Artist in Residence
This new series of paintings I am working on started as a simple technical exercise to see how accurately I could paint a CMYK color separation. My work has always been heavily influenced by my love of the aesthetics and process of silkscreening (BA Printmaking from RISD, Class of 2005) but in the past I have worked by juxtaposing layers of separate graphic opaque images, building up them up on the painting almost to the point of abstraction. This new work also involves time intensive layering but instead of each individual layer obscuring what is below the individual layers of transparent glazing rely on each other to create the final image.
This process is causing a major shift in how I think about my work. As opposed to treating painting as the creation of an image or representation it feels more like the creation of an object or sculpture. This has had an impact both on my increased focus on materials as well as the imagery that has made its way into my work. Each new painting has involved some sort of experiment with the order, opacity, and mediums I use while still restricting myself to primarily cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white paint. These experiments are giving me a better understanding of the effects that can be achieved, sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic.
A recent trip to the MET found me more attracted to the sculpture wings of the museum as opposed to the painting show I had initially gone there to see. Fragmented and broken sculptures in glass cases felt like someone's long forgotten memories. Preserved and protected but not fully understood. At one time these sculptures probably held a more personal story that has been lost to time.The imagery in my work has always been based to some degree on stories I remember being drawn to as a child. Science fiction, fantasy and mythology have always featured prominently in my work but with my new way of working I spend a lot more time thinking about what it is that attracts me to these subjects. The painstaking process recreating images dot by dot is very meditative and gives me time to examine why I chose an image even if it felt impulsive initially. The exploration of my personal connection to the images I choose has become the main focus of my most recent work.
As part of my residency at Lagstein Gallery I will be painting and presenting new works in the back room of the gallery at every opening reception, as well as being present when the gallery is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 - 4. I encourage anyone who is interested to reach out if you would like to schedule a private visit. Instagram: @brianhart_artist. Email: BrianRHart@gmail.com