In these, as in
previous Reflected-Light Paintings, I work with light. I work with the glowing
radiation of fluorescent color reflected onto a plain white surface. My pieces
consist of extruded, aluminum rods, (trapezoidal in cross section), with their
rearward-angled sides painted in saturated colors and then mounted on a canvas
backing. The painting is in the form of a code, with lengths of various hues
corresponding to a stripe of colored light reflection being created adjacent to
it. Each rod represents a vertical segment of a composition recognizable only
when all the elements are mounted and perceived as a totality. The light-image,
as viewed from the front, floats, shimmering over the surface of the canvas.
This image is nonphysical, it exists in the gaps between the extrusions. Its an
image created in, and of, the shadows of the rods, an “Anti-Shadow.” The viewer
is constantly involved in the contradiction between paint and light, the paradox
between the physical and the perceptual sensations of seeing.
In the past my iconography ranged from strictly formalistic to geometric or
figurative themes, but in the "Heartland" series I found the ideal synthesis of
subject and technique. The aerial landscapes are pure light, and in essence,
pure illusion. The floating point of view is reinforced by the ethereal effect
of the light, and the distance is echoed in the hazy soft edged shapes which the
reflected color creates.
I was first attracted to this imagery on cross country flights, the organic
contours of the landscape were suddenly defined and given scale by the intrusion
of roads and fields: the methodical hand of humanity on the abstract earth.
Sometimes clouds would intervene, imposing their own chaotic pattern in white,
haze and shadow. And at night rivers became silver threads reflecting moonlight.
My images challenge the perception of the viewer to a game of hide-and-seek
while exploring the permutations of geometric, organic and winding patterns.
These patterns, in turn, are superimposed by the white grid of vertical strips
of the aluminum extrusions. This grid simultaneously divides the colors while
heightening the perception of reflected light.
The iconography in these paintings evolve through color studies in oil pastels,
works of art in their own right, culminating in full scale cartoons. The
cartoons are created as mirror images of the completed works to be painted on
the sides of the extrusions. They are translated into strips of color
information on the rear spines of the extrusions, and the physical paint is
transferred onto the side surfaces of the aluminum rods with sable brushes. I
can only observe the creation of each painting as a series of almost digital
elements of color. The intensely hued two dimensional surface of the cartoons
don’t actually evolve into my finished pieces. Rather, by being painted on the
aluminum extrusions, they metamorphose into unique three dimensional instruments
resonating with radiance.
Some artists use light to expose the hidden cracks and flaws of our world. In my
Reflected-Light Painting I use light to reveal a universe full of vibrant color.
In my works the painted surfaces of themselves do not connote a visual
sensation, they are, however, the source of the reflected light that brings the
luminous image into existence.
Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge the
photograph and view the artist's narrative on the steps requires in the process.