cv.. artist statement .. paintings .. contact ..
 
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My work questions the separation of mind and body. I also reexamine how the body relates to its environment. I produce paintings that are based on photographs, but subvert photographic specificity by representing abstracted bodies in ambiguous environments.

My paintings explore contrary aspects of desire by emphasizing that what one desires most is ephemeral, and cannot be possessed. I explore the notion that the body is not an object that the mind manipulates, but a complex system that is an extension of the mind. I focus on representations of sexually charged moments in a state of entropy, expressed through graphically painted illusions of distorted images. In this process, I renegotiate the relationship of the mind to the body by emphasizing the physical and sensual nature of existence. In the dissolution of the image, I create bodies and environments that elude specific narrative definition yet embody powerful emotional reactions. The images create an overwhelming sensation that affects the viewer directly.   

The photographic sources for my paintings are based on complex collaborations I set up with a diverse set of artists and models I invite to work in uniquely constructed theatrical spaces set up in my studio. In creating the compositions I am influenced by the contextual aspects of theater that directly influence the initially spontaneous nature and development of the work. I am a Director, involved in setting up all aspects of the set design, costume design, make up and performance. I create ‘events’ and document them theatrically, which becomes a form of visual dialogue that embraces photography and the more social elements of theater. Developing source material for my paintings is as important as the painting process itself.

My creative process culminates in large oil paintings that reflect the tension between compositing photographic post-production and traditional painting techniques. I am interested in the relationship of the sensuality of paint to the physical nature of existence. I am also interested in the slippage that exists between the photographic recognition of the body and the dematerialization of paint. Though I use traditional painting techniques and explore figurative subject matter, my work is not rooted in common conceptions of the figurative tradition.

Justin Schaefer - 2010