Sunday, November 2, 2008

Abstract Painting


Going along with the theme from my previous larger painting, I’d like to continue to use music and the feelings it evokes as my motivation. I think that movement is a natural part of music. Physical action is involved in its production and its elicited response. What I love most about progressive techno, or trance, is the standard buildup as a key element. A lot of music uses this change in pace and volume in order to inspire a certain feeling, however in progressive techno not only is this its goal, but the feeling is most often one of elation or ecstasy. The music makes me happy, it gets my adrenaline pumping and it’s these emotions that make me want to hear more. The music plays on this anticipation, almost as if to tease you, and once it reaches your final thread of anxiety, it releases. I’d almost call it orgasmic as it focuses on a climax. It’s not something I consider sexual, but it might be an appropriate comparison. This might be why drugs like MDMA are so popular with this type of music scene because it does play off emotion and sensation. I want to be able to convey that same feeling through an abstract painting. I realize the idea might be similar to my previous painting, but I think the method of expressing that idea is very different.


I considered the composition of my painting because I felt that direction and perspective would help to portray movement. I also knew that I wanted color to be a major element in my painting. I associate vibrant colors with techno music and the vibrant emotions it elicits. It was also important for me to show the feeling outside of the music. I wanted to show the heat and confusion that one can experience when at a concert or club.


After outlining my composition I began by painting what would represent the feeling that is the result of the music. I decided that dark oranges, yellows and reds would help to portray this heat. Lines that swirl through the movement of the heat would offer the elements of confusion and freedom. Throughout the entire painting I was listening to music, there wasn’t a single moment of silence.
I began working on that music part of the piece. I broke the main figure into parts that would shape the movement of the music as it becomes progressively faster. Within each individual shape, there is color which is representative of the different sounds that occur in each beat. Some colors are more vibrant than others, but in all they are collectively quite bright. The movements with which I applied the paint were very controlled at first, but I realized that without more movement in my strokes, the movement of the music could be lost. Other than the overall shape of the composition, there are no details that were premeditated. Colors and strokes were all instinctual and I felt that the result was fairly representative of this.


I was pretty happy with the critique. I was glad to hear that a lot of people felt as if they were moving, or at least that the painting had movement. I wouldnt say I was disappointed to hear that people refered to the colors as reminiscent of the '80s and '90s. I did like the "Saved by the Bell" reference. I was thinking about Kelly Kapowski throughtout the entire process. I wasnt to happy when people saw the colors as tube, or very close to it. In fact, no colors were straight from the bottle, and most mere mixed with mulitple colors. But if thats the appearance they have, so be it. I did like the flesh references to the reddish areas. These spaces were meant to represent the physical repsonse to music, and flesh is fairly relevant. I did like this process of not revealing the subject of your painting. I think it allowed people to develop their own opinions more freely.

1 comment:

Chick Byrne said...

Hey, Zach. i think it is really impressive the way so much of your painting, even though it is totally abstract, required a lot of forethought. it shows how much planing you put into it and i think it came out well in the end. it seems like the class really felt what you wanted them to. sweet job man!