These Proposals for Colossal Paintings are based on my interest in contemporary painters informed by photography. It's the usual suspects- Chuck Close, Robert Rauschenberg, Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter, and the critically demeaned photo-realists.
The one thing I have to respect about contemporary painting is while that medium is not where the most interesting ideas are happening, it certainly is the medium with the most customers. Legions of hedge fund managers are buying the works of both live and dead brand name painters. Good for the live ones. Artists should be well paid though it would be nice if some of the money trickled down to the non-brand name artists. That will never happen because most art investors buy signatures. It's about branding skills. Art is what your PR agent can get away with, to paraphrase Andy Warhol.
So what does that have to do with my Proposals for Colossal Paintings? After looking at a great many contemporary paint on canvas works, I thought I would attempt several exercises in creating works that were just as interesting as many of the name brand painters just by using my photographs and doing some simple manipulations in Photoshop.
In keeping with my interest in applying film and photography conventions to traditional media, I thought it would be interesting to propose paintings based on the simple film transition known as a dissolve. I've always liked these unexpected blended images on the big screen. So I've constructed photo-montages with multiple dissolve style images based on photographs I've taken on my travels to Italy, Cambodia, and Thailand. Unlike some name brand contemporary painting, these are interesting both viewed as a whole and looked at in detail.
After taking photographs of the walls at Pompeii it became obvious to me that the ravages of time and a catastrophic volcanic event were quite capable of making great abstract images. These Proposals for Colossal Abstract Paintings I believe are as visually sophisticated as anything these abstract painters sell for astronomical sums. The process is one of selection rather than construction. The bottom line is this; if these were paintings signed by Richard Diebenkorn they would be worth millions. What's wrong with this picture?
It takes a leap of the imagination to picture any of my proposed works as large paintings, but I think they would work well as paint on canvas. It would be quite a challenge to render these photographic proposals as paintings, but I understand there are villages in China that specialize in this sort of thing. I have no problem with some kind of robotic rendering of these images as paintings but I don't know of any technology out there that could replicate what a gifted painter could produce. As long as the idea is worthwhile there is no reason for an artist to actually have to execute the work.