Thursday, January 5, 2012

Josh Dorman
















Artist statement:

I paint in order to see things that would not exist if I did not paint them.

As I get older, it gets more difficult to write about my own work. However, the less I am able to articulate what I do, the more I trust in my process.

I collect outdated (pre-photography) textbooks, topographic maps, manuals, and documents. Paper that has lived a life and shows its age compels me to paint. I am intrigued by systems I do not understand and by information that is no longer relevant.

In the same way that dreams do not match reality yet contain an internal logic, I combine elements in an intuitive way, seeking relationships of form and color. The process guides me and I trust the ideas and narratives in my subconscious. Between apocalypse and paradise I seek metaphors for human hubris. The printed text on the maps can be altered, the locations become blurred, gravity sometimes fails.

I find the same family of forms in images of the solar system, botany, airplane engineering, cattle disease, microbiology… To create a place on the canvas where these images can live together seems natural. The combination of excavating imagery from topographic maps and imposing found images allows me to jump in space, scale, and meaning hundreds of times within a few square inches. Scale is spiritual for me–fractal forms echo infinitely, from the microscopic to the cosmic.

Besides culling forms and generating tales from peculiar antique sources, I am also looking to art of the past. Artists like Klee, Redon, Turner, Breughel are alive for me. Romanesque and Sienese art are alive for me. Inked Chinese landscapes do not feel distant or ancient, but eternally present. I cannot fathom why any contemporary artist would be content to be of this moment only.

Most of the time, I am able to trust my own hand and rely on my eye. I try to quiet the internal voices; the ones that demand reason, and the ones that demand chaos, the doubting ones. I add and subtract until the work makes sense and offers me a genuine surprise. But, as much as I want visual harmony and a narrative for myself, I also want the paintings to be a project and a puzzle for the person looking.



Dancing Branflake said...

Okay, I seriously want to have a ten hour long conversation with him. Then record his dreams and his moments in between consciousness. This is nuts!

Daniela said...

"Most of the time, I am able to trust my own hand and rely on my eye. I try to quiet the internal voices; the ones that demand reason, and the ones that demand chaos, the doubting ones." - I Love this! This should be the case for everything!

Claire Kiefer said...

I love the first sentence of his artist's statement. I think that's true about so many types of art.

Trissta said...

Oooh! Super cool. I love the vintage feel of it, definitely makes the art seem like it has more of a depth to it; a history that really speaks to me.

Much Love,

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

One could spend a long time looking at those. There is soooo much to see there.

Midtown Girl said...

I've been looking for new pieces for my living room - these are amazing doll!

Lara said...

So much detail! I love this type of art and his statement! Could lie on my bed and look at one of these for hours.

Caroline said...

OMG...painstaking details here. Very very cool art! Thank you for sharing.

kewsmith said...

So beautiful with a feeling of a dream state.

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

I love the uniqueness. My fave is Book Of Dreams.

Lorena said...

This looks like I imagine my brain to be.
Just a total mess and all over the place.

Miss Absinthe said...


Happy New Year and all the best in 2012!!!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

super cool- I might have some room on my walls for something like this.

SabinePsynopsis said...

This pictures I'd really love to see IRL... They look intriguing, beautiful and disturbing - like a modern Hieronymus Bosch.

Kitty Stampede said...

these are awesome. sooo much to look at. woots. :)

diane said...

Josh's stuff reminds me of the really intricate posters we used to color in during our hippie days.
"I smoke weed to see things that don't exist in reality"- Cheech & Chong (just kidding)

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