CLASS WARFARE

by jbyron

So i found the following image online and really liked it. The mask, the running, the reality, all so urgent, dangerous and visceral. Plus, rebellion is a great thing to capture in art i think.

rioterLet me digress for a second. I found this science-project-style, wooden, display board in a dumpster at a school about a year ago, maybe longer. It was fairly large, three panels, complete with hinges. I dug it out of the dumpster and it’s been sitting in my studio ever since. For my upcoming show, i couldn’t justify spending any more money on canvases – for all intensive purposes, art has yet to pay so i cut corners where i can… so i decided to take off the hinges and try to use the pieces of board as canvases once an idea struck. Took a long time for an idea to strike that worked within the shape of the boards. And in that time, one of the boards got damaged, i used another one to test colors on, but luckily the third survived and now we have this…

filigree_riotIt’s pretty long, maybe 5 feet… 4 at least. I should measure these things before i do these posts.

I went through a spell where i was using a filigree pattern all the time. It reminds me of fancy wallpaper that you would find in a luxurious hotel or something, so I liked the imbalance of using it within my crude and sometimes ghetto-influenced paintings. Juxtaposition, that’s the word. Anyway, filigree in full force in the background. Originally i was going to put them in the “smoke” too, using a different color combination but I got to a point where that felt like a design decision and not an artistic one. People that live in both worlds as i do probably struggle with the difference. The blur between.

filigree_riot_detailAnother design change that happened sort of on the fly was the color i used for the rioter. I had always intended to use the unpainted wood as his “fill” but i was going to do the detail work in black. However, once i finished the background, it seemed like black would be too much. I didn’t want to draw the eye to the figure any more than his position on the canvas and his difference in color already would. I didn’t want the background to be just a background.

filigree_riot_detail2That shot is a bit blurry, sorry. But you can see the wood grain and some small nails that go up the middle. It’s not a thick piece of wood. The whole thing is fairly light actually. The edges are rough. I’ve already gotten a couple splinters handling it. Maybe i’ll knock the price down for any potential buyer to help pay for bandaids.

Only a couple more paintings to go before i jump on another project that’s very dear to me. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for reading. – jbn

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