Statement on Recent Paintings

September 2002

Black and Blue

In works from the early 1990's, black oval shapes served as surrogates for the presence of the figure, in later works the oval shapes represent mirrors. I use the image of mirrors as a metaphor in an oblique way of referring to various contemporary issues. As they do not reflect images, the mirrors are used in a manner of questioning that, which is not seen. These mirrors, often dark, unyielding or sometimes reflecting light, are about absence, falsehoods, the denial of truths, and the search for meaning. Often the mirror appears ready to enter into/or to be exiting the painting. These images - protagonist-ovals - are carriers of missing information suggesting a more troubling placement of our own conflicted histories. As much as these works are about rather serious stuff, there is often a cartoon like presence lurking in the paintings.

A title can be descriptive and, at the same time, carry commentary. In the painting titled Black and Blue 2001, cropped forms from previous paintings are present - one suggestive of a trap is at the bottom, and another of a small mirror is located at the top. A large mirror is absent from its frame and the frame appears to be carried by the wind. The title Black and Blue could suggest the results of a fight.

Red Paintings

The Red Paintings were at first primarily about fire. In May 2001, I had a dream that my work was destroyed in a fire. I wondered how would I paint fire. I received a call from the gallery that a work in a private collection had been destroyed in a fire. I began some drawings to put down as quickly as I could my ideas, but quickly abandoned them and went straight to the canvas. This began the series of red paintings, carrying images of traps, mazes and mirrors.

John L. Moore