I rolled out some paper and taped it up on the wall to have a freestyle session.
My initial thoughts were to draw a representation of a Little Flapper painting. Then I started visualizing the paper as being a gallery with the painting hanging in the space. After that progression and thinking about making a viewer to be in the space, my thoughts turned to Instagram and its many viewers around the world. I could talk more about the possibilities that I am mulling over now, but in the mean time I’ve already started another one of these drawings which will show more wall space of my future solo exhibition.
As mentioned in earlier posts, the “Little Flapper” series is inspired by the flappers of the early 1900’s who presented a thoroughly modern and carefree style at the time. The zoot suit was popular among the fellows as it broke the rules of form, fit, and patterning. These same ideas, which are apparent in my paintings, enable another level of mechanical aesthetics. What I mean by this is that if it makes it easier to visualize the canvas as a painting’s “suit”, then the exaggerated lapels are manifest in the flapper corners which are unmistakably dynamic.
Another facet of curiosity about canvas presentation was seen in a book of Basquiat’s paintings while attending CCAD in the mid 1990’s. His ambivalent non-square and ruffly finished works to this day are totally mesmerizing to me. That facet of his work is what inspired my original attempts at purposefully questioning the idea of a painting as a cleanly shaped and framed square. Some people might be more influenced by his imagery, but I see shapes and colors and energy.
This fascination of breaking the rules about an in the box aesthetic as the norm continues to make me investigate and question what is truly visually exciting. For myself as a creator I can’t help but experiment with some restraint, as this idea could be pushed to the extent of non tangibility. Perhaps this is just a phase, as I suppose all investigations on an individual basis usually are. In the least by allowing myself to experiment with a process of intrigue I hope to navigate a path which is challenging and wholesome in the pursuit.
As far as my personal “imagery” goes, that is another can of worms. Around 2012 I set a goal to use as little tangible imagery as possible, while eliminating words and type all together. In place of imagery I wanted to try and use color, shape, and space. While properly inspired by Clyfford Still to seek the vertical, this formal design is still in use up to my current projects. I must admit that the mark making of Abstract Expressionists continues to elicit a response when I’m engaged in the process of painting. It is also of note that I’m not totally deterring or eliminating words and images as they continue to make appearances from time to time.
If you add that all up it looks like a strange brew, but that’s how I roll and that’s how it’s always been. If you know me, then you know. Like flipping your middle finger and turning your hand around the wrong way to make an ugly and weird ass bird. Why would anybody ever do that? I don’t know exactly but it’s part of the same reason these new paintings have flaps.
For some reason I was visualizing crudely painted human forms with ink tattoos drawn on them, in ode to the images one might see on the wall of a tattoo salon. Perhaps something more will come of this, but if it doesn’t these were a blast to make. The other images are under the “drawings” tab in the menu…