JEFFREY WOOD

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Converge  2021.    Oil on Linen    18 x 16 in

I believe that every great painting delights in the fact that it is inherently absurd and inherently abstract. Additionally, every age of painters has its unique conventions. Ours is the age of film, falling on the heels of abstraction, when painting had nowhere left to go. Central questions to my process are: what is still unique to the art form of painting and what can painting achieve other art forms can not? Furthermore, how can one push the boundary of what painting is traditionally confined to, not detail or description where photography excels, despite its own eccentricities, but most notably in time and space.

Additionally, that painting is akin to poetry, where form and content work hand in hand to create a sensation and aesthetic, as opposed to a language making a literal statement about nature or society, is a comparison central to my artistic output.

My painting relies on its drawing and the drawing is dependent upon a fidelity to nature. My practice ebbs and flows with the seasons, working outdoors in the summer and indoors in the winter, and reflects my surroundings be it in Florence or New York. Until recently I could only work with what is at my grasp in any given moment, the spaces and people in my life.

However, since the Covid-19 pandemic began I have sought to depict dreamlike imagery and constructed worlds as the world around us has become less accessible. This increasing tendency to depict multiple realms or planes of being simultaneously on a single picture plane, allowing for a shifting, changing image is new to my process and very exciting to me.

Through my studies and the reading of William Dunning's Changing Images of Pictorial Space I am fascinated with painters who have sought to break the barrier of what painting was supposed to be and defy convention. This always resulted in a type of acknowledgement of the flat picture plane to which the painting was confined. My own appreciation for this self awareness of paintings caused me to move away from treating the picture as a window to nature and make it a window to one's mind. This breaking of the illusion or deconstruction could reveal truths greater than the objective rendering of the subject. By painting the implausible or deliberately breaking the illusion and confronting a picture's inherent flatness is to get away from being overly precious about painting as a mimetic form.

My formative years studying in Italy fostered a deep appreciation for working from life with traditional materials. These are tools integral to my development while my time in New York is allowing me the freedom to use a compilation of reference material and means in total service of the end result. I eschew overt narrative and use painting as a conveyance of feeling or mood as opposed to story telling. Ultimately everything I put into a work is for no other service than to transcend the subject itself and arrive at a harmony of composition.

Breakers   2021.    Oil on Linen    18 x 16 in

The Dinner Table   2021.    Oil on Linen    16 x 20 in

Breakers   2021.    Oil on Linen    18 x 16 in

Flashback   2021.    Oil on Linen    18 x 16 in