GARY SCHAFTER

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

Time Pieces
General artistic concerns and themes

At the core of my methodology is a commitment to the ‘tradition’ of painting, to understanding the historical dialogue between surface and illusion, the pictorial and the plastic, subject and content. For approximately the past 20 years, I have been investigating, in general, the issue of mediated representation and, specifically, the problematic relationship between the image and its referent.

The problem of making art intelligible is fundamentally semantic, not aesthetic. In my work, painting subjects (e.g. still-life, landscape, etc.) become ‘convention ready-mades’, a foil, by which to explore the relationship between neutral subject and active concept. Often with irony and humor, I hope to encourage the viewer to recognize the inherent slippage—the subject depicted as subject, and the painting as an artistic conceit as content.

Most Recent Work

“Time Piece” – a meditation on time.

The title for this current body of work, “Time Piece,” is a double entendre, referencing both artworks about time and a clock(an instrument of time measurement).

We try to understand our abstract relationship with time through words and concepts. Each one of these paintings (image as portal) is the frame which circumscribes a specific example of a time concept: duration/expiration, measurement, distance, origin/extinction, etc. In these paintings, time is both the subject and content. Every subject is contextualized by time, shaping and coloring the subject. Time is a subject’s ultimate qualifier.

As we contemplate these artworks, we find ourselves experiencing the same time phenomena explored in the pictorial/conceptual model depicted. Reflecting on these stills or mementoes might make use more conscience of our own experience of time.

“The past is never dead, it’s not even past.” –William Faulkner.



 
 

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