Sunday, March 20, 2011

Abstracted landscape

Abstacted Landscape, 36" by 24", acrylic on canvas

The scene I chose for this assignment is the abandoned lot in Chinatown that’s been fenced off to impede public access. At first I was intrigued with how vegetation was starting to retake the area but that seemed a little cliché. As me and my prof talked about it further, it seemed that I was more enticed by the fact that this space was fenced off. It was off limits and that seemed to make me wonder why? Was it dangerous? What made this space so special that it had to be fenced off? The only evidence of someone using the space was that there was graffiti on the surrounding structures. To evoke the lure I felt for the space, I used the tagged letterforms from the graffiti and abstracted them. I matched some of the colours used from the tagging as well. I composed the forms in a spontaneous way to get the sense of excitement/piqued interest in exploring this forbidden area. It is shallow space but there’s some ambiguity because the forms overlap and create thin layers which takes the forms out of their context and asks the viewer to experience them in an unfamiliar way. I then overlaid a pattern of squares that makes reference to the chain link fence used at the location. I wanted to obscure parts of the painting to create a little more depth but also to reinforce the notion of a partially blocked off space. The fencing creates and interesting simultaneity of depth versus flat in the picture. I created this painting without using brushes or any “painterly” means. I think this painting is more successful then my still life because it doesn’t look like paint (ie: no drips or brush strokes). It was a tedious process to mask off the forms with green painter’s tape and to use a roller to apply the paint, but once I removed the tape, I was quite thrilled with the results. I could see this painting being a large mural in a public space.

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