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Placed: Artist Statement

Post #1644 • February 19, 2014, 10:45 AM


On The Corner By The Tracks, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

As a painter, I keep returning to methods that make the application of material prominent. I use a lot of paint, in other words, and when working on paper I put down colors with a brush in a way that makes it obvious that colors have been put down with a brush. These methods would probably lend themselves better to abstraction, but my artistic impulses get fired up when I see something that calls out to be painted, so I end up using figurative subjects from everyday life - houses in the neighborhood, cafes where I buy a cup of coffee, drawing groups that I attend.

A lot of very smart things go on in the art world. Artists are making objects or non-objects or semi-objects that critique and interrogate and comment upon all manner of societal and political issues. I am not doing a very smart thing.

Nevertheless I think I'm doing a very human thing. There's an evident link between the application of material and the state of the artist's consciousness. How that link forms is a fascinating mystery. Critics sometimes try to map this out precisely, resulting in the same kind of trifling analysis you get from graphology. But all the same, some essential, ineffable qualities of the artist get translated to the surface. It's often the artist's finer qualities, his affections, sensitivities, and more existentially lucid moments. In my case the paint reflects enthusiasm for the fact that I'm painting. Again, this is not a very smart thing, but the more smart things I see in art, the harder I want to push into intuition, instinct, and pleasure.

An old Zen saying says, "Unformed people delight in the gaudy and in novelty. Cooked people delight in the ordinary." Cooked properly, that is to say, by an attentive life. These works were painted in a simple way and are meant to be enjoyed in a simple way. I hope you do so.

Franklin Einspruch: Placed opens 6-8 PM, February 27, 2014 at Ohio State University, Lima and runs through April 4.




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