JONATHAN QUINN


Artists Statement / Bio

Water paintings: a presumed here and now.

I hope to raise questions about anomalous reality -a term I borrow from film theory that defines how factually accurate realities are described through open-ended fictions. Think of how fictional character (introduced into historical stories) offer plot twists that are unpredictable.

Gazing meditatively at a body of water can be a transformative experience. The speed at which water appears on the back of the retina is melded into an amalgam of consciousness as we struggle to interpret time and space through the dapple of light, water, wind and gravity. Photography has created an easy and dominant track for how we perceive movement while the plasticity of paint (affixed to a surface) has the potential to engage layers of perception into its own unique visual interpretive process. A painting can be a mirror reflecting how we think we see. What happens in the time it takes for one metaphorical fold of water to overlap onto another is contingent on what we mean by fold —a wave— whose movement we often ascribe agency. The waves are dancing.

Description of the painting process.

The water paintings are the result of subconscious manufacturing. As I apply paint to the surface I don’t look carefully or consider the details of pictorial structure or composition but instead rely on my memories and experience of the seemingly limitless abyss of mid-ocean. For better or worse I try not to think when I paint and rely on a kind of anti-photography photographic process.  I consider a rationalists understanding of perception and simply think how a watery space might look. I then mush, splatter, stroke and wipe –mimicking the dodge and burn, actions of a traditional photographic darkroom. The decision of its value as a composition, as a bit of pleasing aesthetic or how it conforms to an agreed upon appearance of how water should look takes a backseat to how it feels. Does it evoke an emotion? Do the inherent metaphors associated with marine subjects come easily? But most of all does it mimic the free-form association we make when meditatively staring off into the middle distance? I’m hoping the paintings offer a kind of deliberately contrived Rorschach test that is a meaningfully pleasing conduit to the viewers own inner self.

www.quinnpicture.com