It is with great pleasure that I announce trade #6 of the bARTer project. Below is a beautiful painting from Arlington, VA artist John M. Adams (Web site is being updated so check back for new images of more recent work), traded for Nick Holliday's brilliant collage:
John's artist statement states:
My work entices the viewer to become observant. This is not the kind of observation in which objects are given names and then tucked neatly away in the appropriate "cubby-holes" of our minds. Instead, this is the kind of observation that comes from being aware of what is happening at the moment of the encounter - visual meditation.
When elements lose their imposed names and meanings, we can truly observe. The process of making these drawings and paintings relies upon those moments when all of the mind's chatter is silent and I am no longer aware I am "painting". I am simply experiencing and reacting to what is happening at that moment. The repetitive action of moving the paint, drawing material and text on the surface with my hands (similar in principle to a mantra) brings about a state of awareness in which every mark's differences and similarities are near equivalent in distribution. The subtle variation of tone, value, and intensity of color renders precise calculation futile, so peripheral perception takes over.
The repetitive meditative action is reflected in the work through accumulation of marks over a period of time varying from days to months. Tension between the atmospheric random marks and the regulated rhythm of horizontal lines creates a visual vibration, which resonates endlessly (confined to the object none the less). In other paintings, the structural lines take the form of a drip, forming a counterpoint for the chaotic mark making. Juxtaposing a textural, physical paint surface with a slick, subtle panel may also form tension which draws the viewer in.
Upon viewing the works for several minutes, the viewer may experience the shift to peripheral perception while “peeling” those layers away, as I did creating the works. This event fuses the artist, process, object, experience, and viewer into an inseparable symbiotic whole.
For those who read Thinking About Art, you'll recall that I recently acquired two of John's paintings and that he participated in the Artists Interview Artists Project. He has had a wonderful 2006 and it's only July. Seven of his paintings were acquired by the Washington D.C. Commission for the Arts and he was selected as a semi-finalist for the Bethesda Painting Awards. In 2007 he will be having a solo show at the Arlington Arts Center.
This little gem is a real pleasure in person. There are subtleties and depth to the paint that just can't come across in a jpeg. If you would like to bARTer for John's painting, please let me know via comment or email.