Monthly Archives: September 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

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 Smoke and Mirrors 4: Acrylic, gel medium, transfer, conte

This is the fourth in the “Smoke and Mirrors” series. The first three of the series can be viewed at

Uncontrolled, primitive movement in the left quadrant of the canvas forms a counterpoint to the structured, rational elements of what seem to be chemical compounds. The colour block technique and bright lines of colour appear to be inspired by gestural expressionism. An overlay of strings of gold drops is evocative of computer code streaming down a screen and can be seen as a commentary on the linear nature of scientific paradigms and their limited ability to quantify raw emotion and layers of meaning.

The entire piece is perhaps a metaphor for the postmodern struggle between linear, rational thought and primitive, sentimental understanding. The background is meant to suggest depth and an inner cosmos floating through the layers of colour. Smoke, rendered in white chalk, flows through the images, creating movement and uniting the disparate elements of the chemical structures with the frenzied whorl and splatter of the vivid greens and oranges.

The Smoke and Mirrors series is a departure from the previous series: The Meaningful Subway, which used realistic images, slightly altered to convey alternate or hidden meanings in every-day symbols. The pregnant semiotics of subway signage gave birth to layers of meaning that created new significations for the observer.

Subway Doors, acrylic, letraset

Despite their differences, it is clear that both series seek to create a paradigm that simultaneously deconstructs the rational and reinvents the unfathomable.

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