Dotson and Jarmon extract images from popular culture to create paintings that approach abstraction. Both artists use recognizable images to welcome the viewer into a more intimidating art-dialogue. Without an art background, talking about abstraction can be daunting. The princesses and the cars dissolve a layer of art-world pretention. The commercial subjects give the viewer a jumping off point, thereby creating an environment where the conversation can warm into more esoteric art-speak about abstraction, form, color, and spatial relationships.
Michael Dotson sources images from screenshots of Disney franchise stills. The well-known characters are deconstructed in Photoshop and airbrushed onto panel. He strips down details and alters traditional colors, transforming the characters into hazy (and sultry) apparitions. NASCAR and consumer car crashes inspire Royal Jarmon's paintings. His recent series contorts cars like bonsai kitten kits. Color has a powerful psychological impact on people’s behaviors and decisions. By using the colors chosen by marketing designers, Jarmon’s paintings attract on-lookers in the same way advertisements do. However, dissimilarly, deliberate distortions (in space and perspective) add a layer of cynicism to the paintings’ commercial subjects.