One of the things I'm horrible at, which is probably the one thing that has become a nuisance when I hope to be represented by a gallery, is that my work is visually inconsistent. I rarely envision what my paintings should look like when they're finished... I try not to anticipate and trick myself into thinking that I prematurely know what the painting needs... I just try to be alert while I paint, and I hope that I'm willing to make the necessary changes, whatever they may be. This, one may say, is probably true for every painter out there, but what happens in my case is that I end up sacrificing the "unity" if you will, of my work. One painting may be painted in one manner while another, which may very well be painted at the same time, is treated completely differently.

This of course is something that galleries detest. Well, it's something they don't particularly associate with figurative painters at least. It shows (to them) that I'm not really worried about creating a recognizable image, an image that may be associated with my name. And I kind of have to admit they're right. While I'm painting, the last thing on my mind is having to subject what I have to say to what I've said previously.

The other day I was reading a book edited by David Evans, Appropriation, a concept I'm very much drawn towards. I felt  somewhat relieved when I read a Richard Prince interview with Peter Halley, where Halley was asking Prince why some of his rephotographing of images seemed to have a different approach. Prince's response really hit close to home.

Halley You don´t  feel like you're assigning each work, as well as yourself, a role?

Prince It's not that worked out. It's more like I'm conducting an affair or relationship. Each set of pictures has different considerations. In order to produce the effect of what the original picture imagines, you have to play the picture, you can't play yourself. 

I guess all of this is a preface to put in context the changes that this painting endured. One of my biggest fears is to find myself painting just to finish a painting. And when I'm referring to finishing something I'm alluding to a technical aspect, a stylistic choice. There were things in this particular image that while I thought were well painted (at least as well as I can paint them), they just felt bland. Like I was in auto-pilot. And I absolutely hate that feeling. If a painter is detached from what he or she is painting, the viewer is going to recognize that immediately.

So I painted, and repainted, and while it looks overworked, it's not a bad overworked. I'm able to exhale and feel comfortable when I'm next to the painting. And there's nothing quite like the feeling of being honestly content with something... when I don't like something I simply can't function properly. 

So fuck style. I'll do whatever needs to be done to satisfy the needs the image requires.


WilliamWarrenG said...

Nicolas, keep this sentiment. You know exactly what you're doing even if you don't know precisely what you're doing. Does that make sense?

I will also add that I do see a lot of consistency in the brushwork, the handling of paint. You have a distinct hand. Overworked? Perhaps, but the workings of the worker feel consistent even in their variety.

Rossina Bossio said...

Me gustó aún más en vivo y en directo.



mackenzie said...

I love the way you approach your paintings because you bring a sense of honesty to the work. It may not be what gallerists want, but you are making work that is infinitely more interesting, because you are engaging your subject, rather than revisiting places you've already been.