The envelopes and letters in my paintings are old and worn. Some have been repeatedly folded, others stashed out of sight for years. Some offer nostalgic reminders of things that no longer exist; others are from bygone friends. They represent relationships that were maintained across distances and referential dialogues extending through many years. In old letters we find loved ones, parents, old friends, and our old selves.
These paintings are an inquiry into the complexities of our relationships. The visual shifts in the work between what is written and what is left blank asks the viewer to think about what we keep and what we cast off. This friction nudges the boundaries between language, painting and abstraction.
I have been working with text for many years, but recently my work with text has taken a new direction. Where I previously collaged the text, in these pictures the text, stamps, postmarks, etc. are all painted. Previously the text could be read, now it is mostly illegible and where the color was subtle, now it is vivid. Before, the pictures were framed under glass, now there is no frame. I believe these changes create an unexpected, yet more intimate experience for the viewer.
By suggesting the symbiotic relationship between our past and our present, my paintings present life not as now vs. then, but as an inescapable circle of time and memory and the antithesis of our digital society.
i am from a family of non-artists. a family of many parts and blends and one of kinds. the core of most of my work has been defined by this. i have tried to find a way through art to help make sense of what was hard to see. i have found inspiration and joy from folk who make art. and that has felt like home and community.
Jon Goodman has been practicing photogravure full time since 1976. He worked with Aperture and the Paul Strand Foundation to produce Photogravure Portfolios of the early work of Paul Strand, Edward Steichen, and early British photography. Since 1984 he has operated Jon Goodman~Photogravure, devoted to producing editions in photogravure for publishers, artists, photographers and museums. His work can be found in many public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bibliotheque National in Paris. His studio is located in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. more recently, goodman has been making carbon prints, which is in fact the second part in the making of a photogravure plate. most of the prints represented here are carbon prints.
a core part of the human experience is contemplation of our place in the cosmos and humanity’s prospects for the distant future which will likely play out far beyond the planet earth. as a historian i highlight the cultural participation in these aspects of life by curating the space age museum and shooting photos to document relics of roadside americana that reflect related themes in their natural landscapes.
forming space age museum, i have teamed up with my father, to discover and preserve cultural evidence of how everyday people participated in the adventure of space exploration during the 20th century. as part of the mission i have travelled across the country more than a dozen times, often in my spaceship - a 1980’s toyota van shooting photos to document folk renderings of rocket ships, robots, and flying saucers along america’s backroads and blue highways.
My intent is to create paintings of emotional intensity that communicate to visual layers of the psyche. For a single painting, I first do many preparatory, mostly geometric, drawings in colored pencil, choosing one that might work as a painting. The drawing is then enlarged and transferred onto a panel.
I use egg tempera medium on masonite panels which have been traditionally gessoed with whiting and rabbit skin glue. Layers of thinned, tempered pigment are then applied to the panels to create depth and brilliance of color.
Sometimes, nature-inspired or architectural images appear in the paintings, but I've gravitated towards total abstraction of late.
A painting goes through many changes, and is done when I feel its colors and shapes interact expressively, and create a lively, balanced composition with complex spatial relationships.
J.S. Bach, geometric abstraction and the natural world inspire my work.
Dave Laro (b. White River Junction, VT 1971) has spent the better part of the past two decades quietly, almost covertly creating a storybook whose pages take form as an amalgam of Americana and pop culture improbably brought together at the hands of a master craftsman.
As story teller, Laro unsuspectingly lures the viewer into his work, first with an immediate response to the visual impact of color, composition, and craftsmanship, and then with a blindsided hook that makes it impossible to walk away without trying to get inside of the artist’s head. At times, Laro’s “unwritten stories” run as deep as the viewer dares to go, while others reveal with the simplicity of a nursery rhyme. Much of Laro’s materials are retrieved from long forgotten relics that find their way to an attic corner, basement shelf, or if lucky, to a flea market where the artist may opt to give them a second chance. Laro’s work breathes new life into the abandoned in a way that can be uncharacteristically provocative, politically suggestive, and unquestionably deliberate.
In subject matter, the paintings combine both real and imagined scenarios that are colored by my experience of life lived in the U.S. and South Africa. The imagery reflects a renewed interest in the representational world and its unique narrative power to convey a story in its own words.
Themes and ideas that emerge in the paintings depend on feeling rooted in one's surroundings: a familiarity with the distinctive rhythms of life in the U.S. and a greater sense of identification with American culture and history. All this has influenced my work providing fresh impetus in bridging the divide between 'old world' concerns and those of the 'new.'
Paper is a common element in all of my work. I like giving refuse -- made either by mother nature or human ingenuity -- a second chance.
Inspired by the gift of a Palomino Blackwing 602 pencil and an efficient crank-handled pencil sharpener I rediscovered drawing. Muses found in old black and white photographs are rendered upon old ephemera; envelopes, letters and, calling cards.
I am a materialist/formalist and I believe in the power of objects as a way of constructing a space of experience. In that space I hope to generate a variety of meanings. The sculpture I make may use domestic objects or salvaged objects from the discarded past or new material, all handled usually in a formal manner. With these I hope to create the space of wildness and revelation, the space of a story or the space of remembrance and memory, or it may create a kind of space that makes me move differently when I approach it or move through it. I want the objects or materials I use to have a kinesthetic effect on me, through their intrinsic qualities and how I find a new use for them. That is, I want my sculptures to do something in an action or a feeling that produces instability that takes the form of an opening or clearing of thought and feeling. Some meanings may move into that clearing and possibly in that way it moves beyond my desires or me and into the larger world of experience.