Artist’s Statement: Visionism

All my images are born accidentally.  I tack my studio dropcloths onto the wall once they’ve become sufficiently splattered with paint, and search the surface for suggestions.  I’ll discover an image within a tangle of marks, and paint to free it, an archaeologist unearthing an artifact.  This process leads to related discoveries, and the more I find, the better I understand the space they inhabit, and a painting is underway.  In this way does the painting gradually reveal its content and mood.

Everything I like of the art I’ve seen, Eastern and Western, ancient and modern, sacred and profane, ends up in my work.  It must be that, as I gaze at my randomly stained surfaces, these remembered images give clues as to what to look for.

The larger canvases are free-hanging, fitted with grommets and intended to be tacked directly to the wall like a tapestry or banner.  Smaller works on canvas are mounted and stretched so as to preserve their irregular edges.

                                                                                                      Stephen Fessler

Artist’s Statement: Directed Perception

My mode of seeing changes when something has caught my attention.  My “directed perception” chooses what I will see while obscuring everything else within my range of vision.  The objects which happen to surround or serve as a background to the thing I’m looking at, hidden behind this veil of inattention, escape my memory, as well.

     If my eye were a camera I would recall these subjects for painting in their context, embedded in their landscapes; but my eye is a selecting mind, and so I remember them as individual treasures, artifacts, or personalities.

     These paintings are objects in two senses:  as themselves, and as the things they seem to be, their subject matter.  And yet these objects seem to consist of only one plane, as the image “floats” an inch or more from the wall, its supporting framework hidden.  The textures and three-dimensional effects are all depicted illusionistically upon these paintings’ flat surfaces.

                                                                                     Stephen Fessler

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