Paintings and recent process.

2013·07·09
Funston, Acrylic on fiberglass, Chris Rusak 2013

Funston, 2013
Acrylic on fiberglass.

Most of the new paintings I have completed this year, many of which are headed to the University of Maine, Farmington, for a little exhibition, are now posted for your pleasure.

After spending a few years working strictly in collage and strictly in achromatic or monochromatic texts, venturing into the world of color and paint is a natural shift. Frankly, most of the time I spent in the studio making collage work, if I wasn’t thinking about psychology, I was thinking about color. I have a bit of a color obsession: I constantly bring it up in conversation, it is the first thing I notice whenever I walk into any gallery, it is a crucial element to the way I process the world.

Recent descriptions of my new work seem to include the words “limited palette.” This is certainly true. Only in the past few weeks did I even introduce a different shade of the primary hue my studio is currently centered around. And while most of the work is screaming yellow, it is obvious my deference to achroma hasn’t gone anywhere, as I still hold a firm belief in the structural importance of grey, black, and white.

I have always been drawn to non-objective work because it always contained a language with which I was familiar. The challenge of creating complexity from simple sets of elements represented the subjective experience of my self; I’ve never been a person to make things easier, rather to derive more from less. Perhaps this was the result of my hardscrabble upbringing, the result of eating weeks of packaged ramen and sale-priced deli meats.

If I were to summarize my studio efforts in a succinct manner, I would say that I am interested in bringing tension into non-objective work. While I think the value of balance and harmony has always supported themes throughout hard edge and color field work, with many of those types of works standing out in the visual canon, it’s due time cacophony and aggression are prioritized in compositions. After all, work should reflect the epoch from which it originates, yes?