Detroit Art Press

Alan Watson

mary rousseaux

One of the essential facts of our human condition is that we manufacture neither our bodies nor our brains. Nevertheless, it is from out of these physical things that we create our hopes, our dreams, and indeed our selves. My mixed-media paintings are designed in sympathy with this basic fact:  for each composition begins with elements that I did not self-manufacture but nonetheless manipulate to my own creative ends. These elements are usually “found” objects that no longer represent their original purpose in the world but are now employed for their shape, color, or texture.

Sometimes the objects remain wedded to the surface of the painting; at other times they are removed once their new-found purpose has been achieved. The latter technique is employed with such things as masking tape or factory -made stickers. Some of the shapes employed may be common symbols, such as stars, moons, grids, spirals, or even figures. Examples of objects that would remain in the painting include such things as drywall tape, broken toys, or pieces of tile.

I welcome various semiotic, socio-political, or metaphysical interpretations of my work but feel that these things are best left for the viewer to decide. For me, the main event is always the existential metaphor outlined above. As for formal matters, I generally like bold, vigorous colors and a variety of assertive textures. My compositions inevitably dwell in the realm of asymmetrical balance although I enjoy pushing them to the far boundaries of that domain. Unity in diversity is a challenge, not a compromise.