“The gouges made by the razor’s scraping, the persistent brush strokes emerging with their topographies, the canvas sanded to its grain... A piece painted once again and stopped before being undone, paused before crashing, and likewise a piece scraped once again but not primed away - bones with rotted flesh not yet baked by the sun... A painting that emerged unscathed, one that I couldn’t bring myself to undo, with a solitary hero, my avatar, contemplating the sunset, life, the sublime, Willow in Majula... Showing the different stages of these paintings exposes their histories, and expands and presents the ritual of their making. Please, pause with me to take in these moments that I’ve been quietly enjoying for years, and that I’m finally sharing so the paintings can be better understood.
Can you feel my touch, my negations? These paintings are more open, more tangibly what they are, how they’re made. I’ve shifted their making - now, each new layer of color is an entirely new painting, just as the starting place for each work is a painting. After I’ve undone the original painting with razor blade, primer, and sander, I paint again upon that surface with oils. Within that space I simply paint. Paint whatever I want. Paint free from the pressures of Painting with a capital P. These works pile up around the studio. Comments and thoughts wash over them, joys emanate from them. As the paint dries they come in and out of view while I work on other things. I look at around me intermittently. Eventually the paintings fall apart before my eyes. The urgency of their making fades. The excitement hollows out.
Fail. Undo. Start over. Try again. Repeat until satisfied. The work is a residue of unsuccessful attempts. It is the loss and the material that builds up as I try and fail. It is what was there that is no longer. It is the inadequacy of almost everything I paint, and the desire to keep painting despite that dissatisfaction. Maybe those paintings weren’t so bad, but regardless, they’re gone, and only traces left remain.
A bit of color, the topography of a brush stroke, a series of holes in a tough to remove spot. Nothing is fully forgotten but what is left, physically and mnemonically, are always strange ghosts and echoes.”
Kadar Brock October 2016