Based on a True Story
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The paintings in Based on a True Story are at once illogical and concrete – implying both failure and the hope of figurative and architectural construction. Developed as a kind of psychological landscape, they suggest a depiction of contemporary societal / political, and environmental instability. Neither true nor false: the paintings are spaces in which one may become dislocated, anxious, and unsettled. Inclusion of architectural fenestration suggests one’s fractured location and continually shifting ground. Furthermore, literary and cinematic fiction plays an important role to the work in that they both suggest landscapes that may never exist literally. Fiction is also indicative of the close relationship between the utopia and dystopia as environments for escape. This sense of balance or lack thereof, becomes important to the development of the theatrically absurd, so that an audience may be implicated as the tragic and comic active participant. While investigating the work of Peter Doig, Stephen Bush, and Dana Schutz, for example, I suggest that the trail of the painter’s hand becomes a necessary mode of entrance into the work, offering a closer relationship to the act of painting as another form of escape. This gestural mark-making runs counter to current pushes toward technology, and suggests the re-emergence of painting as a primary approach in which to investigate the development of personal space and experience.