A discovery turns into an artistic vision

Over a period of three years I have photographed the telephone poles in the city of Berkeley, California, because over time fliers of advertisements are transformed into remnants of paper tidbits to which I am drawn because of their abstract nature.

As new fliers are stapled to the poles, old ones are torn off, leaving behind fragments held in place by which they were fastened. It is these snippets of randomness that have evolved from just being a captured photographic image, by becoming an artistic vision, a concept that is replicated on canvas or on a wooden pallet.

The eye that sees you, 2006

By not only gathering photographic evidence but also actual source material from telephone poles and from billboards, especially walls that were plastered with posters; larger pieces of art could now considered possible.

HOWL, 2008

Multi-Medium on canvas, 36 x 36 inches (91.44 x 91.44 cm)

The transitional period from working with just representational photographs to actually attempting a painting or a collage painting occurred in stages that continued for almost four years, beginning with HOWL, a painting which took 2½ years to complete.

Just before HOWLwas finished, another canvas was started, using materials torn from billboards in Berkeley and Emeryville and applied in a more graphic design application, rather then using the embodiment approach as with Orderly Confusion.

Beauty Re-defined, 2008

Multi-Medium on canvas, 24 x 24 inches (60.96 x 60.96 cm)

The key distinction between the first two paintings lies in the usage of the collage material as being the initial surface upon which the painting is build and the word ‘BEAUTY’ is spray painted on. In comparison to HOWL, the illusion of torn materials were first painted, then newsprint was adhered to, only to be torn off, before adding the local newspaper covers simulating posters.

Before HOWL was considered completed, the first four lines from Allen Ginsberg’s 1956 poem Howl were added, bringing together the social implications of the newspaper image and purpose of the painting to which it had evolved into. Though Beauty Re-defined was also finished with a handwritten commentary, it however reflects graffiti by the hand of a stranger.

Orderly Confusion, 2008

Multi-Medium on canvas, 10 x 10 inches (25.40 x 25.40 cm)

The smallest of the painting in this genre series also represents the truest forms of embodiment textural qualities of the telephone poles one finds in Berkeley. In order to achieve true embodiment and visual authenticity, an integral part of this collage painting, actual pieces of ephemeral material were collected from telephone poles I had photographed, along with various rusted and almost new staples and then reassembled in a design of my choosing. Paying careful attention to duplicating reality, any painterly evidence had been carefully disguised as not to draw immediate attention to it.

So far each piece of art has had its own individual approach, interpreting how to define what had been seen and photographed and Pangaea is no different, despite its much cleaner and highly refined graphic layout.


Multi-Medium on wooden pallet, 24 x 36 inches (60.96 x 91.44 cm)

The materials used came from telephone poles, billboards, and a large number of posters that had been plastered on walls at a number of different construction sites and were carefully torn from these locations with the intent of using only specific pieces of interest from the actual posters.

Since no other materials other than the collected pieces of papers had being used, careful attention was being paid to the interaction of each piece and its overall placement in the composition as a whole. Making sure that visual movement and points of key interest was given with no more and no less of attention then the piece next to it, even though one item by far outshined all others and remains the main focal point in the composition.

There are plans for a few more collage paintings, especially one very large endeavor, measuring 4 x 6 feet (121.92x182.88 cm) in size and utilizing source material and paint.


xxancroft said...

Egmont - just to say I really admire your work. Something Japanese calligraphic about the intensity you generate with a fairly limited pallete of textures and colours.


Chandra Garsson said...

Beautiful and brave. I love the photo of the postered wall in Berkeley, which reminds me of my first artist's statement, and an early impetus in my own work. I am inspired to post the old statement somewhere.

Late Blooming Bohemian said...

Thankyou for becoming a follower of my blog! I very much look forward to visiting yours, reading your words and enjoying your artwork. Even with a brief visit I see a strong "voice" in your works. I am still working out what Blogspot is all about and how it works...but am already envisioning another blog with my artwork and my thoughts and ideas about art. I have been on myspace and am tired of it. It has been difficult to meet the people I want to connect with in that context and already feel I will find lots of like souls here. I will be reading you

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