“270” Ken Weathersby, 2016
Over the last year I have been photographing people and incorporating those images into my paintings. These figures are paired with abstract patterns in varying compositions. A range of relationships emerge in this confrontation between abstraction and representation.
Two almost opposite readings see the abstract component as, on the one hand, a kind of criticism or satire on the figure, comparable to what Marsden Hartley did in painting “Sustained Comedy”, 1939:
Or, rather than a critique from without, the graphic painting elements might suggest a picturing of something invisible and interior. Mondrian deployed an idea of abstraction as externalizing and visualizing mystical spiritual development in this 1911 painting, “Evolution”:
So, having moved away from including earlier eras in the form of reproductions of ancient sculpture in my previous paintings, history is present in a different way in these, as ghosts of past modernisms sometimes emerge to haunt the space between figure and pattern.
“273” Ken Weathersby, 2017