Chromaportal

Using words to explain a visual experience sort of defeats the purpose, but I will try.

 

The best way to view my art is live, so if you would like a studio tour, please contact me. I am in Tokyo near Yoyogi Park. Come over and have a coffee.

 

I don't really have an overt agenda or philosophy I am trying to promote or express. Other than keeping an open mind. It also tends to be difficult to be angry and divisive when enjoying abstract art or multimedia paintings. And the same goes for making them. So I like the non-violent, non-confrontational aspect of abstract art. 

Viewing art tends to generate discussion, which itself can be highly pleasurable. When people look at my paintings, they always find something that I didn't intend.

 

As for my recent paintings, the obvious thing to notice is how they resemble computer screens. The frame surrounds a browser, which opens up into an infinite universe. I didn't intend this. It just struck me after a while that this was true. 

I create multi color borders primarily for a transition from one world to another. This is an indirect reference to Japanese  scrolls and Tibetan thankas and mandalas. As I understand in Tibetan art, the solid block at the bottom of a scroll is a meditation focal point.

 

But mostly I am going for visual impact. I find borders and the base color strips work as a containment field. The borders frame the central visual image - like a computer frames its screen, or a black edge of a film negative contains the image. Borders are like their own color fields, they vibrate, keep the eye moving, while holding everything together.

The world inside the borders is another universe. Angels and sailors, rich girls, backyard fences, tents, dreams watching each other narrowly.

I suppose living in Japan for this long (18 years) I have been influenced by Japanese rock gardens, Japanese manga, Japanese scroll paintings including mokuhanga (woodblock prints) and large scale calligraphy on scrolls. I visited Tibet in 1994 and saw Tibetan mandalas and thanka paintings on scrolls usually depicting a cosmology of demigods. The walls of temples are painted with the same images. One meditates on the ideas and stories depicted in the central image - and they become teaching tools - same as Christian imagery in cathedrals or paintings in the western tradition.

Mandalas are geometric paintings that allow your mind to travel through during meditation. Like a psychic Minoan labyrinth. Thanka paintings and Japanese scroll paintings are often elaborately bordered - but have a contrasting solid rectangular or square shaped region at the bottom of the vertical scroll. Again the square area is intended to serve as a focal point in meditation.  I use it as a rhythmic counterpoint.   Zen gardens, large gestural calligraphy, geometric mandalas, Tibetan sand mandalas, all share the message of impermanence.

Phillip K Dick in his  novel VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System)  recounts how a benevolent intelligent being spoke to him and several times downloaded packets of useful information into him via a pink telepathic beam. I keep my eyes out constantly for pink beams.

Amidst the din of negative political, spiritual, social suffering, malicious code, painting is my way to jam the evil signals, and send out my own counter-hack. My works are my way of trying to access the underlying  source code - searching for my pink light of contact with the  benevolent dieties -  but also communicating a message of universal love. Be nice to each other.

Abstraction is like visual jazz. You can just listen to Miles Davis and enjoy it.  Likewise you can just look, and enjoy.  But in a moral, political way, beyond just the sensual and decorative, paintings are communicating to you - albeit non verbally. Are you there? Are you alive? Wake up!   And don't be fooled.

We live in our own unique subjective world, but a powerful person can infringe on the world of another person. This influence can be benevolent or malevolent. If I can move you to see the world the way I see it, and I can control perceptions, I can control reality.  Jackson Pollock said "I don't paint nature, I am nature".  Viewing images changes the way we think - what greater power is there?

Abstract expressionism is really over 100 years old. It started with Paul Klee, Wassilly Kandinsky and evolved to Rothko, Pollock, Rauchenberg. Warhol prints owe their color synthestism to Kandinsky. Damian Hirst has just done a series of dot abstractions. Abstraction remains a fertile genre. Just like jazz, or any non-narrative, non linear art form, the possibilities are infinite.

 © 2019 by William Montgomery

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Vimeo Icon