Underwater Dreams, 2011
Underwater Dreams is one of the breakthrough works I created in 2011 when I was developing my approach to contemporary painting.
It is one of the first of my paintings where many opposing elements, mediums and artistic approaches come together to create a unified and organic whole.
In the work, figurative visual elements coexist side by side with abstract ones, while the emerging narrative is balanced by the two dimensional composition and structre of the painted space. Starting out as an exersice in pure painting, an improvisational play with colours, shapes, lines and materials, the work eventually manifests as a layering of drawn and painted elements : using dry materials like charcoal and pastels- under, over and through the painted brushstrokes of wet mediums, in this case oil colours. The pallette used is an expanded primary colour pallete which lends a kaleidoscopic quality to the work as a whole as splashes of reds, yellows and blues shine through areas of neutral grays of browns. The maximization of colour spectrum is equalled by the maximization of tonal scale -in itself a challenge in painting as colours work best in mid-tones-: from white to black and from light to dark areas, without losing coherence.
The emergent subject, discovered through the process of painting and through transformations of abstract forms into images, evokes an underwater world of multiple meanings. Just like in dreams or totems, an eye becomes a flower, then a fish. A rock formation becomes a body or bodies etc.
This work, along with the rest in the series 'qualia' juggles modernist, baroque and oriental elements to create a unique artistic experience completed in the viewer's mind.