Monday, February 2, 2015

'Undertexting' - invitation and artist statement

You're all invited to come to my show of paintings at the Elaine Fleck Gallery in Toronto. Come on by the opening on Saturday, February 7th from 2 to 4 pm and say hi if you have a chance.

Also, here's the artist's statement that I wrote up for the show:

Undertexting artist statement

Undertexting describes a new art making process I've developed, as well as the idea that we as human beings use stories to understand everything in our lives; that the cultural context of everything we've read and watched and listened to forms the underlying context of almost every moment that we live.

One could also say that undertexting is about the relativity of meaning, that all meaning is only ever understood within a cultural context, and how that cultural context is formed by the stories we consume. [One could also say that it's about how the background context of how we understand things is often a jumble, but that might just be a reflection of the disarray in my own mind.]

As a art making process, Undertexting starts with a layer of torn photocopies of pages from my favourite books, mostly novels, that I paste on to the panel over top of the original drawings. I then paint on top of that with thin layers of paint (much thinner than I'd been using in the past) allowing you to see some of the underlying text, making that cultural context more explicit and part of the visual story.

Undertexting is a new art making process for me not only because of the underlying layers of text, but also because I've completely changed how the paintings look: I've begun to explicitly incorporate things from my background in comics. These include the use of inset panels, which I'm using to show key scenes in the stories the paintings are describing, and the use of more abstract line and flat colour based backgrounds,  which set the emotional contexts and the settings for the stories they tell.

When people would ask me what my paintings were about before Undertexting, I usually said that they were scenes from imaginary novels, or what it felt and looked like to be in an imaginary novel. These new paintings that make up Undertexting are, with their underlying layers of text and their use of visual storytelling elements from the comics medium, even more about scenes from, or being inside of, imaginary novels. I hope you enjoy them.

Marcel Guldemond

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