Artist Statement

Ed Meese: Colour
Artist Statement

BFA from Wayne State University majoring in Painting and Printmaking; currently studio based in Burton Building, Midtown Detroit Area

I started as a painter but soon became interested in printmaking.  Enjoying the process of the print, I began layering the color and chemically amending the components of the inks, deeply fascinated with the way ink reacted with pigments, varnishes and various mediums.  This interest in reactionary versus stable colors has changed the palette in which I paint and the way I perceive color.

In 1998, I suffered a closed-head injury which affected my vision, the way I process information.  While in the hospital, the doctor placed a gauze sheet over my eyes to stop the bleeding.  I remember very little about that night, but I do remember how the blood and plasma were separating and drying on the gauze.  I was fascinated by how the color transitioned from transparent Indian yellow to orange to red to deep maroon and then to darkness.  Sleep has changed; no longer do my dreams have fluid movement.  The dreams are like a silent slide show, just quietness, patterns and color.

After that incident, I stepped away from showing my artwork for nearly a decade, leaving the Detroit art scene to reflect and heal.  The paintings in “Colour” have been completed within the past twelve months.  I used both reactionary and stable paints, pigments and various mediums, layered and mixed with resin on wood panels.  The resins allow the chemical reaction to be captured and suspended.  My process transitions identifiable objects and movements into geometric forms, patterns and color.  The final image is not just a cognitive reference to an object but rather an emotional response expressed through a spectrum of colors.

Now my palette ranges from soft pinks and blues (“Morning”) to vivid greens and blues (“Mediterranean”) to fiery reds and oranges (“Vermillion“) that reflect my yearlong evolution in the studio.  And the compositional patterns in many paintings link large forms with smaller, sometimes densely clustered elements.  This fracturing and fragmenting of shapes into asymmetric patterns enliven and animate the images.

Scale is important too; though many of the works are expansive, all in fact are human scaled.  The surface of a five foot square panel is reachable within the pivot of my arm, and the rectangular works realized on hollow core door supports are human sized as well.

The admixture of resin plus pigments and lacquers pops the underlying layered hues and yields an overall dissolving effect, while the gleaming surfaces literally reflect the viewer (and me, the artist) as participator and progenitor of the image.  This momentary but engaging effect is intensified by the very brevity of the experience.

Finally, as my experimentations with color and imagery suggest, the emotional tenor of my art over the last year has evolved from hard edge, highly active compositions of curved and angular segments (“Perennial”) to soft, veiled images that now, to my surprise and delight, verge on quietude and resolution.

Ed Meese, September 2012