This year, I developed a new process in the studio to make “moiré paintings.” A moiré pattern is an optical effect created by the overlay of two or more offset patterns. The fusion of the patterns creates an interference pattern that is quite unlike and much more complex than any of the individual ones. You often see these moires in overlapping window screens or woven fabrics. They are also a common unwanted effect of digital and print imagery- the pixelation or banding in printing can misregister and create moirés. Moirés seems to have some fascinating stubborn, underlying logic that when created by hand, and in color, become all the more unpredictable and exhilarating.
The paintings are created with large, notched, comb-like trowels and multiple layers of sanded acrylic paint. The notched trowels create bandings, which are milled down with sandpaper, revealing an image that is both graphic and utterly material. Despite the seamlessness of their almost glass-like surfaces, these paintings reveal a dense materiality, thus integrating the systemics of opticality with the unruly physicality of paint. They are not slick (though they often appear so in reproduction); they expose their making: a slight topography of paint, an un-taped edge, an overlap or misregistration, a slip of the hand. This exposure emphasizes the materiality of their process and the humanity of both the artist and the viewer. While optical painters have sometimes eliminated such ‘imperfections’ as visual distractions, these physical “slips” can rather augment the optical when used pointedly: the blurred edge or an uneven sanding provides a more intense optical event.
2012P-02 Acrylic on linen on panel, 12 x 12 inches, 2012.