Walter Robinson,Dresses & Wedge Sandals,2012 On Sharon Butler's site 'Two Coats of Paint', Water Robinson gets the quote of the day, 12th December "I just can't get into the radical masquerade that the art world is. That's why I paint like I do. I'm not pretending to be some kind of avant-garde. I'm not trying to be inventive. I'm just making images. Like a sign painter. Anyway that's the idea."
I am working on a new mural project. The conditions of the people paying for the mural impose a specific aesthetic which I can't help moving away from. These drawings are moving in the wrong direction however I think they are interesting. They make me wonder about the reason for making an image.
While these paintings seem abstract they are both painted with a specific representational image projected onto them. My aim is to extend the conversation on what we consider to be abstract and what we classify as representation in a painting.
This painting has become know to me as 'The Hungary Jacks Painting'. It was in my last exhibition but i never got around to photographing it.
The painting comes from a photo taken at the top of the Queen Street Mall in brisbane outside Hungary Jacks.
The relationship between photography and painting has a history of exploring ideas of how representation and perception are created. The attitude and ideas implied through this relationship pose some interesting questions, i.e. what does a photograph represent and how does this representation exist with a painting? What happens during this process of change? How is the finished work linked to and removed from the moment in time, which it was originally taken from?
Daniel Richter disrupts the flow of painting language. There is an unexpected twist at the end of all the parts within the painting. The colour is bright, the faces are painted in a naïve manner and the narrative (although unknown) is powerful and aggressive. There are so many decisions which do not make sense. Some parts are ‘dashed off’ and others have been given attention. There is for me a real sense of the representational information coming out of the paintings surface as though pushing through the abstract gesture, pushing through the flatness and the void of information. This painting is not only discussing the way abstraction can relate to representation but also the decision making process of the artist, why are the choices made, are they random or are they meticulously considered. Daniel Richter uses the provisional technique of pulling the paint back from the viewer as if to say ‘ I can tell you have almost worked this painting out, so I am going to change it a little, then a little more’ until you cannot draw a definitive narrative and you cannot resolve the intention. There is also a shying away from grandness for what seems like willingness or a need to take chances and risk what Rubinstein calls the ‘collapse’ of the painting.
This painting is about ‘painting’, there is an image and there is gestural abstraction but the role of these techniques is to bring the viewer into the space that makes a contemporary painted surface. There is no gimmick or concept, the painting exists through engagement with the process of making and shines as an example of how we try to explain what painting can be.
Frank Stella once suggested, the hardest thing about painting is to find out how to make a painting and for me, artists like Daniel Richter and Peter Doig show how easy and how difficult that can be.
Haven't posted for a while because i have not been painting. My thesis is due and its taking up all my time. I did, however finish stage one of a mural at Milton Train station (with the help of Emma, Kenji, Kerrith, Anthony, Guido and Fintan).
Stage two will commence in mid September, so also getting ready for that.
More info and images are on the Milton Blog