Studio Progress Fall 2011

New paintings completed during the fall 2011 term at UW-Madison, where I am pursuing my MFA degree in 2D painting and drawing. To describe my work, I’d like to examine the introductory quotes from Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, a novel by Tom Robbins.

“I want God, I want poetry, I want danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”[1]
-Aldous Huxley

“Sometimes naked / Sometimes mad / Now the scholar / Now the fool / Thus they appear on earth: / The free men.”
-Hindu verse

The quotes above immediately struck me as relevant to my art work because they describe a world of contradiction. Those who understand and live in the contradiction, who live life paradoxically, are free. Those living paradoxically do not take anything too seriously because they see the contradiction in their actions. To live life paradoxically is also a theme of Oscar Wilde, who wrote, “…the way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test reality we must see it on the tight rope. When the verities become acrobats, we can judge them.”[2]

I see this as directly relevant to my work specifically in the figural language I am developing. I have been describing an awkwardness in my figures that expresses certain contradictions in gender, blending of human and non-human characteristics, and distortions of proportion of the human form. These character traits could be described as visual contradictions or paradoxical figural representations that approach absurdity but also hold some truth- sometimes naked and sometimes mad to borrow from the quote above.

These characters live in a perfect little paradoxical world. They are free.



[1] http://www.huxley.net/bnw/seventeen.html

[2] http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Picture_of_Dorian_Gray



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