Stray Light Shadow Between, a solo exhibition of new work at Devening Projects opening January 13, 2019
‘Stray Light Shadow Between’ is a sum of many moving parts. The paintings have a kind of restlessness on their surfaces; they don’t seek a specific end or conclusion. Many movements and gestures come together in irregular rhythms, often interrupted by sprawling seams and stray threads that stand as a testament to their making. Their faces show the evidence of time and friction, odds and ends rubbing up against one another, creating sparks of light and swirls of murky indecision.
Some paintings start with light: an image of the Moon or Sun, or the Sky on a particular time of day–a distant memory sewn into the heart of the painting. But when light encounters resistance, it casts a shadow. This shadow stretches the light until it extinguishes, just as the evening sky begins to blend together in its final moments. Bands of light eat one another until the stars show their faces. It is in these dark, infinite facets that we find countless moments of uncertainty, longing, and anxiety; a miraculous spectrum containing glistening bits of this and that.
Which brings us back to the assembly of many parts: making a painting that starts off in a familiar place of memory then letting it slowly spin out of control and orchestrate its own character. Making a painting in this way is similar to making a soup; the kind of soup that uses the odds and ends of your pantry to arrive at a place that is both spectacular, strange, and hopefully edible. You start off with what you know, the foundations of your broth, and as you begin to gain confidence, the moves become riskier and you find yourself adding an unnecessary amount of fish sauce or unexplainable dashes of nutmeg. And to anyone who has made Tom Kha Gai or Chicken Tortilla Soup: that moment when you look down into the pot, into the incandescent blips of fat and oil rising to the top of a talkative amber liquid, surely you can draw your own comparisons to our milky way or other vast expanses of the sky above.
In pre-modern models of the universe, the Sun, Moon, and Stars circled the Earth in concentric rigid spheres. The outer sphere was named the “Primum Mobile” or “First Moved” because it was driven by the divine love of the Creator and its motion drove all other celestial bodies below it. This Primum Mobile was a cold hard shell of darkness, with the stars glued into its ceiling like diamonds hung in the mouth of a cave. It’s a strange sense of motion, lying on your back somewhere in the cool grass, looking up, imagining this collection of shimmering hosts slowly revolving overhead like clockwork. The sum of so many complications dancing above us in infinite degrees of stray light and shadow between.