During the Jim Public’s Truck exhibition A Dry Heat I wished I had some visual aids while I discussed the process of making these paintings. Here, at last, are the photos I took last summer when I went back to Las Vegas and retrieved the glass vitrine, from which I had not yet removed the paintings. The water had evaporated, leaving behind the acrylic paint from the different solutions I had mixed for each painting. Click here to see the resulting artwork.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JIM PUBLIC’S TRUCK PRESENTS BUMP The art gallery drives its largest canvas to Fort Worth’s ArtsGoggle 2012 Opening reception: Saturday, October 13, 4–10pm, parked on Daggett Ave at Bryan St in Fort Worth, TX FORT WORTH, TX – Jim Public’s Truck, Dallas’s Chevrolet-mounted gallery of contemporary art, is proud to announce the exhibition of Bump, a large, non-objective painting by the artist/gallerist. The canvas comes out of Public’s ongoing practice of building up layers of acrylic paint and then sanding the dry paint back down again, repeated until the result looks good. This additive and subtractive process has opened up broad expressive territory for the artist. “What I’m doing in the studio isn’t that different from what I’m doing the rest of the time: constantly adding and discarding ideas, adjusting my perceptions of things, trying to achieve a point of view that roughly corresponds to the actual world,” says Public. “The back and forth between using brush and sandpaper gets these paintings to a place where they start to embody my experience of life as endlessly complex, amorphous, intricate, and baffling.” He adds, “I make messy, non-objective art because it is the best way I’ve found to talk about what it feels like to be a person. I think that makes me like a 12th generation abstract expressionist. Existential dread included.” The painting’s title recalls a moment of panic for the artist and his family when the unfinished, 6’ x 8’ wood-backed canvas fell onto his then 3-year-old son. “When I leaned the painting against my closed garage and walked across the alley to see it from a distance and a gust of wind pushed the panel upright and then forward, bearing down on my son who was on his hands and knees coloring the driveway with chalk, I was too far away to intervene. I just watched it knock his head onto the pavement. Fortunately, my son’s encounter with the painting left him only with a huge, temporary goose-egg, and he recovered as kids almost always do. But my initial feelings of fear, powerlessness and failed responsibility are still with me.” Please join the artist at a reception on Saturday, October 13, from 4–10pm, at Jim Public’s Truck, parked at Daggett Ave and Bryan St in Fort Worth, TX. Jim Public’s Truck is a contemporary art gallery committed to presenting artwork in unusual, spontaneous, and neighborly ways.
Now that I am preparing for the next Jim Public’s Truck exhibition, it is time to post images of the nine paintings that make up the series I showed last month. The paintings that comprise A Dry Heat are plexiglass panels that I put in watertight vessels full of acrylic paint and water. Before submerging each panel in paint and leaving it in Las Vegas for two years to evaporate fully, I did some mark-making in the white, gessoed underlayer, so each painting has words, pictures, or impressions beneath the color and design left behind by nature’s patient hand.
It was a beautiful time, the first evening of autumn, I think. The gallery was parked near plenty of car traffic and very little foot traffic, so, as lots of motorists gave Jim Public’s Truck a quick drive by and, I hope, registered that the gallery exists, I was able to have long and casual chats with those few people who walked all the way down to Payne Street. We gallerists prefer a bustling exhibition, but I savored the evening’s serenity.