David Humphrey

Joined, 2009, 36"x52", Acrylic on Canvas

I had a studio visit with David Humphrey this morning.  He gave a talk a couple nights ago here at the Vermont Studio Center, I find his work super interesting. He’s very articulate in his ability to talk about painting, which made him a great person to have a studio visit with.  As he was looking at my work he pulled out many things I was referencing without me having to tell him. This is rewarding because it starts to make me feel like the work is doing things I want it to do.

We started talking about endings, this question of “when is a painting finished?” He brought up de Kooning, who would just stop painting at a moment, and that would be the end.  This got us to mentioning how arbitrary endings are, which reminded me of the essay my friend Heather White wrote in regards to my animation, Apparitions, when I showed it in Toronto last year.

“Apparitions documents, at intervals, changes to the single rectangle of work that eventually became the painting (Apparition) on display.  The project emphasizes the arbitrariness of endings; the video’s conclusion is the hanging composition, but any given moment of the animation might stand on its own as a work.”

This led me to show David, Apparitions.  He liked the boldness of the animation, the idea that every frame could be a painting on it’s own, and mentioned that some of the work that I’m working on in the studio now has a certain amount indecision attached to it. Which I think is true.  When making the animation the act of taking a picture every moment caused me to make bolder definitive marks, but that also made me feel like the work became more contrived.  Currently this “indecisiveness” is coming through as I’m trying to paint the invisible in a realm of the material, and don’t know when to stop. This is one of the reasons I’ve been doing quicker, smaller paintings recently- it’s a way to exercise an end point.



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