Making Things That Look Like Other Things

Title: Making Things That Look Like Other Things
Authors: Kaarsemaker, David
Date: 2014
Abstract: My work explores and questions the relationship between the practice of painting, the physical world, and memory. My paintings are made through a layered process that constructs and mediates my approach to a subject. I think through and about the levels and methods of mediation between the world of experience and the act of painting, examining the complex and interconnected realities of things and making images of things. I begin with the rooms or houses that I remember most vividly from my life. I build maquettes of these spaces, combining them with photographs, projected images, maps, grids, shadows, reflections, and views of my studio space and exterior landscapes. In my paintings, walls unfold or merge into other spaces, doors and windows open into other realities, rooms are half buried, light and images are projected onto walls, and objects appear or disappear with varying degrees of resolution. I foreground the tape, gaps, and crookedness of the maquettes in my paintings as a means of reflecting on the ways that memories are inherently malleable and always incomplete. Memories are warped by the stories we construct to fit our evolving identities. These stories, in the telling, are like architecture. We move through them, they fall apart and are repaired, and they give shape to our experience. Memories, like the mind and like time, are unimaginable without their physical manifestations. The foundation of my practice is the concept of “pictures residing in pictures,” which sets individual levels of visual experience at a remove. Each painting presents a record of my effort to make these variously represented realities cohere into a convincing and engaging entity. In my paintings, the image and the materiality of paint dovetail and mutually transform each other: raw canvas gradually becomes recognizable image, paint thins into atmosphere, becomes more suggestive of things, builds up, and congeals into a tangible mass before gradually “dissolving” back into the canvas surface. The act of painting itself possesses narrative possibilities that give physical form to memory and perception.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -