Talking about painting is a little like thinking about swimming: it can be interesting but doesn’t really keep you afloat. The practice of painting, and swimming, requires effort, trust, and a certain kind of surrender. These qualities are necessary to work in the mysterious space between careful representation and spontaneous abstraction. The paintings in this body of work dwell in this space because this most reflects the nature of my experience. These paintings are artifacts from an exploration of how we are separate and how we are connected. We gather together on beaches, in cities and towns, each of us leading actors in our own dramas.
What is the nature of our connection? Is it our ability to empathize which holds us in this loose embrace? The more I work with these images the more I begin to empathize with these figures. The simple act of seeing opens me to our shared condition, an apparent separation. Yet, we swim in the same sea. And, the longer we look, the boundaries which separate begin to appear more like the forces that connect.
Philip Buller 2013