one of my favorite materials to paint is plexiglass. it's one of the few surfaces that i actually spend money on and purchase new. images painted on plex tend to have a hi-def look to them. they are super clear and sharp edges look SHARP. the transparency of the plex is great for creating layers of depth to look through. plus (and this is super important), it remains translucent after sloshing it with paint. this allows me to back light it and give the work another dimension.
the high gloss surface itself plays really nicely off of all the reclaimed surfaces that surround it. it has the manufactured plastic look to it, even after painting on it. and placing it appropriately within the dynamic of the overall assemblage, the sheen of the surfaces contrasts perfectly with the dull and destroyed found objects. but adding light, brings a whole new dimension. it suggests the notion that something exists behind the surfaces, giving depth to the work that is otherwise not there with the light off. using light is nothing new. flavin was doing it way back in the day. many artists use it now, but for me adding light to a work means more than just the brightness. while flavin's work with fluorescent bulbs flattened out everything behind it, my work with light tends to do the opposite. but then i'm not near as minimal as he was.
for me, adding light is all about thinking in a contemporary way. what is life without electricity? and more, what is life without at-your-beckon light. so it's important for me to find ways to include the idea of 'plugging in' a painting. this is something that i work with regularly, but it is still a very vague idea that i'm sketching my way through. the assemblages work perfectly for the idea of adding light, because the whole piece is not lit up. it plays off the contrast of 'no light.' but i love experimenting with the extra dimension that it brings.
|the plex in this 'fake plastic dolls' gives depth and dimension to the flat surface. it also acts as that cheap plastic toy packaging. mindy wrote about this painting last year. if you like to read it, find the post here.|
using light allows me to think of my paintings as more alive. like the way a city develops in layers over time: the skyscraper built on top of old shophouses and super highways built on top of cobblestone streets. it points to the idea of 'progress,' while exposing that which has been progressed upon.
|this piece hangs at Star City Coffee and Ale House in lafayette. it is a single large piece of plex, painted on both sides and illuminated as a light box. the plex allows for a lot of depth using just a few layers.|