Hey Denis I hope you are great. I am having the worst time trying to figure this site out. I would love to get a (no hold back crit from you). I really mean it. I have moved into quite new territory and have been getting a lot of hate mail for it. What are your thoughts. I really respect them all
Hey Jason, it's a tragic waste of time trying to figure out motivations on the internet, too many weirdos and wannabees who confuse free speech and constructive criticism with utter vulgarity, flaming ignorance and twisted bad manners; and found among a lot of really hard working and respectful artists such as yourself. As to the painting, when I view a new piece by you (or for that matter, any of my friends) I look at it in context of all your work as far back as I can remember. There is a lot going on in this one, yet the elements all work together very well. The extraordinary detail and heightened sense of reality contrast strongly with the impossibility of the absurd. Together they create a tension further exacerbated by the much looser painting elsewhere. Same goes with flatness versus dimensionality, bright colors alongside dark colors, symbolism defined by realism, and dreams fractionalizing illusions of alternate realities. I like very much that you reached into the area we had spoken of a while back, integrating free paint, abstraction and tightened realism in a multi-level narrative that integrates the several variant areas of hyperrealism that any number of other painters choose to isolate and concentrate on. It's an ambitious direction, as it challenges some of the very rules that each genre depend upon, i.e. treatment of light, tonality, color shifts, expression, balance, composition, depth, chiaroscuro, dimension, movement in shade, and all the rest of it. I don't think that it is possible to totally abridge all the rules and maintain stability or consistency in your work; however, that is not to say that I think you are anywhere near that precipice. I instead think that you are in a tenuous position similar to that of certain impressionists who indeed had their detractors too... something bound to happen when you challenge the norm while at the same time creating work that has no comparatives anywhere (at least I haven't seen any!) Since painting (with the notable exception of court painters) was never a popularity contest, you put yourself out there as do the rest of us. Sure, the criticism will come, and eventually it evens out as your work becomes more and more "understood" by more and more viewers and other painters. To avoid that, one must compromise in producing more easily understood works which are boringly repetitive and relatively no different than anything else done by your peers. It is a safe and common road walked by too many otherwise talented artists, and not one which I think befits your dedicated compassion for openly exploring expression and unabridged creativity.
So, as previously stated, strong work, nice one Jason! Denis
Wow Denis. I always love to read your writing. I think a lot of these new pieces were born out of teaching in Rome for the summer. I didn't come back the same person. I always love to hear what you have to say. I can't say that I am near what is in my head, but getting their slowly.