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Joanna Dur
Paintings
Seattle, Washington

Artist Statement

I'm a nervous person. So nervous that I spent years traveling to the remote recesses of the East in an unoriginal attempt to alleviate this apprehension.  While in Nepal, I spent several months learning the techniques of the ancient Buddhist art of Thangka painting.  The monks who worked on their ornately detailed mandalas were creating art as a tool for meditation.  It was during this time that I embraced painting as a means of personal organization.

  My anxiety translates into an artistic preoccupation with creating an illusion of structural balance on canvas.  With this in mind, I begin differentiating - imposing systems of organic patterns that are comprised of overly simplified pieces: simple, almost cellular, building blocks expanding in complexity. I tend to build a chaotic mess of minutiae into largely and simply symmetrical compositions; searching out a tenuous balance between the cohesive nature of organic design suspended in the chaotic clutch of entropy.  I continue this cycle of differentiation and integration until I feel as though I've arrested a moment of balanced tension, bound between layers of hardened oil.

 While the mandalas of my eastern influences were stable and often-linear expressions of integration, my art, like me, is not as restful. I enjoy playing with forcefully whimsical imagery and overindulgent color palettes that celebrate the beautiful mess of the human condition.  In fact, i feel most successful when the moment on canvas is imbued with the existential uncertainty of whether the imagery will come to rest in a stable condition, or dissolve into disorder.  Somehow, striking a balance between these natural forces on canvas eases the discomfort i feel by my own uncertain and shifting depths.   Because whether all the pieces are coming together or falling apart becomes irrelevant, and what's left is a celebration of all the conditions that have brought the work into being.        

 

 
 
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