New Painting, “Absolute: Priority” Entices & Obstructs
by Daric Gill
There is potency in a quiet voice when challenging a cacophony. My latest painting, “Absolute: Priority”, might be such a story. But in truth, I am still not sure if it is a soft candle emerging from a dark cave or a whispered yell squelched into polite submission. Perhaps it is meant to be a bit of both. Yes, perhaps it is both. Read on for more.
[Image Gallery Below Article]
A honey locust branch rests its thorns on the undulations of a green-tinted burled maple woodgrain. The branch is grey & broken; All but lifeless, were it not for the hinting scarlet-tipped spears. The background grain writhes & boils, reminiscent of the elevation changes on a topographical map. Ten colorful squares, flat & graphic, overlay the main shaft of the branch. Each character in this narrative acts with its own distinction. Each has its moment.
But there’s clearly something more. There’s a feeling of disconnection– an uncomfortable dissonance due to obstruction. A clash of disharmony between the chromatic geometry & the natural elements. The squares lack foreground shadows, placing them on a questionable plane. Are they a thoughtful color palette or intrusive censorship, a color measurement appealing to a special memory, or a digital glitch? In a way, this whole piece is a collection of opposites. It is both dark & light.
The wood was sanded & tinted green in late 2018 while making its sister piece, “Absolute: Balance”. I never fully prepare a background before knowing what I want to do with it, but I had just learned that I’d be living in Europe the following year on an artist residency & was working on multiple pieces. With a full schedule of sculptural work & world traveling to occupy the next year, it waited patiently on my studio wall.
Just over a year later, the words “not essential” ricocheted in my soul.
While on one of my numerous outings in the woods during the early days of lockdown, I came across a particularly aggressive honey locust tree. The laces of my hiking boots caught on the discarded thorns, which now laid a good 10 yards away from the tree. I would locate the prick of each thorn countless times on my way through the woods & back to my SUV. It would break into two pieces & firmly fix itself among the carpet of the folded-down seats until I removed it a year later.
My love affair isn’t with the art object itself. Instead, my interest lies in the contemplation, creative process, & pursuit of adventure that I find crucial to building unique narratives. The artwork is a carefully constructed artifact at the end of a series of ideas & adventures; a guided conversation between myself & others about the things I find worthy of sharing.
This piece is a burying of the past year like seeds. As the spring pushes way for summer, sprouts of opportunity are finally poking up from the ground. The world is starting to spark to life again. Tenacity is my strength. I am a vessel for living, for healing. Yes, “Absolute: Priority” is a soft light emerging from the darkness & a squelched whisper.
… It is also a roar.