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Artist's Statement

My attempt in the development of these paintings, was to focus on light, surface and perspective. As a painter, I often feel that I am working as an archeologist in reverse, burying layers of images with layers of color. The use of metallic paint in my current painting creates refracting layers of light, and the observer is directed to see past the surface. A surprise that developed as I worked on these paintings, was that I became aware that it was possible to observe both the warp and the weft simultaneously, almost as if the paintings had become transparent carpets.

I approached this process as a mathematician solving a problem or a draftsman making a pattern to prove the solution of a drawing. This makes the process absolute in that the final surface is the proof. The answer that can only be achieved by the process.

This occurs as light on the painting changes, or the viewer moves. Different images and layers are revealed, depending on the light source, intensity and the point of view. I found that attention in building the surface allowed the metallic paint to direct light into the depths of the painting as well as out, into the space around it.

Sources for these paintings vary. I investigated the interplay of light caused through the use of metallic threads in 16th- and 17th-century eastern carpets (Kashan and Yazd). I consciously avoided other western systems such as the influences of stained glass, and Beaux-Arts cloisonnés — with the exception of the study of 'canned light' (examples: Wolfgang Heidrich and Stefan Brabec).

My work has always been a personal evolution, not based on a public or community collaboration, rather one that has been private, and at times almost a cloistered experience. I have, however, always been pleased to exchange or exhibit the outcome.

Conclusion: the process cannot be discovered until the surface is complete and the surface cannot be discovered until the process is complete.

Richard Sturm

© Richard Sturm. All rights reserved.