McLuhan Studies : Premiere Issue

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While at art college, I often felt my work was dismissed simply because it was image-based painting rooted in the realist tradition. It did not comply with the stylistic imperatives of contemporary painting when colour-field abstraction was the dominant influence. I felt marginalized because I was working outside the prevailing stylistic mode. This motivated me to seek a different way of measuring the value of painting, which I determined would be a favouring of content over form. I had no interest in developing a more gestural, sensuous approach to my work because I saw painting primarily as a tool for the communication of ideas. I felt that by maintaining a subdued consistency in my paint application, stylistic concerns would be subordinate to issues of representation.

I am interested in the seductive nature of illusion and illusion's dependency on viewer complicity for fulfillment. The assumption that a precisely rendered object and "clarity" are synonymous presumes that meaning is easily accessible. I try to locate the juncture of precision and clarity. It is at this critical point-at the very moment when consummation of meaning seems imminent-that meaning eludes interpretation.

Clarity is a facilitator, a conduit between the physical activity of image-making and the acquisition of knowledge through the image-making process. My working method requires a focused and extended association with my subject. A successful relationship between intensity and intention can produce a more refined clarity of understanding, a visualization of the subject which for me is an operation of pure psychic empathy. From here, the gratification associated with naming and circumscribing is enhanced, and imaging becomes a dynamic process which stimulates greater awareness.

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