Mana III, 2019
Oil on canvas I’m interested in the energetics of painting. What energies are at play to make it possible for a painting to exist and be exhibited? How the work energy and materia expended in the process of painting is transformed into a contemplative surface. A surface which emits a vitalizing energy to me as i’m working on it, and to the viewer when exhibited and seen. I further this thinking through the mundane, figurative (altough altered) subject matter of my paintings; a grate in front of an air vent, an electric socket, a cooktop. They indicate liminality, surfaces in between, through which forms of energy flow. The names of the paintings: Mana I, Mana II, Mana III allude to the Western sociological and anthropological studies and interpretations of Melanesian cultures’ religions. Mana is the ambivalent and ambiguous hidden force in beings and objects. It is not good or bad. It is some kind of undefined, unformed matter but it also could be a quality or a form of action. The amount of mana defines the effects of magic a thing releases. Most importantly, mana is the excess in things, and this excess is their effective force. To me, works of art are analogous to mana. They are ambiguous, liminal forms of excess societal energy. But expenditure of the excess energy is necessary and art as the vehicle for this is by far the best in my opinion.