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.


6 responses »

  1. Really nice piece! you are more artist than I and I went to school for it! lol.
    Your link for the first in the series is a ticket to nowhere – can you repost?

    • Thanks! I make no claims to being an artist (you haven’t seen my attempts at drawing realistic anything) but guess we all have some kind of artistic “bone” in us. The link is meant to be a ticket to nowhere. My (perhaps too obscure) humour in this concept is the fact that Smoke and Mirrors 4 is, in fact, the only painting in the “series” and the link is a bogus one. Kind of a spin on the – Art / artifice / art discourse being artificial yet the art is only deemed to be real art if there is some kind of discourse attached to it (from my Postmodern entry).

      • However, I actually do have more Smoke and Mirrors style paintings in mind so should I call the next one Smoke and Mirrors 5 or would it be like the Star Trek “prequel” if I call it Smoke and Mirrors 1? (as you can see, I am obviously in full avoidance of reality mode at this point).

  2. Dear Barbie I think I know you did we not meet once at a post-postmodernist ant-meetig of the minds on June 31st 2010? I think your last name was Dada. Are you the same woman? Are you a more heroic version of her? Are you sure you are? Wold you like to be ? Or are you a pretty in pink fig of my imaginati0onnnnn?

    • Dear Barbie,
      I like your Smoke and Mirrors piece. The colours pop a lot more in real life than they do in the JPG. You are definitely an artist and I am grateful to know you. Keep blogging.


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