Paintings on vinyl 1994
Southern California has transformed leisure into a compelling experience, and everything seems to be mediated between celebrity or fantasy. Life in this seemingly limitless, energy-swallowing habitat requires a realignment of expectations and an acclimation to the present, life in the sunshine.
The subjects of my paintings are those familiar objects, such as televisions, computer components and stereo equipment. Or, they are simple architectures from buildings to suburban tract-housing, the still-life where a flower arrangement maintains a unique plastic beauty when painted on this industrial modern age material, transparent vinyl plastic. This is a significant choice because of it's see-through quality, it is kitsch and modern. It is important to see through the painting. Previously, paintings were painted on opaque surfaces such as canvas, paper or wood panels.
WHAT IS THIS ?
Here the vinyl surface conforms to the stretcher-bars as with a conventional canvas. The stretcher-bars become protected and preserved by the vinyl. Occasionally the frame is visible, other times it is obscured by the opacity of the painted subject. These paintings depend on the wall underneath for it's diffused and reflected light as well as it's support. Light and shadow play an important role, blurring the boundaries between itself and sculpture or itself and film. For this association with film I continue to explore the way light passes through the surface, like celluloid film or the way light is omitted from projection (this is wen the surface is opaque and not necessarily black). Luminosity and intensity are enhanced by the synthetic ground as well as the light and space created between the wall and the surface of the painting.
These paintings introduce a way in which words are condensed back into the space of the single letter re-creating a visual icon. The words once transformed to these single stacked letters introduce an icon “alphabet”. The traditional composition of a sentence will now appear as an icon composition. Utilising the English (26 letter) alphabet and building upon that, another alphabet as immense as there are words. These new words, holding the content of sentences, conserve space. The problem with the single character words is that it is difficult to decipher the order in which the “word paintings” read. That means, the lateral (left-to-right) reading is lost and the procession/sequence is obscured. The new letters have definitive meaning unlike the old letters and yet they possess an obscured relationship with their meaning. Written words given at simultaneous intervals is comparable to a cacophonous sound or when delirium interferes with our cognitive abilities. The desire to abbreviate and condense language to make it ,less time and space consuming, and more convenient. At the same time there is the desire to change their function or escape from a didactic relationship in which language is used. These paintings invite you to receive written language without the associated process of comprehension: pure forms, pure icons.
These paintings represent the windows in a home in west hollywood california. The titles of the paintings we Agoraphobia, Zenophobia, and other phobias. The window paintings illustrated these phobias in metaphor. Featured in Blum and Poe gallery in Santa Monica, Los Angeles.
In this series, furniture stands in metonymically for social and psychological environments. The familiar household furnishings in the series, comprised of lawn-chairs and patio sets, reference the domestic refuge
Evoking both leisure and exoticism, certain of these resort tableaus also remind us that, removed from the domestic comfort zone, we are subject to the volatile forces of tropical nature. The depictions of up-ended lawn-chairs graphically deconstruct the illusion of tranquil paradisiacal escape.
Here are a series of plants made with material recycled from a move of my household, inspired by a film called Adaptation by Spike Jonze written by Charlie Kauffman, the flowers are orchids along with other tropical plants.
Mixed medium massage
The following piece is a quote from Marshall McLuhan.
This maybe the last work of art I make.
This maybe the last work of art I make.
This page serves as an archive of artwork by James FISH. More to come.