Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Photogram Painting

Here is my first experiment with new materials incorporated with my photograms.  I've uploaded a process photo, since this methodology involves several stages of development. 

Fist, I experimented with the ground on which I would do the photogram.  I found this awesome gesso at Michael's that, although a bit pricey, has the awesome effect of shrinking as it dries and thereby distorting the canvas and cracking.  Since this semester I am focusing on the erosion of the body and false identities, this seemed like the perfect material to experiment with. 

Secondly, I began a painting with no particular image in mind.  Mostly, I wanted to choose colors and strokes that were tuned directly into how I felt.  I began with warm colors and smooth gradients in the top right, but as my OCD sank in and I began obsessing over details, the motion became broken and circular with a colder and darker palette, which created an image very similar to the perpetual storm on Jupiter's surface.  I was not satisfied with the piece with just paint, however, and I felt like the darker area needed something else, something that reflected the weight and pressure of the manic desire for perfection.  So, I went outside and started pulling up grass and weeds, covered the canvas with glue, and threw it on and painted it in.  This enhanced the feeling of mania and hysteria for me, and connected a medium which I was in complete control with materials directly from nature that I attempted to force into my creative logic.

Lastly, I incorporate my body directly into the image with the photogram.  In the case, the emulsion literally becomes a mask, covering the color of the paint in black but unable to completely adhere to its underlying surface, much like my previous piece Touched

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this piece, but I know that it needed to be created and that my future works will in some way be influenced by what I learned here, and that may be the most important thing.  I've learned more through my failures in the past year than I have in my successes, and though the lack of concrete "progress" in my mind can be infuriating, it is nevertheless necessary.

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