"Absolute: Graft" (detail), oil painting on maple. 48" x 36". 2.3.16.

VIDEO: “Absolute: Graft” Gets Placed In Updated Convention Center

Columbus Convention Center Purchases Large “Absolute” Painting

By Daric Gill

It’s my pleasure to announce that my artwork has been selected to be part of a $125 million rejuvenation project that has recently begun at the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC). In September 2015, the GCCC began a massive renovation and expansion project, which includes a 37,000 sq. ft addition of exhibit space. This totals a whopping 373,000 sq. ft of contiguous exhibit space, which is projected to be complete in July 2017. The GCCC is slated to be the 4th largest exhibit space of its kind. I’m quite thankful to be part of this amazing opportunity. “Absolute: Graft”, a 3 ft x 4 ft oil painting on maple, has been purchased for the new edition. Read on for more.

"Absolute: Graft", oil painting on maple. 48" x 36". 2.3.16.
“Absolute: Graft”, oil painting on maple. 48″ x 36″. 2.3.16. (Click image to enlarge)


This painting is among the largest in this series, only outsized by an “Absolute” painted on a baby grand piano top. “Absolute: Graft” is the most detailed in its entirety for its size. A dead branch, sheathed in fragmented bark, gnarls its way onto the wood background. A set of flush white flowers are bound discretely to the left most branch. The wood and shadows play an asymmetrical dance which hovers over a set of rectilinear shapes. Light blue, with hues of teal and green, this interplay of shapes and translucency finds a subtle tension between each element in the artwork. The branch wants so hard to be central, but just can’t do it.

Branches found on walkabout
Branches found on walkabout

I started this piece over the holidays and had finished it during the first week of February. This meant the usual walkabouts that help me ideate happened during brisk winter weather. I’ll be honest, it took a few more hikes than usual to strike up an idea that suited both the size and general feeling that I wanted to achieve in this painting. While walking the railroad tracks near my favorite woods, I stumbled upon the branches pictured and instantly knew I was on the right course.

Originally I had set out for a broken or disintegrating log, but I couldn’t pass up the earthen stains and crooked growth of this set of branches. Both came home with me, but only one made it into the painting. I wanted to find something that was both dead, but also alive in character. Many times, at least in my mind, I see knobby tree limbs as carrying a lot of anthropomorphic character. They look like they are working through a struggle, skirting on that boundary where something seems to writhe; an action exclusive to only the living. But in the same vein, they are so very clearly dead. Their natural color has been bleached out or deepened by rot. Yes, these branches would do quite nicely.

"Absolute: Graft" (detail), oil painting on maple. 48" x 36". 2.3.16.
“Absolute: Graft” (detail), oil painting on maple. 48″ x 36″. 2.3.16.

The flowers would be fresh and unyielding in actual life. As you see from the video below, I paint from live objects. The flowers reacted with the studio lights as I painted each day. Its petals unfurled and the buds bloomed. And yet, slowly the graft would eventually die too. Cut from their stems, tied to the branch; Is this a piece showing the relentlessness of living ideas or the fate thereof? In this piece I again strive to place a relative situation in an absolute context. Shadows project sideways, geometric patterns press inward, and living things are subject to the fate given to it by the viewer…

…Thrive or Struggle?



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