ARTIST'S STATEMENT - JONATHAN FABRICANT

When I think of how to describe my work, the word layers comes to mind, Iayers of rock, of sky and space, layers of time and of human events, layers of ideas. Also layers of paint and built up surfaces of wood and plaster.

Viewing my paintings or painted reliefs is like looking at the exposed rock face in a quarry or an ant farm or an archeological dig. They are made up of the subterranean layers of earth, the strata of rock and sub soil, the air and space above, the archeological layers of past times, people and history. These simultaneous observations of above and below, inside and out, then and now, light and dark serve as a way to explore personal layers, realities and experiences as well as broader topics of culture, history and politics. I hope to show the present as informed, influenced and connected to the past and moving toward the future.

I often find that the imagery in my work pulls towards the subterranean zone and I have to struggle to get the surface air and light into it. The below-ground imagery has a dark aspect to it, both in the lack of sunlight as well as in the feeling that it represents the hard to speak of hidden parts of myself or of the world around me. I always feel a need to find the light, to get to the surface and inject a positive energy into the work. This struggle against the pull of the dark side of things is one of the strong motivating forces in my work.

I try to achieve a visual and compositional balance between the illusionist and the sculptural, the pictorial and the abstract. I often contrast the "real" layers--the built up wood and plaster relief areas--with flat illusionist painted ones. Sometimes found objects play the same role as the sculpted layers acting as something "real" and three dimensional.

 

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