Sunday, October 30, 2011

Disks and Letterforms

I’ve always loved the alphabet, and have often included text with my paintings, like this one from four or five years ago.

When I set up my Museum Cases at the Wood Art Gallery in 2006, I included what I called a “waterline” (that went all the way around the room, about four feet off the floor) of random text culled from spam emails. These spam emails (now, they're from the ancient history of spamming...) used to contain text copied from novels, poems, and other “legitimate” texts, in an effort to get their advertising pitches (mostly for penis-enhancing drugs and devices) through the filters.

What fascinated me was that even though the words (I just chose nouns and adjectives) were truly random and completely out of any kind of sequence, people couldn’t help making meaning of them, reading them like a poem.

The same is true of the small black and white figures I created in Maine in October. The letters on their chests are random, but people think they see their names and words in them, as though the letters were just scrambled from intact (and discoverable) words.

This is the sketch for a wall installation with letterforms that I made in Maine

and here are some of the disks I painted with both spray enamels and oils. When they’re dry (gee, it takes a long time for them to dry; I had to bring many of them back to the studio covered with wax paper!), I’ll be working on a large piece, and deciding whether it should be in the loose configuration of the sketch, or in a more formal arrangement with a steel frame.

1 comment:

Maggie Neale said...

We all keep trying to make sense of it...whether the words or the forms or why we left good studios and traveled 5 hours to set up another. Seeking inspiration and meaning...