About Like a Great Black Fire
LIKE A GREAT BLACK FIRE
Thematically, Like a Great Black Fire investigates belonging—what belongs and what does not. Observing the urban environment, we see a constant positioning of natural/organic elements with synthetic/man-made constructs. Green areas are isolated within a grid of buildings, which eventually give way to rural stretches, mountain ranges or oceans. In this series, the organic/natural element dominates the synthetic in an elongated landscape. Here the synthetic elements are outweighed by the landscape, they become disruptive and do not belong.
This new series sees an introduction of flat black geometric shapes, synthetic elements, which reference the hard-edged grid of the city and its overflow of man made objects and constructions. These shapes serve as interruptions that create questions in the viewer, a mystification that causes an urge to identify. These disturbances call the viewer to bring their own images/ideas to answer the question “What is that?” In answering this question personal meaning becomes invested since the individual draws on their personal and individualized references from their own unique experience. The meaning for them is at once external (the painting) and internal (their own unique reference).
Extending this landscape across a series of separate canvases has created the possibility for traditional linear consumption of the images but also a non-linear understanding of the narrative. In a linear time-line this means that the image on the first canvas on the left depicts an early event in a subsequent group of events in the following canvases to the right. The separate pieces become vignettes that occur “one at a time”.
This work can also be read as one painting in several pieces, a polyptych that crosses many separate canvases. In this way the imagery no longer looks like a procession of events in a linear time-line but rather a group of events that happen simultaneously. In this non-linear perspective we realize a greater multiplication of the figure that is repeated throughout the work.
In a present moment each person can be seen to exist as a multiplicity. Like A Great Black Fire observes the repetition of self-portraiture as a relationship between the many multiple roles played in the transformative events of personal history vs. the presentation of our self/personality to others.
“Every day new souls kept springing up beside the host of old ones; making clamorous demands and creating confusion; and now I saw as clearly as in a picture what illusion my former personality had been.”
-Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)