by Uta Maria Krapf and Tom Barnes
My paintings reveal some aspects of experience that contain evidence of a reality that reflects how the world is most often encountered, as the mind is directed towards it--at the same time, they are images that hold the ambiguous. The squeezing together visually of what is and is not expected, in a way is like a hallucination experienced on the threshold of consciousness. This makes one not sure of the experience being navigated, because ultimately what is being navigated, that which is essential to knowing, only partially appears. And, that the images are oil paintings, revealing the physicality of paint, adds the awareness of material experience as both actual and illusionary. That all of this takes place on a flat surface as a pictorial event is of great interest to me. -- Tom Barnes
To the viewer, my work is likely seen as nonobjective, as it is not a depiction of any known act, scene or being, and does not tell a story. It is an interpretation of my notions of forms beyond the finite ones we recognize. The abstract forms I use are determined by those that I see or invent, and are tempered by the idea that form, in and of itself, carries content. The forms are revised, refined and often stylized in order to allow them to interact on the painted surface as elements that communicate on a non-literal basis.
My choice of media is often one that includes those not understood as traditional. For the past few years, I have been experimenting with mixing various pigments into gesso (traditionally used as a surface preparation for paintings) and using this mixture as my paint. The ability for the pigments to intermix with the chosen medium, as well as these mixtures to intermix with each other are several criteria I use in making my choices. Over time, the colors in my paintings have become increasingly intense. The brilliance of the colors produced through these mixtures is my primary consideration in determining which combinations to use.I am currently using stretched muslin as my painting substrate. It is lighter in weight and texture than canvas. This lightness allows a smoothness of paint application and rather than being partially absorbed, as with heavier cloth, the paint stays on the surface of the muslin, making the colors appear luminous. -- Uta-Maria Krapf