A load of Pollocks!
Stargazer is a large format original painting created drip and pour style similar to those Jackson Pollock pioneered in the late 40’s and early 50’s. It’s not, to say, that this is supposed to be a Pollock copy – far from it – this stands on its own merit as a Swarez original taking its cues from a couple of techniques associated with the great expressionist painter.
I like how free and liberating it feels to be able to open a can of paint and drip it off a spoon onto a blank white canvas. I have spent years researching techniques and processes and even reverse engineered one of Pollock’s great works to see how it was done (see the Blue Poles project) – all in the name of originality.
I want to discover how to use this very simple technique and how it can be changed and morphed into producing paintings that have their own story to tell. So, to dismiss this is a ‘bit Pollock’ is to do yourself a disservice – there’s much more to Stargazer than meets the eye.
Layers and colours
I don’t know which you’ll notice first but the subject of layering different colours on top of one another is critical in getting a certain look and finish. Too much in once go will give a very flat appearance and allow paint to run into itself. This is fine for lower layers but not great if you’re trying to build up those intricate shapes and textures.
This painting is made up of a number of different layers applied at different drying intervals. This way I can control what dries and when and for how long. This is crucial and is dependent on what I am trying to achieve; an intimate knowledge of paint and constant monitoring is a given.
Of course, layers and textures are only one side of the coin. To achieve all this with a bland and uninteresting colour selection is unthinkable. One of the main reasons for the success of these techniques (in my own opinion) is using the right colours. I know Pollock did the opposite on many occasions but I don’t want to get all monotone and morose with my colour choices – I want to celebrate life and the blood running through our veins.
The sum of the parts
Living with a drip painting is surprisingly easy. Sure, you need to have a liking for this kind of thing beforehand but that’s not necessarily a prerequisite for ownership. One of the reasons for this is the level of detailing that’s going on. I have so much control at my disposal (even though you may think otherwise) that I can be very specific about what goes where and what happens to it as it cures.
Think for a moment about the concentration of dense red in the centre that gets abruptly dispersed around the outside; breathing space for any painting is very important. Then we have the dizzying array of colours that surround it – a melee of apparent randomness but entirely balanced and contained. Then the use of black and white to pull the coloured elements together; everything has purpose and form. Everything serves itself and its neighbour. Each layer, no matter how small, has a role to play and a story to tell.
Multiply that by a thousand and you’re getting somewhere near. The close-up photos will give you an insight to exactly what I’m talking about.
If you have the space for a painting like this you should absolutely consider it. Whether you think it’s ‘out there’, mad, crazy or genius you cannot ignore the flawless execution, attention to detail and it’s uniqueness among an over-populated genre of would-be drip painters who think they can do what Pollock did. I know I can’t and and that’s exactly as it should be.
What I can do though is something borne of complete focus and obsession. Having meticulously studied and practiced this method for years I have created something beautiful, exquisite and uniquely my own.
You can’t ask more from a painting than that.