One of my new digital drawings featured in 1340 ART Magazine Q2 // 2018. This work is from a new series that is a painterly response to aesthetics of data visualization — the increasingly common way that we pictorialize and seek to understand the contemporary world. The full series can be found here: http://jjtmstudio.com/paintings-2/digital-drawings/
These monochromes explore and conflate the desire most of us have to touch paintings (and which is typically forbidden) and the way in which we must use touch to interact with images on screen (via touch screen technology).
What if that impulse to touch a painting was the subject of the painting, and the nature of gestures involved the marks and composition (tapping, double tap, pinch, scroll, and swipe).
High relief impasto, piped through tubes, represents those touches and gestures.
There is an intentional irony in the reduction of the pictorial and illusionary space with the use of the monochromatic palette and an heightened representation of the haptic impulse through the decorative impasto.
Gestures by Children and Adults on Touch Tables and Touch Walls in a Public Science Center: http://init.cise.ufl.edu/sites/default/files/Anthony-et-al-IDC2016.pdf
When Art Moves the Eyes: A Behavioral and Eye-Tracking Study:
How Do We See Art: An Eye-Tracker Study:
During recent weeks in the studio I’ve realized there is a sub-text weaving through my current paintings that has relationship to high and low “taste” and the nature of decoration. Decoration implies the domestic and not the quotidian but an idealized and “gussied up” version of the everyday from the pages of an interior design magazine. Taste is then implied. High style, low style, street style, and the choices made which reflect on personal taste and the quality of that taste.
The paintings I’m making right now following my own post-analog rules are dense with pattern and form (the sgraffito layers require it) and those element recall the impulsives of the Pattern and Decoration movement. Ben Johnson describes their paintings in this way: “Pattern and Decoration did not distinguish between background and foreground, nor did it emphasize specific aspects of the composition. Rather, much as the abstract paintings of the time, it covered the canvas from edge to edge in an all-encompassing design. At the outset of the movement, Pattern and Decoration artists reacted against the severe lines and restrained compositions of minimalism. Yet, they often retained the same ‘flattening grid’ frequently employed by Minimalist painters.”
My references have been very similar. Pattern and Decoration artists “looked at Roman and Byzantine mosaics in Italy, Islamic tiles in Spain and North Africa. They went to Turkey for flower-covered embroideries, to Iran and India for carpets and miniatures, and to Manhattan’s Lower East Side for knockoffs of these. Then they took everything back to their studios and made a new art from it.”
Decisions about flatness and differentiation between the background and foreground are highly relevant in my new works as is the focal point of compositions. Some of my works in progress flatten the entire surface and some create the optical illusion of dimensionality with simple shadow effects. I’m looking at early computer art and 80’s graphics, Persian miniatures and engraved Medieval manuscripts, art deco patterns, and electronic circuit boards.
Jani is the two-faced Daruma Doll I painted for the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, Bloom 2014 Exhibit and Auction (May 24, 2014).
My Daruma for the Bloom 2014 project is a conjunction of Japanese and Western artistic traditions. I created a Jaunus-faced Daruma by combining two dolls such that there is a forward and backward looking face on each side. (Janus was the two-headed Roman God of Time and figures as a theme and metaphor in Western European literature.) As a painter, I also wanted my Bloom Daruma to speak about the classical Western tradition of oil painting and not about the decorative arts, graphic or industrial design. The surface of “Jani” was painted freely, and covered with unplanned and expressive brush marks using an oil and wax medium. As per Japanese tradition, the eyes were painted last. This Daruma is complete in that it has two eyes. But, because there is only one eye on each face, “Jani” remains open to wishing, dreaming and the manifestation of intentions.