, 2003
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