Someone Else’s Light
These unpeopled portraits explore the mutability of the monumental. The subjects struggle to maintain their formal identity against a number of threats: light, darkness, chaos, decay, and, most insidious of all, mundanity.
Hesse writes of his work, “These unpeopled portraits explore the mutability of the monumental. The subjects struggle to maintain their formal identity against a number of threats: light, darkness, chaos, decay, and, most insidious of all, mundanity.
The act of building is generally considered synonymous with growth and progress. In the cities I’ve called home, construction more often seems the imposition of one will upon another. Visually, the result is a sort of competition; angles wedge their way into vegetation and undaunted, the foliage always pushes back. All it takes is a look out of an airplane window and it becomes abundantly clear; human lines are the simple ones, the un-nuanced ones, the only forms that have somewhere immediate to go. Underneath, the natural landscape undulates and meanders, oblivious though scarred. In Los Angeles, the distinction between the created and the natural is most pointed, and the struggle between them most beguiling.
Encaustic is the perfect paint with which to explore this balance between control and chaos. In trying to wrestle a recognizable image from a fluid and often incorrigible medium, a tension emerges, echoing the drama outside the window. Ultimately, whether cut with shocking brilliance or lulled with an indistinct haze, the disparate elements of any topography somewhat miraculously fuse into a unified vision: a landscape. No matter how brutish or banal our contributions to this vision, the unifying natural elements of light, atmosphere, and verdure never surrender. The result is to our benefit. We are never left with a pure wasteland, and our efforts to see and to know are never unrewarded.”
Opening reception April 9, 5-8 pm, George Billis Gallery, 2716 South La Cienega. Continues through 14 May 2016.