Head in the Clouds
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Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
As an anxious kid, everything said or done could be distorted and inflated over time in my mind. Consequences of such small actions grew disproportionately in importance. I would focus my breath downward to avoid adding the resulting force to any destructive winds in the far distance. Pulling from this experience, I direct the viewer's’ attention to the small elements in painting that built up to create tension in a painting; the vague expectations and worries that interrupt the experience of space. The process is mainly working the surface of my paintings to set an explorable stage for the viewer to experience. While not immediately hostile, I integrate certain tensions and disruptors to make the subject matter quietly unsettling.
These paintings present natural subject matter alongside geometry suitable to the form, allowing hard edged forms to upset the flow of the painting’s surface. Each shape communicates with the viewer, telling them a story by setting tone, rather than through a narrative. Peter Doig’s artwork is able to encapsulate what these feelings of tense atmospheric storytelling were to me. Doig has this sense of tension in his paintings that is translated through this work, while still retaining that vague distant turmoil. Conceptual influences are derived from Angelina Gualdoni’s landscape forms. The subject of her work can take many forms, while the imagery of the work is concerned with emotion and atmosphere.
I focus on imagery that includes clouds or complex surfaces. Clouds being a symbol of constant change and uncontrollable movement, their physicality merges with my intent. The undulating, curving and rolling form of clouds provides me with a platform to work through complex visual ideas and refined forms that this subject endorses.
While working on this body of work, I’ve been learning that my anxiety over the potential of negative interpersonal interactions is not rooted in any sort of selflessness, but as a way of fighting change. By expressing these ideas as natural phenomenon, there is an acceptance of the difficult emotional processes these feelings represent in daily life. The idea isn’t so much that the paintings are answer to any big question so much as a discussion to be had.
Danielle Muzina, James Bryant, Timothy Martin, Sarah Martin
Oil on Canvas or Wood, Dimensions Vary
All photos courtesy of the artist
Vincent, DaKota, "Head in the Clouds" (2018). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 28.