Gary Pearson
The Flamenco Dancer 

Statement on the exhibition “Turn Back, Detour, Go On”

The paintings in the exhibition are in part based on photographs that I’ve personally taken while others are compositions with multiple sources that I’ve transformed into imaginative genre scenes. The large painting titled The Flamenco Dancer is based on an actual performance I saw in a private residence in the Sacramonte district of Granada, Spain, earlier this year. Although a few adjustments were made in the treatment of the modified cave in which the performance took place the scene is representative of the event. The same might also be said of the paintings Mother and Child, and Girl and Dog. In both these paintings I’ve attempted to capture a kind of atmosphere that I saw or sensed upon witnessing the scene. Mother and Child features a “Bonnardian” foreground in its intricate visual texture, which is contrasted with the rather stark background and patterning in the tree foliage. This painting, titled after the relief sculpture in the upper left, has a relatively flat or shallow pictorial space, while Girl and Dog employs a conventional perspectival space. The use of perspective in this street scene suits the logic of the subject matter as well as contributing a temporal and dramatic element to the narrative.

Apart from my concern with establishing a meaningful composition in my paintings, I’m also very committed to the art and craft of painting itself, to include the tools and methodologies of painting, and the physical and optical characteristics of paint and paint additives. I work in oil and occasionally add oil enamel paint and/or enamel spray paint, as can be seen in the painting titled It’s Burning! These recent works are not informed or connected by a common or guiding theme, each of the paintings feature a unique subject that presented its own set of challenges and rewards. It is my hope that the audience will experience some of these challenges and outcomes as well.