Jonathan Feldschuh


Personal Statement: Little Corner of the World

The natural world is self-similar: the same structures and relationships seem to reappear no matter at what scale you look at things. Each level of detail shows features from the one before. A rock garden can seem to be a range of mountains because patterns in stone reappear at the scale of a pebble, a boulder, or a mountain. This is the fractal nature of visual reality. I am interested in what happens when I use organic form but remove clues about scale. I am trying to paint a field of organic extension and connection - form as the expression of the interconnectedness of things.

The paintings are initiated through a semi-controlled physical process. I drip and pour several discrete pools or loops of paint, and then move the entire support so that the liquid moves similarly (but never identically) across the entire surface. The physical processes of paint beading and running, and of pigment clumping and separating as various media dry at different rates produce interesting structures at widely different scales. I outline the resulting forms, intervening in a relatively minimal fashion yet still clearly defining them as three-dimensional. I use line drawing in my work for the same reason that motivates the designer of a patent, the naturalist describing a new species, the illustrator of assembly instructions, the cartoonist: I want to show specific forms that haven't been seen before, that don't exist yet in the world.

The creepiness of some of the images results from their depiction of forms that appear uncannily organic, specific yet indeterminate. They suggest the way living things seem to be put together in similar ways at every scale we look at them - twisting together, extending and bulging outwards. Whatever one recognizes in one of the works is certain to be mutating into something else. The boundaries between thing and thing are erased.

-Jonathan Feldschuh

September 2000


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