It is a cat. We see a cat. The original is a cat. The repeat is a cat. It is not a cat. It is a painting. It is a painting of a painting. They are the same. They are different.
Made using repetition as a process, the paintings are not repeats. The original subject (the object), transferred though the repeat, is no longer the subject. The paintings now exist in relation, and indeed reliance to each other, all subjectivity effectively abandoned - only the superficiality of the imagery remains. But, it exists, and with that goes every external cultural reference.
The everyday objects that speak of our existence, memorium and profligacy; our own lives reflected back at us, or, just everyday tat? The image relies on context. It is no particular cat, but it is that cat. There is an image of a cat, and that is enough.
That the image can exist and simultaneously be absent as the subject, is, just one of a number of paradoxes: repetitions of a painting of an object in which neither repetition nor the object exist; made of paint, but not about paint; simultaneously representational and abstract; an object and an image.
Apparent contradictions to which there are no definitive answers, only suggestions: repetition is not a reality; the painting of a thing is a translation to another thing; there is no Greenbergian purity; they are about painting, the experience of painting, an act; notions of representation and abstraction are effectively irrelevant, cut off by the repeat, the image is a representation of the painting; they are dependent on context and affected by differing modes of communication and reproduction.
And it is in celebration of such contradictions and paradoxes that the paintings stand.
They question painting. They question themselves. They are gratuitous.
© Ryan Durrant 2008 | terms & conditions