2017 - "A Prophecy of Ideation"
This page includes some paragraphs taken from the very beginning of my 2017 artist’s statement. In its entirety, the statement (entitled, A Prophecy of Ideation) is rather lengthy; and the full version is included in a collection of essays to be published under the title, On The Origin of Image: A Postmodern Treatise On The Construct-Essence, Specity.
That complete literary work is the result of this painter’s investigations into an unexplored dimension of what I've clearly recognized to be Visual Materialism, wherein the focus of the essays is primarily on the causation and subsequent intricacies of this essentially modern phenomenon. For more information about this publication in progress, please click on Origin of Image.
These few paragraphs (below) of my 2017 statement will help introduce artists to a strategy of thought that lead to the creation of the images, Mono (Chromatic) Lisa.
I feel that it’s important to remind my comrades that my latest work is actually a result of multiple thought experiments, all of which entail a primordial (and innately curious) relationship between science, philosophy, religion, and hominid’s conception of image as formally dramatized through our latest invention we’ve come to know as visual art. Those experiments in thought lead me to initially focus on three questions in particular (among many):
1) What key part did the fact-of-image play in the eventuated design of humankind?
2) How and why does the exaltation of image affect the subsequent evolution of image?
3) Could there exist an unexplored subject matter cleverly nestled within the image in art?
My complete statement, along with a collection of essays addressing the illusive origin and nature of image, will outline a fresh strategy of inquiry for my contemporaries to consider. To review a more immediate context for thought that supports my recent experiments – each and every painting now entitled Mono (Chromatic) Lisa – you’re invited to begin by reading Letter Introduction (under this tab) preferably after you’ve read the following excerpt.
An excerpt from "A Prophecy of Ideation"
For many years now this artist has been haunted by a rather puzzling intuition. It involves the single and most significant component in art – that quintessential thingness we all embrace today and, through a strategically inherited behavior, are impelled to conceptually isolate and refer to by name as image.
Only after much consideration am I now quite certain there exists an untapped source of critically new meaning directly relating to the highly coveted image in art. And I’m fully convinced now that this new source of meaning entails, in part, the existence of an unexplored relationship between the following issues:
A) Evolution’s experimental posturing of image: We are experiencing a persistence-of-image in the world today that has become unexpectedly more influential than ever before. In order to capture visual meaning, many artists have even resorted to elaborating on the nuances of the superficial. Simply put, nature's original fact-of-image is now being transformed by many into redundant (and seemingly unending) variations on the redundant. That desperate strategy is limited to delivering through visual art what is best described as mindless replications of unimaginative relevancy.
B) A shallow dimension of modernity: The artificiality of image-manipulation is no doubt a condition that is being self-nurtured by the increasing sophistication of our species. For example, many artists are convinced that they must now focus on exemplifying their personal relationships with the latest and most contemporaneous definitions of art itself. For those individuals, art is no longer a tool utilized by the artists to investigate nature; rather, artists have inadvertently become the soon-to-be obsolescent tool of art.
Perhaps more surprisingly, I discovered that these two primary issues are undoubtedly connected to both the original (physical) design of hominids and evolution’s continual refinements to hominid’s outward appearances. And those refinements include the cosmetically superficial facades as embraced by the latest version of our species. (How smooth is your skin? How white are your teeth?)
This so-called critically new meaning to which I refer has been patiently waiting, as it turns out, to be harvested from the advancing implications being revealed through art’s most recent expressions of creativity. More importantly, those indications relate directly to the entire realm of visual art. And in fact, they even go so far as to begin exposing the "invisible skeleton" of art’s mysterious origins.
Apparently this new meaning has steadily been exposing itself, relatively unnoticed by many of us, via hominid's persistent variations on image, a familiar essential that constitutes the entire history of art.
Here’s the good news: Postmodernism’s increasing affinity for the experimental means that this latest potential for meaning has a fighting chance today of finally procuring its overdue relevancy to the equally persistent mechanism identified by science as evolution.
Locating The Essence of New
As we all know by now, the introduction of any alternative forms of meaning today (especially referencing our sophisticated encounters with contemporary art) is a gesture that will no doubt invite closer scrutiny by many of you. The mere suggestion that anything (or any image) today can be considered "truly new" will most likely stimulate academic criticism from the so-called experts in art. At the same time, the possibility of gaining new meaning from art remains a much welcomed hypothetical, albeit one that should always remain suspect.
First of all, any allegation of having located a new source of meaning is a claim that's required to be confirmed by one’s peers to be relative to our personal experiences as artists. In other words, for any new concept to be considered to perform as a notable variation on the imaginative, both artists and critics must formally validate the concept (being investigated by this painter) and, perhaps more critically, concede that it genuinely impacts every artist's personal conception of the visible world in a substantially consistent manner.
In reality, in this particular case, this one variation on ideation is involved in establishing every artist’s response to his/her surroundings in a most clever and calculating way.
When I used the descriptive "critical meaning" I’m literally referring to one particular dimension of hominid’s highly evolved visual capacity. Among other ideas, I will propose that there exists a single and overriding principle of nature that essentially constitutes our ability to translate visible light much differently than all of the other species on earth. And not so surprisingly, this feature turns out to be directly involved with the original impetus for our invention of that reflecting-light-inspired phenomenon we refer to now as visual art.
Capturing The Elusive
I’m just beginning to understand why the artists before us have never investigated this clever dimension of visible nature before now – this solitary component that undoubtedly perpetuates an extremely relevant condition that we are certainly justified in calling Visual Materialism.
As it turns out, the reason this component has been overlooked is quite simple: The comprehensive functionality of this phenomenon (an entity that other artists might also soon find interesting) exacerbates the fact that it’s difficult for any artist to translate its uniquely orchestrated performance into that of an effectively communicative image-construct.
Here’s what I mean by that statement: Any experimental image that’s utilized by any artist (including me) in an attempt to effectively "portray" the translucent concept, as you’ll witness for yourself, psychologically governs, and in fact dramatically dictates the viewer’s interpretation of that subject-image. As a result, our instinctive definitional inclinations – regarding those things that are availed to be seen and interpreted by us – are inherently skewed and thereby immediately distracted from successful comprehension of the very subject matter that we are going to examine together.
Speaking of the covert-like performances of our concept under investigation, I’ve attempted to identify the unique challenges this so-called dimension had initially presented to my own comprehension. These comments are found (in the published work) in a chapter entitled Confessions. My goal now is to expose this elusive source of meaning for the more inquisitive of artists like myself to advantage, presumably with an equal level of enthusiasm and respect.
The above excerpts from my 2017 statement will hopefully give you an idea of the journey this one painter has inadvertently chosen to take during this stage of my life. This website also contains a brief overview of some of my earlier imagery, which eventually resulted in an obsession to create multiple studies under identical titles. ("Sylvette", "Lisa", and "Mono (Chromatic) Lisa")
If you look closely at some of my earlier works (a few examples are displayed on this site) you may be able to spot a “common thread” developing inside some of the more experimental efforts. There’s a subtle feature appearing within many of these works – somewhat of a directional indicator – that I myself did not clearly detect or appreciate until many years later. I realize that the contents of this website (under construction) are rather limited at this time but I still hope that my fellow artists will enjoy the enclosed. Thank you.
– David Orr Wright
Mono (Chromatic) Lisa
Oil on wood panels
Approx. 36 x 24 inches each