THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL DIPTYCH
I am near complete with a project that started as an experiment and just resulted in a fantastic addition to my portfolio. I say ‘almost finished’ because I am seeking advice for how to present my latest work, “perspectives”. Below are different display combinations of the two pieces, which were purposefully designed to be somewhat symmetrical in color, shape, and composition, allowing for them to be paired in any number of ways. Which is your favorite? Let me know…
Like many of my projects, this one started with the question, “I wonder if I can do that?” I was curious how a collage of acrylic “skins” might turn out. Mind you, I’ve neither worked with collages nor ever intentionally created a skin of paint, but I set out to see what would happen. Almost immediately I thought, if I’m going to cut up a painting into smaller pieces, I’m going to want to use as much of the painting as possible… and this got me thinking to cut the skin into strips and actually make two works, setting alternating strips on either canvas. I envisioned the need for symmetry; if I keep the structure of the skin image that I slice up somewhat “balanced” then the same image should replicate onto both final works. The total project was a creative juices binge! I spent many hours debating and rethinking colors, and layout, and shapes, and textures, and trying to imagine how the two pieces would look in all the combinations below, all before a single drop of paint was down. My direction changed more than a few times following each stage in the process as the number of variables narrowed with each milestone completed.
It started with selecting the canvas… I had a couple black 16 x 20 canvases that I’ve been sitting on for a while. With my size down I turned to creating the skin. I used an old picture frame to secure some wax paper flat and proceeded to pour out some left over black enamel that I had from a previous project. It worked perfectly, and I learned a few tips for the next time I want to use this process. The black was just to give the skin consistent substance. I decided to construct a spinning table to create a round image on top, figuring round is symmetrical from all angles and so can’t go wrong if I slice equitably. Below is a picture of the pink acrylic that I laid on top of the dried enamel. In the background you can see my rigged spinning apparatus that I built from a deconstructed floor stand fan situated between two cases of bottled water… MacGyver style indeed! I didn’t actually use the electric motor, just wanted the clean spin from the rotor.
If you saw my post last week, you know that I had a “signing party” in preparations for some upcoming shows, and since this pink target was out in my studio, it became target practice for polishing my signature! =) Look closely at the finished images and you’ll see a few of the signatures come through…. I actually like the finished look quite a bit; gives the work a look of spontaneity, almost graffiti-esque – and saved me from having to sign these! =)
One last touch for the skin. I thought if I were to drip a few colors down the face of the images, and slice the skin in the opposition direction, that the drip pattern would be repeated identically when I separated the strips. I wanted the drips to stand out and so I used some gloss medium with bright, metallic colors. I am super pleased with the results! Here it is before cutting the circle and strips.
I wasn’t sold on the circle cut-out until the last minute before cutting; I really debated cutting the skin in strips without cropping it down because I didn’t want to lose any of the beautiful, bright colors in the metallics. In the end, the circle was the right balance of keeping enough of this foreground while also allowing enough of the back ground to come through (which I still didn’t know what it was going to be!).
The last stage took me two hours to think through, making sure the colors and patterns would be complimentary in various combinations. I landed on warm tones blended through a white background in one direction, and some cool tones against black background in an apex direction. The application of colors had to be done identically on adjacent canvases, first on the white/warm then rotating the canvases to roll in the black/cool.
So I had everything ready to go for the last step. I had to move quickly as I wanted the wet paint in the background to act as the adhesive for the skin strips laid on top. It all came together quickly… the visions I had, the decisions I made, within 15 minutes it was all done; and the finished work exceeded all my expectations! Remember this was and experiment to start, and now it’s something I’m proud to display in my portfolio and hopefully I will build upon in future projects! But before I do…
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
Below are a multitude of combinations of the diptych. I think each look has a unique feel and I like them all. Maybe I need to figure out a way to mount these on the wall using some sort of automated rotating mount… that way each day would be a surprising new look!
Please comment on my Facebook post to let me know what view you like the best…
Option A, B, C, D, or Random, and in what orientation. See Below…
Option (A) – Long Blue Edge
Option (B) – Short White Edge
Option (C) – Long White Edge
Option (D) – Short Blue Edge