How to Bend Reality
So, I’d originally wanted to make new smaller works for a summer type show in Copenhagen. But for one reason or another the museum works from that epic Herning show with Jon Rafman should have a city audience in Denmark? I really feel like they are some of the best works I’ve ever made, mainly because working toward a museum show there is this kind of ultimate freedom in what you can do. It feels pressureless in some way, if only life was always like that…
I usually think when making work that it’s often been the goal of painting to capture something about the time in which you live. Today we all know images are totally manipulated, but most of this is buried in the editing so we don’t exactly see it. Magazines are retouched, face filters augment the real, nothing is as it is. I’m ok with that because artifice is interesting to me. But as a strategy for simplistic, human gestural painting - like many before us, I wanted the digital to be clunky, to be explicitly unhidden. So, you can see the source file has been totally fucked with by a painter. The source here has been international news images. So important one day, useless the next. To unhide in software is to reveal the clunky reality behind the highly edited. There is something in that, that I think we come to know as painting or it’s contemporary deviation in the last ten years. Perfection and rendering in art is great, but it also bores us after a while. Probably because it locks us out of its making. In a similar way, the digital paintings are woven in the USA using only 4 colors - red, green, blue and yellow threads, like the way a screen works (but lasting a hell of a lot longer). It’s an older process and also when viewed up close reveals it’s structure, nothing is hidden. All the making is there to be seen / known.
Personally, as an artist who loves history it means something to me to show work like this in Denmark with respect to the Cobra movement that it was pivotal in developing. So, I guess in some ways I hope history collides with the present in some small meaningful way. That painting has become a kind of flood level to which we can map changes as the cycles ebb and flow. So this is where it’s at for now.
With best wishes,