the storm, 2022
Title of Work: The Storm
2022, Size: 11.5 x 12 in, Mixed media (acrylic, paper, wood panel, rusted screws)
Created in the signature rough-edged/distressed style of the artist, this work consists of the fractured image of a human skull set in side profile and painted in light impasto with acrylic on paper and mounted on 1.5-inch solid wood panel. Each individual fragment of the image is warped, and impaled by a metal screw/ bolt that rises about half to three-quarters of an inch above the surface of the panel — the head of each metal screw in turn boasting an uneven streak/blob of paint, thus forming a separate (and even more fractured) shape that appears to float above the surface of the wooden panel (and above the primary image of the work). Keeping in line with the idea of deriving abstraction from realism, the layered fracturing sets in the work a stuttering in rhythm and balance and gives the work its unique quality.
For reasons I have yet to unearth, the image of a large hotel key rack — the type you would normally find in a hotel reception — holds a special place in my memory. Passing through countless hotel reception desks, security gates, administration offices and check posts over the years, there’s a very particular experience I go through when I see pegs or slots lined up and keys organised on a holder, especially a large one, and especially when I‘m the one waiting of the access to one of those pegged (or unpegged) keys. As mundane as it might be considered, I find key holders particularly fascinating as an object —in purpose, function, design and significance. The idea of organising rooms, boxes, compartments, enclosures etc. and then locking them up and putting a collection of their keys in one place is, in my mind, a perfect model of how we use our mind.
Keeping in line with some of the themes and materials I’ve been experimenting with like the layering of ideas of memory, language, meaning, perception and emotion, it seems a natural progression to merge these together to create something new, and hopefully unique.