Aug '04 - May '05
As I mentioned before, I'm working with the concept of adaptive use and applying it to art. The idea is that there exists a category of artifacts that have reached a certain age to which they are no longer useful in their existing state. The value in these objects comes from their age rather than their actual materiality. My intention is provide an alternative to preservation. Restoration is not the answer. Do we really want to live in a make believe atmosphere of the past? In addition, preservation is in effect simply slowing down the inevitable process of decay. My argument is that age itself should not be regarded as a determination to historically preserve every artifact that has been lucky enough to outlive its peers. In fact, by preserving only those things that have reached a certain maturity are we not creating a false picture of the past? On the other hand, the past can not be wiped clean to make way for the future. A progressive layering system must remain intact in order for the general public to perceive time.
I've purchased several paintings from ebay, flea markets, and second hand stores. To me these paintings are like certain structures that reach the 100 year mark. There's nothing notable about these pieces. They were not painted by famous artists, nor are they of exlemplary quality. In general they are not pieces you would like to hang up in your house, but there is something not right with throwing them away.
I looked at each piece individually and produced a series of iterations in photoshop that started to change the painting in a variety of ways. I started working with what was existing, but was not hindered by the thought of destroying parts of it. I've just started to paint on my first piece. It is appropriately titled “father time.”
I'm posting a picture of the original painting (1979), my photoshop study, and a process photo about 2-3 hours after I started painting. I'll probably need about 4-6 more hours to complete the piece. The process of painting on an existing piece of work has been exciting. During the drying times, I've been sketching up my next piece. The original is an unfinished bust of a woman. I'm guessing it was painted about 30-50 years ago. The existing image is so strong that it has been a real difficult piece to work with. More to come later. ]
Final PS Iteration